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Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

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Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 6:04 pm

It seems I remember reading that peppers do better with cages than trellises. If that's the case, I think it's just my tomatoes, pole beans, both garden and snap peas... I think that's it.

But you can do vertical I think on the other viney things like squash, cucumber, maybe eggplant? What's the thought on those?

If too many things needs trellises I'm going to run out of room in the back row. But vines might be a little space consuming if they aren't vertical.

If the thought is to do as many things on trellises as possible, then I might do some 2' x 8' boxes with lots of space for rear rows.

???

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  Megan on 3/18/2011, 6:13 pm

Peppers are relatively (relatively!) small plants but their fruit is heavy, so a cage helps keep them upright.

For the others, it depends on growth habit. Pole beans and indeterminate tomatoes definitely need something to climb on. The tomatoes need a trellis. You could probably get away with a pole teepee for the pole beans, but they tend to cluster at the top and that's just where the poles come togehter.

It is the same thing for squash and cucumber. Some are vining, some are bush. Vining ones can sprawl or be trellised. Bush ones don't need it but are much bigger in terms of the square feet the plant takes up. (Whereas a vining plant has much more biomass, but it's spread out here and there.)

Peas can be bush or vining. My Lincoln peas were described as "compact vines" and they did climb right up my cucumber cage, to about 3 feet. Telegraph peas are supposed to climb much higher from what I understand. Snap peas--I'm guessing those are a bush type but someone please correct me if I am wrong.

My cucumbers laughed at the cages I tried to train them on. I didn't know if they were a bush or a vine type before I planted them, and they turned out to be a vining type.

I've never grown eggplant so no info there, but I'd guess they at least need cages or room to sprawl a bit.

The other thing is... your peas are a spring crop, so even if you trellis them, you can re-use the trellis later in the season. My cukes met an early demise last year so I'm not sure how long they last under ideal conditions.

Hope this helps! Very Happy


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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 7:00 pm

Oh yes Megan, I forgot about the staggering plan, esp. with the peas. I could do the peas in early April, and then when they're done (end of June?) plant a pole bean. And then on another square, plant a pole bean in mid-May, and then a pea in August?

The Little Marvel pea also says "compact". Do you think that means I can put it on a trellis? It says 30" tall.

I forgot the corn will need the back row, too. I don't know, it just seems like I need a lot of back rows. Then again, instead of doing the cucumbers & squash/zucchini on a trellis, I could have them on the sides, and have them flow out of the box and creep along the ground. Do they do that?

I may be too late on the eggplant to do that this year. And then it looks like the (sugar baby) watermelons are going to be big space hogs. I may need a separate (smaller) box for them. I don't want them crowding out my other plants.

This is going to be so much easier on Year #2.

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  camprn on 3/18/2011, 7:28 pm

I stake my eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. I trellis my peas, beans, cukes and I will try melons.
I will probably be planting (outdoors)my sugar anne snap peas this weekend. By the way, my poblano peppers got to be 3 foot tall and quite bushy, as I pinched the terminal ends early.

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 7:45 pm

By the way, I just received today Johnny's snap sugar pea seeds, they had been on backorder. I was surprised - there are 375 seeds in the packet!!! I guess I read that when I ordered, but it didn't dawn on me how many peas this actually is. And that was their smallest quantity. Wow. My victoryseeds.com information says pea seeds last about 3-4 years. What am I going to do with all these pea seeds?

camprn - Wasn't it beautiful today? We had all sorts of streams running down our property. Wonder when we'll get a day like that again...

camprn, one other question. Do you group all your like plants together, or do you scatter them throughout your boxes?

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  camprn on 3/18/2011, 8:26 pm

I have pea seed that I bought 2 years ago, we'll see what germinates, confidence is high.
As to my planting pattern, well, that depends... Take a look at my album and in the showcase of gardens. Did you have questions about specific plants?
And yes it was such a glorious day! Very Happy

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 8:56 pm

camprn - Where do I find your album? (I should probably know this)

Also, I didn't notice the Gallery tab. Looking forward to looking thru that!

edit: I think I found your album! Plus everyone else's. Know what I'll be doing for the next hour? Smile

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  NHGardener on 3/18/2011, 9:17 pm

camprn - In going thru your photos, why did you make the one trellis so much higher than the others?

And it looks like you're using a trellis for 2 rows by putting it in between the last 2 rows instead of behind the last row. Wow. That would be a great idea if it works, I could get 2 rows of tomatoes in the rear instead of just one.

Did it work well for you that way?

(Another option I see in the albums is a trellis on 2 sides of the SFG - L-shaped. That's an interesting idea too - esp. if your plot is at a tilt anyway)

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  Glendale-gardener on 3/22/2011, 9:57 pm

Great info for me too!

Another trellis question- how close do most of you put the trellis to the box? I was going to have it actually touch so I could use those U shaped clamps to secure it to the box in addition to the rebar but I saw in someone's pic today that they had their trellis near to a foot away from the box itself, what gives!?

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  Megan on 3/22/2011, 10:08 pm

Last year I had my trellises right up against my boxes. Reason: I didn't want to trip over the trellis bases. I don't know of any benefit for spacing them out further, but if there is one, I'd like to hear about it.

Also, I used rebar. After seeing even a trellis on rebar lean, though, I will never attempt using only U-clamps. (Maybe in addition to rebar....) Your mileage may vary, of course.

(When I'm talking about rebar, I mean for big plants, not something like peas or beans. Wink )

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  camprn on 3/22/2011, 10:32 pm

I put mine over the box

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  elliephant on 3/22/2011, 10:37 pm

Glendale-gardener wrote:Great info for me too!

Another trellis question- how close do most of you put the trellis to the box? I was going to have it actually touch so I could use those U shaped clamps to secure it to the box in addition to the rebar but I saw in someone's pic today that they had their trellis near to a foot away from the box itself, what gives!?

A couple of my boxes have the trellis extending a foot beyond the box because the pipe came in 10 foot lengths and the box was 8 feet long...and I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a little extra trellis space. Laughing

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  Megan on 3/22/2011, 10:39 pm

That makes perfect sense to me. I am on very limited space, but if you have it, use it! Smile

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Trellises

Post  ander217 on 3/23/2011, 8:09 am

If you grow "compact" peas such as Lincoln (4') or Little Marvel (3'), you don't have to trellis them, but they do need some type of support. I used to stick tree branches in the row when I row gardened, and connected them with string to provide support. Short peas mainly need something to lean against, rather than twine around as pole beans do. You could do the same thing on the outer row of a box, sticking short sticks or stakes in the ground and stringing twine between them. If the plants threaten to fall back over the box, just wrap twine around the whole planting as suggested with bush beans, and guide them back toward the outer support, tying the twine to the outer support at the ends. If you grow the Alderman or Telephone peas, you need to plant a sequoia tree next to them for support, and hire the local fire station's ladder truck to pick them. (At least, I seem to remember Boffer giving me that impression. I've never grown them.) Smile

I also sometimes just planted a double row of peas about six inches apart and let the bush plants lean on each other for support. They would occasionally blow down in a windstorm, though. Now I plant them next to my hog panel fence, and that provides plenty of support for them.

Sugar snaps usually need a trellis. Most varieties grow very tall. Some peapods are short, others are tall. It depends on the variety, just as with regular peas. I'm trellising my Golden Sweet peapods this year.

I have grown eggplant and peppers for years in row gardens and never caged or trellised them. My eggplants succumbed to flea beetles in my first SFG last year, but my jalapeno grew fine in its SFG box, with no cage or support of any kind. It did spread out its branches, however, and took up half of the grids on either side. If the eggplants hadn't died I would have had problems growing them so close together.

I raised a bushy determinate tomato in one of my boxes (Rutgers), and I tied the main stem to the fence to keep it in its place. A stake would have worked just as well as the fence. As Megan said, indeterminate tomatoes need to be trellised and pruned.

Our butternut squash did fine last year on the trellis - the stems grew much thicker than usual to support the hanging fruit. We raised a variety of watermelon that grew large fruits and let them sprawl in their own bed. I wouldn't trust a large watermelon on a trellis. Our small muskmelons did fine on the trellis. Our cucumbers grew up the trellis, but didn't do well. In our hot summers I think they might need to hide under the leaves as much as possible. This year I plan to plant them in the salad bed when warm temps finish off the lettuce. They can sprawl out over the edges as they wish.

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Re: Which plants need a trellis and which don't?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 3/23/2011, 10:05 am

My eggplant and peppers need some support, stake or cage them. I am going to try to train my squash and zuchinni up a trellis this year.

Last year I had good luck early with cucumbers on a trellis. They got so thick that they choked out some other plants...


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