How to secure arbor to ground

vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)August 14, 2009

Hello friends,

I purchased an arbor today, put it together, and now cannot keep it standing. I may not have dug deep enough -- it's only about 2 inches into the ground. Any advice on the arbor and any suggestions for a constant blooming climbing rose for all day Texas sun? Many thanks!

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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

My husband put rebar really deep in the ground, and wired it to the arbor. I think he could have even done that on two sides of each bar going into the ground.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 8:19PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

Not to rain on your parade, if you want to save yourself a lot of trouble down the road, be sure and plant your climbing rose on very strong support. I have been down the wimpy arbor path and it's not pretty. My mistake was to plant a New Dawn on either side of one of those put-it-together-and-stick-it-in-the-ground arbors. Within three years, it would have been a beautiful sight if I could have kept it upright. Rebar didn't make any difference when the winds got up. So this year, I cut the metal arbor out of my gigantic roses, and put up a substantial structure made of 6"x6"s buried 3' into the ground. Now I can look at the weather report without apprehension about forecasted winds.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2009 at 9:02PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

What kind of soil are you trying to attach the arbor to?
Is there a layer of caliche under the topsoil?

Is the arbor a heavy or light metal and did it slide together or was it screwed/welded in place?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 10:45AM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

Greybird is right - make sure the arbor can stand hurricane force winds from the south and tornado force winds from the northwest. We get them both here in Texas and I learned the hard way when DH and I put up a lattice arbor and the lattice strips blew completely off!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2009 at 3:07PM
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vuwugarden(Central TX 8b)

Another mistake by a newbie. The arbor is a plastic, slide-it together kind of arbor from Lowe's. It was $200 so I thought it would be sufficient. The soil is hard clay and a few inches down is caliche. I have noticed heavy winds during winter and spring here in Texas, but have always wanted an arbor. So if the arbor is not a good idea, how would I go about accomplishing a vertical rose garden?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 11:58AM
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I'm not familiar with caliche, but can you dig into it all? I've heard it's like concrete? I recently built an arbor and dug holes about a foot deep and 6 inches wide. Filled with quick set concrete, and inserted threaded bolts into the concrete. After it set, I was able to attach brackets to which I nailed the posts..quite sturdy.

I wouldn't give up on your dream of an arbor...there's got to be some way it can be done. If you can post pictures of your arbor (specifically the legs) that would help in further advice.

Good luck,


    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 12:20PM
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greybird(z7 TX)

I love the vertical gardening thing as well. And here in Texas, the support must be substantial. I would suggest having an arbor built from either wood or heavy metal so the supports can be concreted in. This can be a rather pricey way to go. If you have a handy family member, this can be accomplished at a fraction of the price. But you would have to have access to an auger to drill into that caliche.
Obelisks are also nice for vertical accent, but again must be substantial. They are easier to keep upright as there is less wind resistance.
Wall trellises are another way to go, though they make a challenge to perform maintenance on your house.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:01PM
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brother_cadfael(z5 seWI)

Don't get too disappointed, we'll help you figure something out.

Is caliche something that can be drilled into with a power tool.

Can you use power tools or know someone that can?

Posting a pic or 2 of your arbor would be helpful.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 5:54PM
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