Vigorous grapes (Vitis spp.) Could be trained for vertical growth, including on a deck. Once they’re found, grape vines cover a lot of land, with free-floating plants capable of placing 20 to 25 feet of new development in a single season, providing ample shade during the summer and autumn. Grapes are deciduous, allowing light to enter the deck region in winter. Consider a few factors before opting to grow strawberries to your deck.
Where to Plant
Most decks have an area of garden soil directly below the outer deck edge where it’s possible to plant the grapevines. For decks on upper stories or those that are high above the ground, plant grapes in containers for growing a trellis along the edge of the deck. The grapes won’t grow as quickly or create as much fruit as if they were at the ground. Each plant requires approximately a 20-gallon container approximately 15 inches wide and deep. Use only containers which have drainage holes. Container-grown grapes need more frequent watering than in-ground grapes. Water the container thoroughly when the top 1 inch of soil gets dry, giving enough water it flows in the drainage holes. Grape vines do best in full sun or with at least morning sun.
As they grow, grapevines develop thick trunks and main branches. They’ll need strong, rot-resistant timber for support, like cedar or redwood. Don’t use pretreated lumber. Traditionally, grapevines grow not just on vertical supports, including a trellis, but on a horizontal surface connected with the trellis, like an arbor. The arbor roofs over the deck, giving grapevines someplace to spread rather than being doubled back to the growth already on the trellis. This also provides the deck better shade. Install trellises and arbors before you put grapevines in place.
Because the grapevine grows, weave the stems via or fasten them into the vertical trellis. After the vine reaches the horizontal arbor, train it so that the branches give very good coverage. Grapes need annual pruning, but for the first year a young vine is put in place. Prune each winter or early spring when the vine remains dormant. In mild climates, the ideal time to prune is usually from January through March 1. If the grapevine’s main purpose is shade rather than fruit production, minimum pruning is needed. If you would like fruit production as well, grapevines need intense pruning back annually, and the vine has to be trained for appropriate development from the second year it is in place. Prior to polishing, wipe the resources with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol to prevent disease spread. Consider if the building of your deck, trellises and arbors will enable grapevines to be easily accessible for safe management. Also think about if the grapevine will interfere with maintenance of the deck and home.
You have a lot of choice when it comes to grape varieties. Three species of grapes are generally grown, and all would shade a deck well. European grape (Vitis vinifera) includes cultivars suitable for wine-making and for table grapes. American grape (Vitis labrusca) provides fruit for juice, wines and eating fresh. Both species grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Muscadine grape (Vitus rotundifolia) produces small clusters of creamy fruit rather than large bunches of grapes. It grows in USDA zones 6 through 10.