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Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

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Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  greenmama on 4/4/2011, 5:52 pm

I am doing two 4x4 boxes this year (my first year). I have them set up side by side (with space in between to walk)--and will have a trellis on the North side (as I have seen suggested) in each box.

I plan to do 4 trellis crops (2 squares per crop x 2 boxes)--cucumbers and pole beans in one box, peas and peppers in another box for example. But what about my tomatoes!!!

So I have two options:
-buy 4 large pots and tomato cages, and use those.
-OR can I do two trellis in one box? Picture an upside down L (or right angle). So one leg is horizontal facing North, the other leg is vertical facing West or East (whichever is better, I don't know).

It would be cheaper to just use the box and dirt I already have, but would have to spend money on that second trellis for the box. But with pots it would be pots, dirt, and cages.

But I don't even know if you CAN or SHOULD do 2 trellises in one box?!

Help!

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Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  florenceq on 4/4/2011, 6:24 pm

I think it would be better to cage or stake your peppers and use their trellis space for tomatoes. Also, peas are 8 per square so you may want to consider doing only one square and then you will have space for 3 tomatoes. Another option would be determinate tomatoes in a cage or staked. I definitely not an expert, just my opinion.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  elliephant on 4/4/2011, 6:34 pm

Peppers definitely don't need a trellis.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  acara on 4/4/2011, 7:53 pm

@greenmama wrote:But I don't even know if you CAN or SHOULD do 2 trellises in one box?!

Help!

You can do 16 trellis units in a 4x4 box, going straight up, if you reallly want to. However, it's easier to do 4 single rows of trellis, 4 squares long each. Sticking with two trellis "rows" (8 squares total will allow you to keep your sanity Very Happy )

Just to let you know what you in for ...... count on 1+ hours/day, everyday, from about week 4 on (if you direct sow, from 2 weeks forward iif you transplant).

Also count on A LOT of fastening material.

As mentioned by others, the benefit to trellising peppers is minimal & probably not worth the effort.

Also, those cucumbers will be your worst nightmare on a trellis in a square.

Again though, it can be done .... it's just a lot of work.

As far as "better to do in pots" ..... perhaps, but if your using Mel's mix, count on a lot more expense. The cubic size of a pot you would need to fill vs. a SFG square, is about 3x.

Pot growing with MM is not cheap.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  retired member 2 on 4/4/2011, 8:18 pm

If you are using a pot, why can't you fill it with something like sand or ordinary garnden soil up to the last 6'' and then use MM?

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  acara on 4/4/2011, 8:53 pm

clb58 wrote:If you are using a pot, why can't you fill it with something like sand or ordinary garnden soil up to the last 6'' and then use MM?

You absolutely can .... just use some sort of separator if you looking to recycle/reuse/recover your MM.

Also, most pots have a "flair" at the top, so "filling the top 6" with MM" may end up taking a little more than what you would use in a square of your box, especially if the pot is more than 12".

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  greenmama on 4/4/2011, 9:55 pm

Very interesting! I had no idea that peppers didn't need to be staked/grown up. So, do you just let them lay on the ground? Will they grow better if I do grow them upwards?

I have a couple extra squares I could put peppers in. So I just let them sprawl?

Or would it be better to do 2 pots, filled 1/2 with sand, 1/2 with Mel's mix?

Acara~
You said the cucumbers will be a nightmare...why? Because they grow alot/many ?
As far as the 4 rows of trelis, is it best to do 4 horizontal rows, or around all 4 outside edges (like a box)? I would only do 2 rows of trellis--so where would be best as far as sun exposure and ease of use?

Thanks so much!

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  acara on 4/4/2011, 10:06 pm

Just to clarify ... peppers benefit from a stake/support, but a trellis may be overkill.

As far as cukes go ...we had some fun on the forum last season with "Stanley-the-crack-cucumber", who we suspect was fed raw meat as a seedling. Stanley was a potted cuke, but the SFG cukes weren't much smaller....

Here is what you could end up with in your SFG with a "harmless little cumber seeding"..... and thats with an hour/day pruning the box;




As far as the "row trellis" goes, this is one option;




And this is what individual trellis in each square would look like;

When you build it ...





When the vines take over (looking up into the plant that u need a ladder to harvest) Embarassed ....



... each one of those flowers is a potential cucumber ..... just so you get an idea of what you can be looking at as far as harvest/weight.


Here is what "Stanley" looked like. We stopped him at 8', but that was because he was in a 9" diameter pot, that was less than 10" deep with MM (and because I got tired of going up on the ladder every night).

As you can see ...the bell peppers right in front of Stanley required much less effort/aparatus.



Last edited by acara on 4/4/2011, 10:19 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  elliephant on 4/4/2011, 10:10 pm

Peppers are kinda like small trees. They support themselves. They may need a stake or cage because they are pretty brittle and the fruit can get heavy, especially large bells.

Acara had a monster cuke plant last year. Acara is also a bit OCD about pruning Wink The only cuke I've grown that has really had major problems behaving itself has been Poona Kheera. I'm struggling to keep my Poona Kheera off its tomato neighbors. The other two varieties are playing nice.

ETA: Ah, yes, see above!

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  acara on 4/4/2011, 10:12 pm

Yep ... guilty as charged.

I'm a bonsai/topiary guy ...so pruning is "fun" for me ..... but last season about wore me out.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  Furbalsmom on 4/5/2011, 11:57 am

@Greenmama wrote:As far as the 4 rows of trelis, is it best to do 4 horizontal rows, or around all 4 outside edges (like a box)? I would only do 2 rows of trellis--so where would be best as far as sun exposure and ease of use?

I would not even consider trellises around all four outside edges. It would be really difficult to get to anything planted in the middle.

As much as I love Acara's four rows of trellises with in one box and the success he had, that is a little outside of what most of us would want to contend with, at least the first year. Shocked Maybe I am just a wimp.

If you choose to go with two trellises per box, one would be better placed on the north side and the second parallel to the first, maybe across the middle of the box. Then you could put shade tolerant plants (or maybe plants like lettuces that might last a little longer in the warm season if given shade and extra water) between the two trellises. Just remember you will need to be able to reach into that row between the two trellises.

Wimp that I am, I will be sticking with one trellis per box on the North side.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  acara on 4/5/2011, 12:45 pm

Tru-dat Very Happy

This seasons configuration is much tamer .... for the 4 x 4 boxes, two trellis rows in back, staked peppers on the front two rows.

A made a separate 1x8 box for the rest of the tomatoes & if I do cukes again, they will be in 18+ terracotta pots, 12" deep, with 10' tall triangle cages, where I can keep them in check.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  greenmama on 4/5/2011, 1:29 pm

Shocked HOLY COW That's awesome!

Okay, so please give me your opinion on this setup for a family of 2 adults, 2 kids:

Box #1
Northside trellis 1 square of peas and 3 squares of tomatoes
Someone just mentioned that 1 square of peas is enough (*really?* I'm kind of worried about that)
And tomatoes: 2 for slicing, 1 for cherry tomatoes.
(plus other veggies in the other squares obviously; we're just talking the upright ones here).

Box #2
Northside trellis 2 squares of cucumbers and 2 squares pole greenbeans.
With the cucumbers, I'm doing one square for slicing variety, one square for little pickling cuc's.

2 squares of peppers, with a stake in each for support. How do I stake them? Do I attach them with string/ties or something?

Is that enough of these particular plants for 2 adults, 2 kids?
If there is a better way of doing this, please let me know!


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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  auntiemommy on 4/6/2011, 3:46 pm

In my opinion, one square of peas is not enough for a family of 4. But that might just be me. We had 3 squares of them last year and ate them as fast as they were ready, none went to waste. 4 of us here as well, 2 preschoolers and 2 adults.

My yard is full sun with very little shade on the garden except in the very early morning from the fence. I have a trellis on the south side of 1 of my beds. It worked awesome for shading the lettuce behind it from the harsh summer sun.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

Post  greenmama on 4/6/2011, 3:51 pm

Thanks! I have a spin-off question from this one, so I'll start a new thread.

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Re: Two trellises in one box? Need more space for growing up!

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