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what kind of trellis do you use and why?

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what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  newstart on 1/21/2012, 11:49 am

I am getting ready to start building out my beds. I will need to put up many trellis. I am wondering what kind is best. I am in houston so lots of heat and wind, and with any luck rain. I will need something that will be sturdy and hopefully last for a while.

I will plant tomatoes cucumbers peas beans and melons hopefully. Also if I am planning a 4 foor wide bed would I put the trellis right down the middle or in the middle of one of the square foot sections?

So any ideas would be great also pictures if you have of your trellis.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 12:02 pm

I used cattle panels, which you can purchase from farm supply stores. We dato'ed out a space for the metal win the 2x4s we used for the frame. I then used zap straps to hold the growing vines.

cattle panels are 1/4 inch metal welded, so VERY strong
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 12:10 pm

I cannot find a picture, but I had another bed that I ran the trellises at 90 degree angles to each other, from the outside edge, NOT a good idea, it was hard when harvest time came to reach them. Your idea is better
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  ModernDayBetty on 1/21/2012, 12:17 pm

I used the one in the book last year. I suggest using rebar over three feet long. We have extreme wind, up to 70 mph in early spring and late fall. 2 of 3 of my trellisus made it through the fall standing up straight (one of them had full sized pumpkins and several tomatoes on it) but another one fell to a 30 degree angle. I sued 2 feet long rebar. All of our utilities are underground and we have underground sprinklers, I was really worried about hitting something when pounding the rebar into the ground. Other than the one that fell, they are still up and looking great. I need to renet them ever year I found... I don't know how else to clean it up without taking the netting down. I have The Vertical Garden grow up not out in my library queue, so I'm hoping to add some of what they have to say to my sfg this year.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  gwennifer on 1/21/2012, 12:30 pm

Your trellis works best on the North side of your garden, so that your vines don't end up shading any squares on the other side. With only a 4x4 garden, you'll be able to reach in with the 2ft comfort reach rule, on the remaining three sides to all of your squares. I have a 4x6, and my trellis along the 6' north side, and there are two square right in the middle in front of that trellis that I cannot reach. I planted some flowers there so at least I wasn't neglecting veggies, but I couldn't deadhead them.

pg. 151, Mel says to make an extra-strong frame for heavy crops (or windy areas I imagine), to use steel fence posts instead of rebar, and attaching your conduit to it with three pipe clamps.

I built the one in the book, only I used concrete re-inforcing mesh instead of nylon netting. If we get a break in the rain, I'll get a picture for you.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  staf74 on 1/21/2012, 1:05 pm

Newstart,

Here's what I have. It all breaks down neatly and easily and stores in the garage when not in use. Some parts fold so I'm not starting form scratch again.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7953-my-new-trellis-pics
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  DebbieR on 1/21/2012, 3:36 pm

I'm using cattle panels too, zip-tied to the frames I made from the instructions in the SFG book. The first year I used netting I bought at Lowes on the frames--by fall the netting was tearing apart, probably from the sun exposure. The cattle panels should last me a long time and I don't take them down because our growing season is so long.

You can find the cattle panels at Southernlands in Dickinson and at Tractor Supply in Alvin.

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  Chopper on 1/21/2012, 5:21 pm

I use U-channel fence post and pvc pipe with nylon netting because it is super easy and cheap and light and I am wood project challenged.

I just hammer in the fence post, nestle the pvc pipe in the groove and use zip ties to keep it in place and then tie the netting onto that. Super simple 10 minute project.

Fence post - has a U shape to the post itself:

A trellis in action:

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  newstart on 1/21/2012, 5:59 pm

The nylon netting does it last long. I just worry that it will break in middle of season due to heat ..
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  Furbalsmom on 1/21/2012, 6:26 pm

I used the conduit trellis on pages 147 to 152 of the ALL NEW SQUARE FOOT GARDENING book. Because my SFG is a table top, I used the re-bar and also used a strap that fit over the electrical conduit and attached to the TT for additional strength.



Some of my nylon netting with 7 inch holes is about to start it's fourth season and some it's third season. I have not had any netting failure and mine stays out year-round. I do not have high heat issues, but there is lots and lots of rain,

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/21/2012, 6:39 pm

I used the metal conduit instructions from the book and had wonderful success. The net has only been on for one season, so this spring will be the test as to how it holds up to sub-zero winter temps. We have had down to -20F so far (not as extended as usual) and we are expecting ice tonight. This coming season I am putting Omaha pumpkins up one of the trellises, so we will see how sturdy they remain! I like the conduit over rebar method because it makes the trellises movable. Right now I have them on the north side of 5 boxes and the east side of 1 box - seven trellises in all (it took 2 to cover the east side).

GG
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 6:54 pm

I am thinking now of all of the pictures I wish I would have taken last year.
I was able to grow pumpkins and the cattle panels supported several of them.
Tomatoes also grew up there very well, intertwining.

This year (because of dogs) we are fencing our property and using the cattle panels similar to the trellis. and so will get a few hundred feet of "Potential trellis"
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  newstart on 1/21/2012, 7:15 pm

silly question maybe.

The cattle panels are they heavy? I will be putting this up myself

also will the cattle panel get hot from our crazy heat and maybe damage/cook my veggies???
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  fiddleman on 1/21/2012, 7:23 pm



My trellis (old picture, it's been remade with 10 foot 1x3's) is canted backwards at an angle to allow the veggies to hang where they're easy to reach and keep an eye on. It's made out of 1x3's and some fence wire held on with zip ties and holds all of the produce we can grow.

The outriggers attached the front mid-box weren't necessary and so I put 3 1/2 inch screws into the rear board to hold it onto the box. The supports are about 2/3rd's of the way up the trellis currently, and did a stand up job of holding their end up. The cucumbers this year grew over the top of my new and improved version too.

The last one was rebuilt not because of rot at 3 years and still pretty good, but because so much of the plant was hanging over in late summer. There was some deterioration of the the wood, but not so much it wasn't okay for another couple of seasons.

I'm considering doing the same for the tomatoes this year.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 7:55 pm

The cattle panels are they heavy? I will be putting this up myself

also will the cattle panel get hot from our crazy heat and maybe damage/cook my veggies???

They are not that heavy, so much as awkward and you need special cutters to cut them as they come in 16x4 ft panels.
The people who work at these farm places will cut them to the size you need though.

I live in an area that gets very hot in the summer, and they did not burn anything. oh and.....oh and btw The metal is galvanized.
If you google vertical gardening and cattle panels, or livestock panels you will get lots of ways to work with the panels
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 8:31 pm

From my rather brief experience with the SFG book I can see that the techniques he has developed are done so in such a way that anyone can do this without previous wood working experience OR a lot of tools.
My trellis with the wood frame is more complex to make than the one in the book, however to use an unframed cattle panel that has been cut at the store for you, I think might be easier to do than the one in the book or at least comparable.
Size of vehicle would be important because you would have to fit the panel into your vehicle, in its cut size.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  camprn on 1/21/2012, 8:45 pm

Chopper wrote:I use U-channel fence post and pvc pipe with nylon netting because it is super easy and cheap and light and I am wood project challenged.

I just hammer in the fence post, nestle the pvc pipe in the groove and use zip ties to keep it in place and then tie the netting onto that. Super simple 10 minute project.

Fence post - has a U shape to the post itself:

I also use this method of securing the trellis. I then use an over and under stringing with jute or sisal twine. I use the twine because I don't like to futz with the nylon net. With this twine, I can compost it all at the end of the eason.


Of varying heights. the pole beans on the taller trellis on the left, snap peas on the shorter ones.


For my indeterminate tomatoes last year I devised a 10' overhead trellis similar to Staf's, securing the conduit with clamps on the side of the SFG box.

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Awesome trellis!

Post  tomperrin on 1/21/2012, 8:58 pm

Do you have a photo of the tomatoes at maturity in this square?

Tom
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  camprn on 1/21/2012, 9:09 pm

tomperrin wrote:Do you have a photo of the tomatoes at maturity in this square?

Tom
Here is one from late August. they had another month of growth, but were hit with blight. The plants are heavily pruned because of the blight.

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  GWN on 1/21/2012, 9:18 pm

wow that is great, very impressive
Too bad about the blight
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  Chopper on 1/21/2012, 9:31 pm

newstart wrote:The nylon netting does it last long. I just worry that it will break in middle of season due to heat ..

The nylon netting will last a very long time. Seasons rather than months.

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  RoOsTeR on 1/21/2012, 9:39 pm

WoW camp I love seeing pictures of your gardens and all your creativity.

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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  quiltbea on 1/21/2012, 10:00 pm

Mine differ according to what I'm growing. I have those u-channel fence posts (see boffer's drawing)in the north corners of all my boxes and attach a rod or post across the tops of them with wire. For peas and pole beans I attached netting to the two posts from side to side and bottom to top. The fence posts are 7' above ground to the top so nice and high.



Above: peas growing up my netting between the 2 fence posts. I was able to untie it from the posts and save it for this year's crops.

For my tomatoes I run a wire across the bottom of the 2 fence posts. From that wire I attach a single strong tomato twine from top to bottom where each tomato plant will grow. I twist the tomato up the twine as it grows. No tying needed, it keeps straight and strong, and its easy to just twist your plant around the twine every week or so as it grows.



Above: You can see the twine very straight up and down. I just twist the new growth around it every 10 days or so. Nylon tomato twine works best. The others wear out during the season of rain and break.
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Very inspirational photos

Post  tomperrin on 1/21/2012, 11:52 pm

the blight nothwithstanding. Thanks for the photos. Should work great for beans & peas as well.
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Re: what kind of trellis do you use and why?

Post  gwennifer on 1/29/2012, 3:20 am

Since I said I would get a picture of my trellis if the rain let up, here it is:

An employee at the Home Depot bent the conduit for me after I explained I wasn't using it for electrical purposes. The concrete reinfocing mesh was already the perfect size to span my 6' width and has rusted to nearly the exact shade as my fence. It's only about five feet tall, but so far I've only used it for growing peas that topped out at about 30".

So I chose this method because I could build it myself, it's easily removable (except I'd have to cap the re-bar that would be left in the ground), and it should last a good long time.

It's zip-tied to the top:

And I cut the outermost vertical sides off and bent the resulting prongs around the conduit:
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