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Tomato Trellises

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Tomato Trellises

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/23/2011, 7:13 pm

I will be growing my 28 tomatoes in 5 gal buckets this year.

My climate is pretty cool and damp, so to encourage heat in the soil, I have painted my buckets black, and covered my old garden bed (7 by 27) with black plastic. The buckets will be sitting on the black plastic. I intend to string the tomatoes to the trellis. There is a 2 ft cinderblock path down length of the garden bed, so I will not have to try to walk on black plastic.

The trellises will be made out of galvanized 1/2 inch conduit. I have 5 ft long 1/2 inch rebar and will put 2 ft of rebar in the ground and leave 3 ft above ground, the conduit will fit over the rebar, so should be pretty secure.

My big question is, how long of a span can I use of the 1/2 in conduit to form the top of my trellises. Mel only talks about making the trellises 4 ft across to fit a standard 4 X 4 box, but I would like to make mine longer so I can have several tomato buckets under each trellis. Is it possible to safely make the trellises 10 feet long?

Help, comments, experience, concerns are all welcome.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  middlemamma on 5/24/2011, 2:15 am

Joe and I were just debating this because he built me that 2 X12 SFG and I want a trellis along the north side of it. He figured he would get a "T" and use it about halfway to put a support piece of conduit...but dontcha know they don't need T's in electrical work like they do in his previous field of plumbing. LOL

So we are back to square one...not sure how to do it. I tend to think a 10 foot length of conduit would bend in the middle...but maybe I am dumb.

Anyone out there who can help us out? Smile

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  walshevak on 5/24/2011, 5:43 am

Advice received at Lowes - metal drill bits and pvc t's. drill through the pvc and metal conduit and nut and bolt together. Pvc elbows are sooo much cheaper than emt ones . We are not building to code, just making a garden.




Kay

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/24/2011, 8:56 am

There are a lot of things you guys can do to "fashion" cross braces and supports. But, EMT is so cheap, why not just put vertical supports every 4 feet? EMT bends really easily when the stress is perpindicular to the span. Over time, you would likely get some serious sag in a 10 foot span.

Here is my 2x8 foot bed. I just put two 4' trellises side by side because I didn't want to take any chances, and I only have 6-7 tomato plants.



Again, EMT is inexpensive. 10 foot spans would be great, if I felt they would work. Making separate 4' trellises and placing them directly next to each other costs what? An extra 10 bucks...tops? I guess I forgot about the price of the connectors. Embarassed PVC connectors have to be cheaper by a little.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  walshevak on 5/24/2011, 9:13 am


PVC connectors have to be cheaper by a little..


Under a dollar for the 1/2 elbow.

Kay



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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  Furbalsmom on 5/24/2011, 10:31 am

@walshevak wrote:
PVC connectors have to be cheaper by a little..


Under a dollar for the 1/2 elbow.

Kay



Yes, for cheaper, the EMT connectors cost up to $6.00 apiece here Shocked

Since the emt pipes come in 10 ft lengths, I may make my trellises 5 ft across and not tempt fate too much.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 5/24/2011, 1:19 pm

Sounds like a good compromise to me.

Pics or it never happened....lol.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  barthie on 8/12/2011, 3:56 pm

@walshevak wrote:Advice received at Lowes - metal drill bits and pvc t's. drill through the pvc and metal conduit and nut and bolt together. Pvc elbows are sooo much cheaper than emt ones . We are not building to code, just making a garden.




Kay
how strong were these? i'm looking to make a 10ft trellis. use three six foot pieces of emt (one on each end and one in the middle). elbows on the ends, a tee in the middle, so it'll look like an 'm'. i won't have to cut the 10 foot piece, just use the tee and extra leg in the middle for support. i was just concerned about the weight. i'm looking to use one for tomatoes and a second for squash (spaghetti, acorn, butternut) and cukes (hence the weight concern).

thanks!

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  acara on 8/12/2011, 5:42 pm

I suggest subdividing and not trying a single span. The weight is not the only issue; you've also got to consider wind-stress and the fact that things go differently than planned.

If something goes differently than you expected & you need to remove/replant, you may be limited with what you can do, if it's "one-piece-construction".



Personally, I try not to go over 8' length on anything & try to keep my supports on 4' for light stuff and 2' for heavier stuff

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  floyd1440 on 8/13/2011, 7:10 am

I have a the same problem as Barthie. Built two 4x8 gardens and am putting a trelis up this fall for plants next year. So my question is an 8' span to long if I use 4' rebarb and have two feet in the ground or is the span to large for high winds, like in strong T storms, as I want to to this job once?

Thanks

Floyd study

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  walshevak on 8/13/2011, 7:28 am

The final product was 7' high, 5' wide and set on 2' rebar. It extended a bit beyond the 4x4 beds and gave more room for everything to spread out some. It held up very well for tomatos, cukes and beans. Used the extra 3' pieces to support some flowers.



Kay

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  Goosegirl on 8/13/2011, 8:48 am

@floyd1440 wrote:I have a the same problem as Barthie. Built two 4x8 gardens and am putting a trelis up this fall for plants next year. So my question is an 8' span to long if I use 4' rebarb and have two feet in the ground or is the span to large for high winds, like in strong T storms, as I want to to this job once?

Thanks

Floyd study
I am definitely not an engineer, but I would be nervous about doing an 8' span with high wind problems. I would think that the long span would give more opportunity for movement and twisting in nasty windwork. I also like having smaller spans (my max is 4') so that I can move them to any box any season if I want. Next year my climbing crops are probably going to be in different boxes, so I like being able to pull up my rebar and staking them on a different box when desired.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  acara on 8/13/2011, 8:49 am

@floyd1440 wrote:I have a the same problem as Barthie. Built two 4x8 gardens and am putting a trelis up this fall for plants next year. So my question is an 8' span to long if I use 4' rebarb and have two feet in the ground or is the span to large for high winds, like in strong T storms, as I want to to this job once?

Thanks

Floyd study



Unless the plant gets too big or the winds too strong Very Happy

All kidding aside ..... your design sounds solid. I wouldn't get hung up on trying to engineer it for a catastrophic event or anomally.

I struggle against a lot of high wind and storms in my area & I've spent seasons trying to "engineer" my way around it........ but mother natures always going to win.

Unless your willing to go to an engineered Greenscreen, Vinescreen or Ecomesh product option (which start at $18.00+ per square foot), your stated design is about as good as you need for "normal" gardening.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  Furbalsmom on 8/13/2011, 2:45 pm

I looked for emt T shaped connectors for my ten foot span and could not find them. The shop told me that this is not a common configuration for electrical service. That is why I settled for 5 ft maximum span.

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  floyd1440 on 8/13/2011, 5:31 pm

What if I was to use plastic 3/4 plastic PVC pipe instead of conduit? I will look for Tees for PVC but have seem the for larger pipe. Do you think it will be as stable as conduit?

Thanks

Floyd study

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  floyd1440 on 8/13/2011, 5:58 pm

I checked Lowes web site and this is what I found.


used these PVC pipes to create a trellis for my vegetable garden. They were
easy to work with and are doing a splendid job.


Pros easy to
use


I would recommend this to a friend

3/4" sch 40 PVC

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Re: Tomato Trellises

Post  acara on 8/13/2011, 6:04 pm

@floyd1440 wrote:What if I was to use plastic 3/4 plastic PVC pipe instead of conduit? I will look for Tees for PVC but have seem the for larger pipe. Do you think it will be as stable as conduit?

Thanks

Floyd study



That will work just fine

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Re: Tomato Trellises

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