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Trellis vs Staking

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Trellis vs Staking

Post  BigTerp on 3/4/2015, 11:03 am

I already have my material to make a 5' tall trellis out of conduit and nylon string. I'm planning to put this behind the north side of my 4 x 4 SFG to support peas, beans and tomatoes. Peas and beans seem simple enough to grow up a trellis, but what about tomatoes? For my tomatoes I'm planning on doing the single or double vine pruning method to save space and allow me one tomato plant per square. As they grow and I prune I plan to tie the vines to my nylon trellis. Wondering if that is the best way, or would tying the tomato plant vines to a stake work better? Thanks!!!

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/4/2015, 11:16 am

I've never tied my tomato plants to a trellis; I simply weave them into the netting.

Wishing you a fabulous tomato harvest!

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  BigTerp on 3/4/2015, 11:26 am

Thanks!! 

But you still use the trellis? Instead of tying the vines to it, you simply weave the vines in and out of the nylon string as it grows?

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/4/2015, 11:37 am

Yes, I weave the growing tomatoes through the netting.  

So far, I've purchased the nylon netting only from the SFG Foundation, and it lasts and lasts!   Also, it's strong enough to hold winter squash and smallish pumpkins.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  BigTerp on 3/4/2015, 11:48 am

Thanks again!!

I'm also planning on trying to stake a zucchini plant in a single square. I think it will be quite the challenge, but my wife loves zucchini, so I'm going to give it a go!!

Are you familiar with growing pole beans? My trellis is only going to be 4-5' tall, not sure that is tall enough for beans? Should be OK for my peas and tomatoes though. I might just trade in my 5' conduit for 10' and be done with it.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  donnainzone5 on 3/4/2015, 12:13 pm

I haven't really tried to grow a zucchini vertically--although one year I did remove the lower leaves and staked one.  It didn't grow tall, but survived and produced a zuke or two.  Give it a try, though.  Another idea is to plant bush squash at the corner of a bed, allowing it to spill over into the adjacent space.

Beans?  Always!  I still have a couple of one-gallon bags in the freezer from last summer.

My trellises are only 5', but I've read that once the they reach that height, you can double them back toward the ground on the other side.  I did train a few tendrils that way in August.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  camprn on 3/4/2015, 12:27 pm

@BigTerp wrote:For my tomatoes I'm planning on doing the single or double vine pruning method to save space and allow me one tomato plant per square. As they grow and I prune I plan to tie the vines to my nylon trellis. Wondering if that is the best way, or would tying the tomato plant vines to a stake work better? Thanks!!!
I usually plant tomato plants 1.5-2 feet apart. They are heavy feeders and need good roots to grow and produce well. With indeterminate tomato plants I trellis them, using Florida weave method. Works like a charm. Determinates I usually just use stakes, but Florida weave would work on them as well.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  camprn on 3/4/2015, 12:33 pm

@BigTerp wrote:Thanks again!!

I'm also planning on trying to stake a zucchini plant in a single square. I think it will be quite the challenge, but my wife loves zucchini, so I'm going to give it a go!!

Are you familiar with growing pole beans? My trellis is only going to be 4-5' tall, not sure that is tall enough for beans? Should be OK for my peas and tomatoes though. I might just trade in my 5' conduit for 10' and be done with it.
Why isn't the trellis going to be taller? I buy the 10' conduit and cut it to my needs. I have my rattlesnake pole beans do well on a trellis at least 6 feet tall.

Staked zucchini, is not ideal, as it is not really a vining plant. It will need more that a foot square of space above the bed.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  yolos on 3/4/2015, 1:26 pm

My rattlesnake beans grew up an 8' trellis and started to grow across the isle to the adjacent trellis.  So it all depends on the variety you choose to grow.  See the picture in my avatar.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  BigTerp on 3/4/2015, 1:43 pm

Thanks for all the replies!! Getting things more squared away in my head now. Just need all this snow to melt/stop falling and the ground to thaw sooner than later!!

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2015, 2:11 pm

BigTerp, You've gotten some good replies from experience gardeners.  In the ANSFG book, Mel shows how to make an easy beginner's trellis with 5" EMC metal with a net trellis.  The folks here are giving advice from experience, pole beans and peas will welcome a higher one, like 8'.  The 5' will not go to waste, though!  You can tie indeterminate tomatoes to it or do a Florida weave trellis between them for 2- or 3-stem determinate tomatoes.  From my experience, zucchini in a corner square and allowing it to fall out of the box is probably the best way to go, space-wise.  I do grow them in pots, also, with a short tomato cage to guide them vertically, but that is because of my small back yard and sun availability.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  BigTerp on 3/4/2015, 2:24 pm

Thanks again!! I'm thinking I'll go ahead and get 2 10' sections of conduit to I can raise my trellis and have enough room for anything I plan to grow. I'm actually planning on making the "indestructible tomato trellis" for my peas, beans and tomatoes. Sorry, forum won't let me post links yet, but you can Google it if your interested.

As far as the zucchini goes, I may have to rethink it. Don't want to end up with a giant mess and crowding of my other squares.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  sanderson on 3/4/2015, 2:30 pm

@BigTerp wrote: As far as the zucchini goes, I may have to rethink it. Don't want to end up with a giant mess and crowding of my other squares.
I know, each square is so precious! Very Happy

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  AtlantaMarie on 3/5/2015, 4:19 pm

Hi BigTerp.  Welcome to the forum from Atlanta, GA.  Sorry I missed you earlier... 

We put up 10' conduit.  My beans reached the top & then some.

And, yes, your zuke will take up more than a square.  (Ask me how I know... Embarassed   It was not a happy camper & was very prone to powdery mildew as a result of the crowding.)

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  jimmy cee on 3/5/2015, 4:43 pm

I planted a zucchini in 1 square. let it grow off the bed, I had to remove it because it took up so much room I wasn't able to get to the adjacent bed.

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Zucchini problem

Post  akolcharno on 4/15/2015, 10:44 am

I'm pretty new to the SFG thing, but aren't you supposed to give Zucchini's 2sq. ft/ plant b/c they are so big? I can see how you would run out of room if you only gave them 1, but if they have 2 wouldn't that be enough? I'm mainly asking b/c I was planning on planting them on my trellis, along with tomatoes and peas.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  camprn on 4/15/2015, 11:09 am

@akolcharno wrote:I'm pretty new to the SFG thing, but aren't you supposed to give Zucchini's 2sq. ft/ plant b/c they are so big? I can see how you would run out of room if you only gave them 1, but if they have 2 wouldn't that be enough? I'm mainly asking b/c I was planning on planting them on my trellis, along with tomatoes and peas.
Zucchini will not effectively grow up a trellis. They would do better by themselves at the edge of a bed or left to sprawl in a bed of their own.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/15/2015, 12:10 pm

If traditionally planted, zucchini can take up 9 square feet.  Or, I suspect, more.  I've successfully planted them at the border of TWO squares, and let them spill over the sides of the box.  However, I always do so at the end of the beds so that they don't obstruct pathways or bar access to other beds.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  camprn on 4/15/2015, 12:58 pm

photo from the web of a healthy full grown zuke plant.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  jimmy cee on 4/15/2015, 8:59 pm

I wouldn't let zucchini plant stay in my SFG bed..the one I planted on used 1 square for the stem, then grew overboard.
You could trellis them, however that's a lot of weight,.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  sanderson on 4/15/2015, 9:57 pm

Camp, Is that zucchini photo like a big fish photo? With the guy holding the fish way out in front of him? But, point made. Summer squash need room for their leaves and sprawl.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  FRED58 on 4/16/2015, 9:28 pm

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or on the Tomato Tuesday thread, but it's Thursday so...

Does anyone have any experience with spiral tomato stakes?



I found them for $2 each at a nearby dollar store (they are five for $25 at Lee Valley, so I figure this is a good chance to try them).

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  donnainzone5 on 4/16/2015, 9:56 pm

Fred, I've used these intermittently, but mostly for cukes.

They may also work for tomatoes, but I prefer something more supportive, such as the trellis netting from the Foundation.

Another factor to consider is that most of our beds are only 6" deep, and inserting these spirals through the weed cloth may invite weeds.  Those 6" of Mel's Mix are so loose and friable that they won't reliably support a heavily fruiting tomato vine.  

However, you might want to insert these more deeply into regular soil just outside your raised beds and train/prune your tomato plants accordingly.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  sanderson on 4/17/2015, 12:17 am

Fred, How tall are they?

Donna, Good idea to put them in the dirt right outside the box.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

Post  FRED58 on 4/17/2015, 6:46 am

I didn't think about the holes in the weedcloth. They are five feet long which up here is about as tall as I have ever seen a tomato plant. (even with a foot or so in the ground).

I am going to try a few placed outside the box and some in a conventional garden space. I'll report back in a couple of months.

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Re: Trellis vs Staking

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