I'm in Florida 9b, and want to cover my wood fences with vines; mandevilla, bleeding heart, passion flower, garlic vine and jasmine. The fence is solid wood pickets and I need something for the plants to climb on that looks good and is easy to install. So far my best choice is monofilament fishing line strung on stainless steel screws (to avoid rusting) placed in a grid like pattern. Has anyone used such a system...any pitfalls, suggestions or a better solution.
Woody perennial vines can be capable of damaging a wood fence. Both by brute force, and by moisture/mildew harbored in the shade/blocked by the wind of the vines. They can make maintenance either impossible, or it is necessary to severely cut the vines periodically to maintain the fence. Those that are knocked back by frost would not present a problem maintaining or damaging the fence unless they do cause a moisture problem.
An alternative might be autonomous metal structures for the woody vines, but much more expensive and labor-intensive to setup.
Fishing line has a lifespan of a few years exposed outside. I use a lot of it too. By the time it degrades and fails, the woody vines should be strong enough to support themselves and possibly provide a framework for the herbaceous ones to climb (assuming Passiflora and BH get knocked back by frost where you are.)
better to place a free-standing 'trellis' or other support a few inches in front of a wood fence. It may be OK to stabilize it to the fence in a few places but, typical wood fences need care/repair/replacement periodically. If you (and possibly your neighbor) do not mind the extra expense of hiring someone to work on such a heavily overgrown fence - plus the likelihood of harming the vine when that work is done, do whatever you want. No question stainless and aluminum will last longer than plastic or exposed iron/steel.
Hey Steve. We used vinyl coated clothesline wire (green color) and metal fence posts to construct a trellis in front of our wooden fence. A fence post every 4 feet with the clothesline run through the bolt holes in the posts, placed 3 feet out from the fence. That gives the vines plenty of room to grow, and allows air circulation for both plants and fence. It also gives enough room to get to the fence for maintenance/repair. The posts and wire tend to fade into the vines are not really noticeable.