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Arbors

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Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/16/2010, 10:50 pm

Choppers Adventure to LACMA is really pushing me to build an Arbor that I have always wanted.

I want to grow melons on the Arbor.
My first thought is that it has to be wood to support the weight.
BUT-----will a PVC Hoop covered with re-enforcement wire hold the
weight? I can see it holding beans or flowering vines---but Melons?

Just sifting through supplies that I already have on hand---
I have plenty of T Post,
Have Plenty of re-enforcement wire.
No PVC
No Wood.

Does anyone already have an Arbor---pictures? Advice?


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Re: Arbors

Post  Megan on 10/17/2010, 7:48 am

Mel's book does address growing watermelons and other heavy fruit on trellises. Page 151 in the new book specifically touches supporting heavy crops and advises driving a steel fence post at least 3 feet long into the ground (part way, I presume!) and then attach the conduit to it with multiple pipe clamps.

I have to say, when I was building my trellises this spring I thought the squash would be the heaviest load and was worried about that one. I think if the rampicante plant had been smaller, my fears would have been justified, as the bigger fruits averaged 5 lbs+. But as it turned out, most of the rampicante vine wound up on the ground... and it was my tomato trellis that ended up leaning. I used 2 foot lengths of rebar for all my trellises. I should have left them 4 feet long and pounded them into the ground as far as they would go.

For the few rampicante that DID grow on the arbor and get big, I supported them with nylon netting. I didn't do a very good job of it apparently, as one day I went to adjust the sling and it slipped... and crashed down, pulling the entire 12 to 15 foot side branch down on top of me from overhead. And in the midst of my yelping and cussing and struggling to emerge from the vines, insects scattering everywhere and birds spooking, all I could think of was my husband's comment from the previous day, wondering when it was going to attack us...!


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Re: Arbors

Post  acara on 10/17/2010, 9:45 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:
Does anyone already have an Arbor---pictures? Advice?



Couple of questions;

Are you looking for "seasonal" or permanent?

......... Portable or fixed?

......... What size?

......... free standing or attached?


Off the cuff...... the weight of the produce is not your biggest concern ... the wind-face/load is (once its grown in).

I wouldn't suggest PVC for that application, especially not if it's intended to be perm/enduring.

If it's enduring & non-pvc, I can help though.

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Re: Arbors

Post  milaneyjane on 10/17/2010, 12:50 pm

I agree with acara's questions. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new cattle panel arbors!!! And you need the tpost, now just need a cattle panel or two. It looked gorgeous covered in vines all summer and fall. I posted a link a while back when there were vines covering the arbor. I will have to see if I can find it. They are obviously quite sturdy and next year I will be growing all my vine crops on them. [img][/img]

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Re: Arbors

Post  Megan on 10/17/2010, 1:27 pm

I love those cattle panel arbors! (I didn't even try putting one in my front yard, though! Laughing )


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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/17/2010, 7:21 pm

The cattle panel arbor looks great. Thats gonna be a long tunnel arbor.

I would like a permanent Arbor.

I found some landscape timbers stashed away in the barn.
They have a slight twist in them but not bad.
I have two concrete cinder block Raised beds about 3 feet apart from each other end to end.
I could concrete the landscape timbers into the cinder block holes--about 16 inches from the end of both beds. It would give almost a 5 ft wide Arbor walk through but only a 4 foot long Arbor cause the two beds are 4 ft wide.




In this older pic== you can see the 3 ft wide walk way between the two beds on the other side of the table. That's where I want an Arbor type trellis.






I want to grow Sugar Baby Watermelon( 8-10 lbs)
and Solitaire Watermelon (3-5 lbs) Seed catalog recommended growing Sugar Baby to pollinate Solitaire.

Do watermelon vines trellis themselves like cucumbers do? Or do you have to
train them like we do tomatoes?

Will cantaloupe vines grow long enough to actually cover an Arched Trellis.

I don't have much experience growing melons.



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Re: Arbors

Post  Megan on 10/17/2010, 7:29 pm

I've never grown watermelon before. I tried Golden Midget, which is (iirc) about 3-5 pounds. I had to train it a little at first, but after that, it climbed just fine all by itself. If it had managed to set fruit I would have tied the vines to the trellis to keep them in place.

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Re: Arbors

Post  sfg4uKim on 10/17/2010, 7:34 pm

I have the Tomato Tower sold on the SFG shop. It comes with two 3' sections of rebar that you drive in 1/2 way in the two back corners. You slip metal conduit over the rebar. The netting that comes with is is VERY lightweight but SUPER strong.

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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/17/2010, 8:00 pm

Mel doesn't give instructions on Arbors.
I have the supplies to build and make Vertical Support Trellises. But I want
an Arched support system. Looks like I will end up with a
flat top instead of arched top.

I know Arbors and Pergolas normally cover a large area-----larger than the
area I am working with. Wonder if it is still considered an Arbor. Still big enough to make shade for 2 chairs.

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Re: Arbors

Post  Megan on 10/17/2010, 8:28 pm

I just came across this link... maybe it will help you?

http://www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/pergola/3352816?src=mens-footer

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Re: Arbors

Post  acara on 10/17/2010, 8:29 pm

I remember watermelon vine covering quite a bit of distance & I'm positive the cantalope will (I've got mine up the trellis wall, across the top and training back down now).

What your looking to build is called a gourd-arbor ..... should be plenty of links out there and lots of sizes/configurations. However, they are all probably going to tell you the same thing ..... there are 4x4's or 6x6's & some concrete in your future Very Happy

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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/17/2010, 10:04 pm

@milaneyjane wrote:I agree with acara's questions. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new cattle panel arbors!!! And you need the tpost, now just need a cattle panel or two. It looked gorgeous covered in vines all summer and fall. I posted a link a while back when there were vines covering the arbor. I will have to see if I can find it. They are obviously quite sturdy and next year I will be growing all my vine crops on them. [img][/img]


About how much do those cattle panels cost?

Wondering how flexible they are too.------for narrow walk ways?

found this image
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.homebysunset.com/.a/6a00d834cdafac69e2012876120e28970c-500wi&imgrefurl=http://oneblockdiet.sunset.com/the_garden/&usg=__GqPyUt3KyluHEiReO9DjbgxqDP0=&h=333&w=500&sz=40&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=92byi_dAJXnW1M:&tbnh=117&tbnw=176&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmelon%2Barbor%2Btrellis%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D798%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C3&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=639&vpy=524&dur=17127&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=152&ty=158&ei=T6m7TPngA4Gdlgev1enlAg&oei=T6m7TPngA4Gdlgev1enlAg&esq=1&page=1&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:22,s:0&biw=1280&bih=798

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Re: Arbors

Post  duhh on 10/17/2010, 11:39 pm

Excited to hear what you decide to do. We are planning to build a pergola this winter. It will be much nicer than trying to figure how to put the shade cloth up once we expand our garden to the size we want it. We plan to grow grapes up it.

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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/18/2010, 10:16 am

I have a white plastic lattice pergola on my deck and I have grown beans on that.
The entire deck (8 x 64 plus the 8x12 pergola plus the 8x12 second story deck) is white with white plastic lattice down all sides. My design-- and took a while to get it done. And I did shoot myself in the finger with the nail gun. Rolling Eyes

Sadly---the plastic lattice is not sturdy enough for melons.



Anyway.
I found an old picture of the deck and porch. You can barely see the
lattice pergola to the left.

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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/18/2010, 10:20 am

more view of the pergola.

these are old pictures. The "yellow" mobile home no longer exist.
it burned. there is a different mobile home sitting in its place.
but the deck was never harmed.


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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/18/2010, 10:31 am

here is a different view of the deck and pergola on the end-------a view that most don't get to see very often.
I could go outside and take a new pic but since I am still dwelling on the past--I would like to include the past and the drastic changes I had to go through.

they were moving the new Used mobile home in place of the other.
you can almost see the entire deck set up.

End of July 2010


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Re: Arbors

Post  acara on 10/18/2010, 10:40 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:
Sadly---the plastic lattice is not sturdy enough for melons.

Is that a "hunch" or from personal experience??

I just ask because I can climb the stuff I've got (but it's supported on 12" centers & it's channel framed), so that surprises me to hear it won't hold a melon.

Of course I sure there is some variation of product in the marketplace.

Just curious if the flat panel works for you, but bending/arching it into an arbor caused it not to work for the application (all my uses have been with flat panels).

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Re: Arbors

Post  Old Hippie on 10/18/2010, 12:55 pm

One of my sons-in-law is a landscape architect, the other is an arbourist. Both of them say the biggest mistake people make in building arbours and pergolas is not building them strong enough. The weight of the vines alone gets pretty heavy but if you expect fruit the size of watermelons or cantaloupe or even grapes and kiwis, they say bigger is better. If it is strictly going to be for looks and a light flowering vine they tell me that 4x4 is okay but if you expect it to support heavier fruiting vines than 6"x6" posts are the smallest you should use and 2"x8" the smallest for the cross beams. Besides building it strong enough to support the fruiting vines, it needs to be strong enough to withstand a storm or two when it is loaded with fruit. Better to overbuild than underbuild and have it collapse in a storm before you can can harvest it.

GK

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Re: Arbors

Post  acara on 10/18/2010, 1:46 pm

... yeppers ... good advice if your going with wood.

Usually, if it's a commercial client, architectural client or an individual looking for "enduring living architecture", or USCGB/LEEDS credits, we steer them to either aluminum trellis system or the new powder coated material (plain steel or galv steel under powder coating).

The stuff runs $14/sf+(ex-freight), but comes with the mounting hardware/brackets for either free-standing or wall mount.

There are a lots of new manufacturers of the product(s) .... Greenscreen, Eco-Mesh, Vinescreen, Wirewall, etc. All of them offer multiple wire spacings/framing options & provide engineering/installation support (very easy to put together, especially for DIY peeps).

Most of the companies distributing the product have pre-configured designs and/or do custom work. Also, the products have available accessories that include "flowerboxes" that could easilt be converted to SFG format.













I'm sure some of the welders/DIY peeps on the forum could come up with a little more cost effective solution/alternate though (cattle fencing with sandwiched flatbar frames is the first thing that pops in my head).

Minimun wire diameter is usualy 8 gauge (.162), min opening is 2", double panelled (2-3") spacing is best for the plants. I also see a lot of 2" square front panel and 4" square back panel for access.

I don't see why the typical 6 x 6, 4gauge or 4 x 4, 4 ga wouldnt work though.


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Re: Arbors

Post  Old Hippie on 10/18/2010, 3:15 pm

NOW I know why your trellis is built the way it is. LOL! Is that your line of work? Never even occured to me that anyone would be using metal. DOH! We live in a lumber producing area so of course wood is my first thought. Embarassed

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Re: Arbors

Post  acara on 10/18/2010, 3:31 pm

@Old Hippie wrote:NOW I know why your trellis is built the way it is. LOL! Is that your line of work? Never even occured to me that anyone would be using metal. DOH! We live in a lumber producing area so of course wood is my first thought. Embarassed

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I also do some work in polypro & fiberglass resin systems (both molded and pultruded) ..... but metal is definately my strong suit

Couldn't tell you the difference between pine and mahogany to save my life though Very Happy

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Panel costs

Post  ander217 on 10/19/2010, 8:01 am

@CarolynPhillips wrote:

About how much do those cattle panels cost?

Wondering how flexible they are too.------for narrow walk ways?

Fencing panels are 16 ft. long. Horse panels are 5 ft. tall, cattle panels are 4 ft. tall, and hog panels are 3 ft. tall. Around here you can pick up cattle panels for around $20-$25 each. Horse panels are a little higher, hog panels a little cheaper. You can sometimes find them cheaper at farm auctions.

The wire usually has a 4" x 4" weave. They are flexible enough to make an arch or circle, but they are too stiff to bend in multiple directions. We arch them into our pickup bed for transporting.

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Cheaper alternate

Post  acara on 10/19/2010, 10:55 am

If "pretty" is not a consideration, a clone product is CRM (concrete reinforcing mesh).

It comes in 4" mesh (industry calls it 4/4 w2.4 or 4/4, 4/4 (ask for four-four, four-four reinforcing mesh panels).

Some box stores carry some of the specs, but it's a commodity product & manufactured to a different set of standards (only as good as it has to be, since it's just buried in concrete ....which may be good enough for your garden needs).

Just FYI, it's manufactured and stored outside & typically bright orange with rust. Somehow over the years the manufacturers have convinced the concrete industry that the concrete adheres better to rust Very Happy ).

Typically it comes in 5 x 10's, and 8 x 20's, so if your buying direct from a local distributor, call ahead and confirm what sizes they have (unless you own a flatbed trailer).

If you have a manufacturer in your area (Oklahoma steel, INSTEEL, Ivy Steel & Wire, etc), they have a minimum order (usually a full truckload), butwill sometimes sell off the yard if you pick up.

There is also a 6/6, 4/4 (6" mesh x 6" mesh, 4 gauge wire in both directions), that comes in similar sheet sizes, which might accomodate the radius-bend for a arbor a little better

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Re: Arbors

Post  CarolynPhillips on 10/19/2010, 11:29 am

Interesting info has been posted. gotta soak it all in.


I have the 6" mesh concrete re-enforcement wire.
What a Face It can be spray painted with Rust-O-Leum white paint.
Kinda "pretty" would work for me.

I am going to build the Arched Trellis with landscape timbers.
The top will also have cross supports using the landscape timbers but cutting
the landscape timbers in half long ways leaving the rounded side up.
I will use the 6 " mess re-enforcement wire up and over the trellis.
I hope it won't be ugly.
The arch at the top is going to take some time figuring out--it won't be
perfectly arched and I have never done this before.
First time for everything.



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Re: Arbors

Post  boffer on 10/19/2010, 11:30 am

@acara wrote:There is also a 6/6, 4/4 (6" mesh x 6" mesh, 4 gauge wire in both directions), that comes in similar sheet sizes, which might accomodate the radius-bend for a arbor a little better

I swear by this stuff in the garden. If your priority is function over appearance, its main limitation is your imagination. It doesn't take long for the bright orange rust to turn a more acceptable dark brown. I use cheap 1/4 inch bolt cutters to easily cut them.

My preference is the 8x20 panels. They can be rolled into 4-5 foot diameter rounds for transporting. The store I buy from is listed in the yellow pages section "Concrete Construction Forms & Accessories".

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