Building Wire Supports to Grow Fruit on Walls, Fences or Posts
How to put up wires for training fruit on a wall or fence
- These are instructions for fixing wires to existing fences or walls.
- If you are making your own rows of posts out in the open, it is best to make them run North-South and so face East-West.
Suitable Facing Directions for Wire-Trained Fruit Trees Against a Wall or Fence
|Facing Direction of wall or fence||Characteristics||Suitable Plants|
|South Facing||Sunniest. Gets dry in summer, so mulching & watering are important.||All - Heat loving plants like figs can only be grown on South facing walls.|
|West Facing||Afternoon Sun. Good rainfall.||Cherries, Pears, Plums, Damsons, Gages, Apples, All Berry Bushes|
|East Facing||Morning Sun. Less rainfall & colder than West facing.||Cherries, Early Pears, Plums, Damsons, Gages, Apples, All Berry Bushes|
|North Facing||Least Sun - only certain plants will be able to make a decent crop.||Fan trained Morello Cherries & Damsons, Early Apples, Cordon Currant bushes, Gooseberries, Blackberries|
You will need 14 or 16 gauge galvanised fencing wire. 14 gauge wire is necessary for rows of cordons and espaliers, the thinner 16 gauge wire is fine for fan-trained trees and soft fruit.
The wire needs to be held away from the stand out from the wall or fence by about 2-4 inches / 5-10 cms. You can use wooden battens or angled metal angle brackets to do this.
The spacing of the wires depends on what you want to grow:
Spacing Between Wires for Different Types of Fruit Tree
|Fruit Tree Shape||Wire Spacing|
|Diagonal Cordons||Every 2 feet / 60cms|
|Fan Trained Trees||Every 6 inches / 15cms. Start at 15 inches / 40 cms above the ground.|
|Espaliers||Every 15-18 inches / 40-45cms. Start at 15 inches / 40 cms above the ground.|
To make the wires nice and tight, you will need to use straining bolts at one end: you can fix the wire to these and then tighten them to make the wire taut. You can ask you local DIY shop for advice.