How to grow grapevines on a pergola??

Nov 27, 2019
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United Kingdom
I am in the UK and autumn is ending. We have a pergola - approx 3m (10 feet)square-ish and 2.5m (7+feet) high with cross beams approx. 45cm apart. Two slender grapevines have made it to the top and now I'm trying to decide how best to support/train them to provide maximum shade. Not the most convenient way to grow grapes, I've read, it but that's what we've got.

I am torn about how to support the growing vines.
The current plan is to run wires across the beams to provide a grid for the vine cordons (?). Does this sound reasonable? I thought of screwing eyes into the end beams and going the wires through them, maybe with turnbuckles for tension.
An alternative is to run thin treated (2 inch, say) timber across instead.

My problem is the engineering aspect of these. How heavy might the vines getting to be, so how strong does the wire/wood need to be? Would the wires' tension form the pergola? Would just pushing the wire through the eyes and hand-twisting it together be okay?

Or am I really overthinking a simple DIY job?

Your knowledgeable input is urgently needed!


Mar 28, 2015
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Southern Chester County, PA, USA
Hardiness Zone
4 to 5 best for success.
United States
We also have a pergola. is yours wooden or black cast iron? If its wooded then in a couple years you will have to re-stain it as weather elements will get to it. That will be difficult with a mature grape vine on it. While I get the romance of having a grape vine on it, I wonder about the practicality of it. There are other climbing things that would produce magic as well and be less stressed with severe pruning when you need to re-stain the pergola.

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