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Trellising TTs

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Trellising TTs

Post  rabbithutch on 3/9/2014, 2:28 pm

Since we don't have a forum for TTs (hint, hint), I'm posting questions I have here.  If they the topic is in the wrong place, I hope an admin will move it where it belongs.

We are having late season frosts; so I have not yet pushed to get my TT beds finished and planted, but that time is coming very soon.  I know that I want to plant some veg that will need support.  Recent posts about cattle panels got me thinking about using this material and metal electrical conduit along the North side of my 4x10 bed.  For what will be my first season of SFG and TT beds, I think that I will confine veg needing support to that bed.

My concern is about the height of the trellis and the need to reach plant tips to train them.  I plan to make my beds about counter top height (36-40").  Adding 50" of cattle panel will put the tops at the limit of my reach.  I will probably make a 2-step stool that I can leave under a bench.  Does this sound feasible?  Will 50" be enough height?  If not, what effect does that have on choice of veg?

I have never used cattle panel.  Checking the Tractor Supply web site, I see that the wire is 4 ga.  and comes in 16' panels.  I was considering taking a pair of side cutting pliers along and cutting a panel into 4 sections.  Is this feasible or will I need to take a bolt cutter?  Cutting it down to size at the store will make it a bit easier to transport in my pickup.

And, while I'm asking how-to questions, what size conduit should I buy?  Is the 1/2" sturdy enough, or should I buy 3/4"?  The material comes in 10' lengths which means that I will have to cut it. What should I expect to use, a hacksaw?  I thought that I would place uprights at each end of the 10' run and one in the middle and attach the cattle panel with plastic zip ties.  That means I will need 2 elbows and one Tee.  Is that sufficient?  Lastly, I'm assuming that I can run the conduit alongside the legs at the ends and middle of my TT and use conduit straps to attach it to the legs.  Three straps per leg seems about right to me; what say ye?

TIA

   
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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  boffer on 3/9/2014, 2:56 pm

I'll sometimes plant cukes or squashes in a corner square of a TT, and let them hang down to the ground where they can vine underneath.

Put up some hoops, string some cord, and you have a tomato trellis.  Tomato vines go over the top and start back down.


You can run your trellis at an angle or horizontal if that's more convenient.

Concrete wire re-inforcing is similar to a cattle panel; whatever is most convenient.

Bolt cutters are way easier. A hacksaw cuts EMT quickly.
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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  sanderson on 3/9/2014, 3:48 pm

Walshevak, or was it Quilt Bea, recently posted a photo of cattle panels arched between 2 TTs.  That way there is total access to the arched trellis without having to reach over the bed.  Safer   She also had some buckets in the isle with plants that would use the trellis.  I'll try to find the photo.

Metal electrical conduit is great.  I have 8' long 1/2" as trellis supports.  You can get metal elbows but NOT the T's.  I tried a PVC tee that my DH drilled holes for the set screws.  Worked fair.   Zip ties are great fasteners.

To modify Boffer's statement, "A hacksaw AND a husband cuts EMT quickly."  It took me over 15 minutes to make one cut!!  Wimpy   Embarassed
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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  rabbithutch on 3/9/2014, 6:19 pm

@sanderson wrote:Walshevak, or was it Quilt Bea, recently posted a photo of cattle panels arched between 2 TTs.  That way there is total access to the arched trellis without having to reach over the bed.  Safer   She also had some buckets in the isle with plants that would use the trellis.  I'll try to find the photo.

Metal electrical conduit is great.  I have 8' long 1/2" as trellis supports.  You can get metal elbows but NOT the T's.  I tried a PVC tee that my DH drilled holes for the set screws.  Worked fair.   Zip ties are great fasteners.

To modify Boffer's statement, "A hacksaw AND a husband cuts EMT quickly."  It took me over 15 minutes to make one cut!!  Wimpy   Embarassed

Check out this Home Depot link: Conduit T-Connector

I saw the arch between beds.  To get the best sunlight, my beds will be situated so that they are, at most, 4 feet apart.  I was concerned that making an arch between beds might put too much shade on the North side bed.  Since this will be my first year, I don't really know for sure that it would create too much shade.  I suppose I could make the arbor off the North side of the North bed and put the posts in buckets of concrete instead of connecting it between beds.  Will just have to see what might work after gaining a little experience.  Right now I'm thinking that I will place conduit on the North side along the 10' dimension of my 4x10 table and plant tomatoes, beans and maybe an eggplant in those 10 squares.

Thank you, both, for the information.
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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  yolos on 3/9/2014, 6:31 pm

I do not have TT's but I do use 3/4" EMT 8' high and 8' long.  With a cross piece attached to the top of legs of the trellis with metal elbows on each end.  Then I use another EMT leg in the middle of the 8' length to keep any bowing out of the top cross piece.  I attach this middle EMT to the top cross piece with a PVC T that has an opening big enough for the EMT to slide right thru the T.  Then I use duct tape to hold the T to the top cross piece and the leg.  The weight of the trellis will hold this middle leg in place using the duct tape.

If you used 10' legs on the EMT and attached them to the legs of your TT, that would give you approx. 6' of trellis for your plants to climb on.  Not tall enough for cucs or tomatoes but as boffer said you can let them trail over the top and back down.

Here is a free standing trellis I made.  I did put in two middle legs on this one to keep the top bar from bowing.  I have had it for two years and the T's with duct tape still are holding up.
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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  walshevak on 3/10/2014, 2:06 am

Here is my cantalevered trellis.  10 ft EMT on  angled rebar at the front of the bed resting on the rear block supports.  A later version has the EMT attached to the bed with 2 per side u shaped brackets.  I used pvc angles with nuts and bolts on the corners.  cheaper and easier for me to drill.  




cattle panel version to the rear and another canterlever.  My objective was to have as much trellis space low enough for me to reach.




I don't have wire cutting tools so I just arched it between 2 beds.  And I'm using space over my leach field for my garden and am avoiding post holes when I can.

Kay

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Re: Trellising TTs

Post  sanderson on 3/10/2014, 4:39 am

Yolos, Nice free standing trellis. Ye ole duct tape! I didn't think of that.

Rabbit, Thanks for the find of 1/2" tee at HD. Looks like a plastic electrical junction box?? I didn't think to expand my search.
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