Show Me Your Trellis

jimster(z7a MA)March 21, 2010

This bean trellis was anchored by three foot long steel fence posts which were easier to drive into the ground than the eight foot long wood poles. it was a rectilinear framework of 1x2 and 1x3 furring strips bolted to the fence posts and lashed together with binder twine. The beans climbed on vertical twine strings tied to the frame.

Due to an absence of diagonal members, the trellis blew over during an August wind storm. It was heavily loaded and difficult to re-erect.

Cost was low. Furring strips are cheap lumber. Binder twine is cheap and a ball of it will last half a lifetime.

Please post pictures of your trellis on this thread, even if you've posted them before. It would be good to have this thread as a reference for those looking for trellis ideas.

Jim

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anney(Georgia 8)

Jim

Your trellis was lovely with the flowers at the base. Too bad about that mean old wind!

My "trellis" is simple as can be, cattle panel that's about five feet tall and 16 feet in length, or actually a couple are cut in half to 8 feet in length by five feet tall:

It is so sturdy that it's easily supported by short wooden stakes.

But others have made arches of them for beans and other vining plants that are certainly attractive. Take a look at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cattle Panel Arches

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 9:57PM
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agrigirl(6b)

I plan on making a "natural" arch/gateway to my backyard with bamboo and twine with my hyacinth bean. I have the twine and the bamboo....got the seeds started indoors....so when I get it all done and it is nice and full I will post a pic!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 10:49PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Sounds good, agrigigirl but I don't want to hear about your trellis plans. I want to see your trellis pics. Come back later.

Jim (hard hearted thread initiator)

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 11:49PM
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fusion_power

Jim,

I can't stand poor trellises. Yours makes me cringe. (hardheaded practical gardener)

Here is my trellis which is 8 ft tall t-posts driven into the ground 1.5 feet and with anchors at the ends which are screwed into the ground 2 feet deep. I run wires 6 inches above the ground and at the top of the posts and tie the wires off to the anchors. I then run hay baling twine in zigzags from the top to the bottom and back all the way down the row. The anchors I use are the standard mobile home tie-down anchors which are intended to hold a mobile home down. They aren't going anywhere once they are properly set.

This setup has NEVER been blown over in a high wind though a tornado might take it down. If we have a tornado, I have other things to worry about than the beans.

DarJones

1 Like    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 12:32AM
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mauirose(11)

OK, first trellis shortly after installation. i know, they are small. No giggling.

Couple months later. Long beans are done, Purple Podded Pole beans starting to climb.

Each trellis is about 4' wide. 2 galvanized 7' t-posts, two 1.5" PVC tees, 2 pieces 5/8" rebar, bout 4' each, twine. Found an old post from zeedman and copied his method. i really like the twine but it doesn't last very long, rotted right out from under those PPP beans. i have since modified the design by removing the bottom piece of rebar and hanging a piece of CRW from the top crosspiece and securing it along the edges to the post. i have four of these now. i know, i know, pictures. i'll come back later.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 5:04AM
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cyrus_gardner(8)

Here is a picture from my arch, taken last August.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 8:27AM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Jim

I also like the cattle panel because is strong and can hold up to the high winds that we get and I like flowers too.:)

Silvia

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 9:16AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

"I can't stand poor trellises. Yours makes me cringe."

LOL!!!!

I like a guy who doesn't beat around the bush, just straight out says what's on his mind. I get your point, Dar. Boy, do I get it!

My flowers were zinnias too, Silvia. Zinnias are great in the vegetable garden. Big, bold and colorful.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 2:27PM
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cabrita(9b SoCal)

After a couple of years reading this forum, and I still have no idea what a 'cattle panel' is....it is OK, I get my trellis material almost free and avoid metal parts as much a possible. Jim, your trellis is aesthetically pleasing but not structural. The ones shown here have survived strong Santa Ana winds so they are sound. The cross branches really help with that, and give the beans/peas more climbing options. We are in the process of building one or two more trellises so will update.

Nicknamed 'bean-potato boat' with peas (potatoes inside).

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Nicknamed 'the arch' it spans two beds, peas and friends on both sides but planted at different times.

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Materials are pecan branches and twine (and a nylon net which works very nicely)

1 Like    Bookmark   March 23, 2010 at 3:21PM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Here 'ya go Jim. Cattle panels all the way. I love 'em.

Rick

Early-season

Mid-season

Done-season

1 Like    Bookmark   March 24, 2010 at 12:36PM
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gardenman101(Z6 Spingfield, Ma)

Wow Rdbak I like your arches, not only good looking but looks like the can hold quite a load of beans. I may put some in my garden this year. I dont see them at Lowes or Home Depot any ideas where to pick them up? Or you could just send me yours and save me time.....LOL jk

Mark

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 12:15AM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

I love cattle panels. First used them in 2009. DH will be picking up several in the next couple of weeks.

gardenman101
Tractor Supply Co. has the cattle panels. Here is a link with locations near Springfield, Mass.

DL

Here is a link that might be useful: Tractor Supply locations

1 Like    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 2:46AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

So far, so good. Those are some nice trellises. Thanks for your pics, everyone. Let's hope we get lots more.

Jim

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:17AM
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seedmama(7)

My supports are not at all pretty, especially in the dead of winter with nothing growing on them, but they have proven extremely sturdy and useful. The bamboo are in rows 5' on center, with each stake 3' on center. Last year I used them to support tomatoes with the Florida weave. This year I will add twine, and perhaps cross supports to grow beans. The bamboo is buried 2' deep. (If anyone would like to borrow this idea, be absolute certain your bamboo is thoroughly cured, dried and flat out dead. If not, you'll soon be growing bamboo.)

The real estate sign frames between the bamboo rows hold twine on which peas will grow. The peas will be dying out about he same time as the beans get going. To repeat, these are not pretty pictures, but I think seeing the bare structure could be beneficial to someone.

1 Like    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:12PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I like your trellises, seedmama. They are economical, efficient and uncomplicated. Yeah, the gloom of winter doesn't make for pretty pictures but with the trellises bare we can understand your system clearly. They will be very pretty when covered with vines.

I started with individual vertical poles like yours. Then I embellished with some horizontal sticks lashed to the verticals, resulting in the system which makes DarJones cringe. (I chuckle every time I scroll past that post.)

Jim

    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 6:40PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I used to have only trellises made of 8' plastic-coated metal tubes from a garden center, 2 pairs leaned toward each other into an upside-down V, supporting the long edges of cattle panels tied on. They were a little hard to get inside to pick beans, but didn't fall over and were easy to move around.

But I have gone to the strong metal T-posts, and have used the trellis netting made of nylon, which has lasted me a number of years, but last year I bought a 250' roll of netting that is white plastic (polypropylene? can't remember) from Johnny's, and I use the plastic-coated twisted wire at the top and bottom to support it between the posts. This trellis I made last year to grow runner beans, the red flowers in the photo, and hoped they would grow across when they got to the top, but they didn't much. They did very well later in the season and the hummingbirds loved the red flowers.

I also used some of the metal tubes at the middle by the path, and on the outside edges to hold up deer netting, which was very frustrating to work with and very lightweight and weak.

One set-up is a 50' x 4' rectangle with the nylon trellis netting on the sides and one end. It is sturdier than the photo set-up. I also use some bamboo poles at intervals to support the top wire and netting.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 8:09AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I would like to see more pics of your trellises when you get a chance to post more, hemnancy.

Jim

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 2:58PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I see a red x.

2nd attempt

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 6:13AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

FWIW, I see your pictures both times.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2010 at 3:07PM
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shannonbl

I am going to plant pole beans this year and I was planning to support my trellis with metal t-posts. My husband thinks we should not use metal thinking it might leach rust etc into the soil. I disagree and think it is the best way to provide strength. I am planning to attach cattle panels or lots of twine.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 9:31AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I believe iron rust, as well as the small amounts of other metals in the steel, is harmless. T-posts would certainly be the most effective way to support cattle panels.

Jim

    Bookmark   April 10, 2010 at 1:33PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I'm sorry, when I looked at the first photo before there was a red x until after I reloaded it. Here is the other trellis which has the advantage of being in a stronger conformation that a single row.

The posts I think are 8' ones but you lose some driving it into the ground. 25 feet with 4 posts on each side, then another larger rectangle with 4-5' either chicken wire or welded wire fence to keep out the deer. One year I actually crocheted a net to go over the top to hold up the vines that got to the top and flopped over.

I had beans here too many years in a row and the voles / mice were going crazy in the bean rows last year. I had to dig only a hole big enough to plant the seed (so as not to loosen the soil for them) and pour cayenne pepper over the seed, then push in a 4" galvanized nail by each seed in order to get any up. Sure hope I can find them all again.

This next year I'm going to try runner beans there to see if there is a difference in preference to the voles, like maybe they won't like the way they taste as much? My trellis photo above had no problems but had not grown beans before. I'm also transplanting in some gopher purge plants and may round up some stray daffodils to interplant as well to see if I can make things less palatable for the voles. Or I'll have to stop planting beans there a couple of years. I tried rat and mouse traps there last year under large pots but only caught a few, they don't seem to like used traps, and that can get expensive. A puzzle was that some I caught were mice rather than voles, they are easy to distinguish since the head shapes are different and voles have tails only half the length of their bodies...

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 7:16PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Any tips on driving those 8 foot posts? The top end is way overhead...for most of us anyway. LOL! I asked Dar and said he made a driver out of iron pipe. If I understand it correctly it is a piece of pipe capped at one end and slipped over the top of the post. Then it is rammed up and down to drive the post. I think his has a handle. It wasn't clear exactly how the handle was made. He then devised a tool to pull the posts.

Jim

    Bookmark   April 12, 2010 at 10:55PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

jimster,
Google "t post driver" and you'll see a picture. I've seen them before but I don't have one.
We did buy a t-post puller from Harbor Freight to pull the no longer needed tree stakes. It works but we had to reinforce the handle (with a short t-post no less) as the ground was too dry the first time we tried to use it and the handle bent a little.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 2:05AM
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anney(Georgia 8)

jimster

Here's a T-Post driver. The same link shows a driver-puller for more money.

For driving the posts, I gather that you put it over the top and pull it sharply downward with a ramming motion.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2010 at 7:56AM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

We have a folding ladder, and one of us stands on it hopefully still with a couple of steps left to lean against. It's better if one person is down on the ground holding the post erect while the other person uses a sledge hammer to hit the top. To start out, I hold the top of the post with one hand and the sledge hammer near the head with the other hand, and have the handle going back under my arm, and try to hit it hard but it takes a lot of small whacks to get it to a height easier to hit, and after the fin at the bottom is stablilizing it I can hit with two hands. The 8' post is not too bad, the 10' post is really hard. That is the one that will give you an actual height of 8-8.5 feet tall. I hate to drive the 10' ones, and hope to never have to move them. I can't picture using the T post driver, DH thinks it would be easier. To move a post I push it sideways back and forth many times until it gets loose enough to pull out.

The rectangular bed I have has been stable, but the trellis that is in a straight line, the one that is actually 50' long, had problems with the end post leaning inward from the weight of the line and netting after the beans are growing.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 6:20AM
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the_monk(7B)

Here are mine, made of the neighbors unwanted " scrub trees" (actually hardwood saplings) and some heavy knitting yard a friend's grandmother gave us. (wool will eventually compost) Held together with drywall screws scavenged from somewhere long ago. Their down 12" in a fairly heavy clay soil. (it's getting better garden wise)

( thus far this season I just broke 15$ for my budget this season) 16.77$ exactly.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:41AM
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mauirose(11)

Here is my other 'trellis'

There are three Christmas/Calico limas growing. The one in the middle hasn't climbed well but the flanking limas seem to be happy.

i wasn't sure if the fence would be a suitable trellis but it seems to be working out OK.

And potential for expansion if i can find a longer hose!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 3:31PM
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eibren(z6PA)

I can't post a px; saw this in a Lancaster field (near Amish country) as we drove by on the highway yesterday, and would probably only be good for peas. It was as extreme an example of "peasticking" as I have ever seen, though.

The farmer must also have a fruit orchard, because there were two long rows with orchard trimmings arranged the whole length of each row. Each tree trimming had many branchings, with the smallest probably about as thick as a pencil, and the main branches maybe an inch or so in diameter. Each trimming seemed to create a framework for a mound of peas plants about one and a half to two feet high by two or so feet wide and long. The trimmings appeared to just be laid on their sides, with the "trunks" parallel to the soil.

(Maybe the farmer will see this and give us a photo!)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 4:37AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

I bought a couple of trellis wheels from Lee Valley which I am using in the greenhouse for my red noodles and pretzel beans. It got me to thinking and this is what we came up with.

Using this cap my woodturning DH made for me and some 10 foot electrical conduit we fashioned a bean pole for out side, DH pounded about 2 feet into the ground. I think anything you could wedge into the top of the conduit would work with nails or screw eyes to hold the jute. Now if I can just get him to make me a few more :).

Annette

    Bookmark   April 21, 2010 at 2:49PM
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mauirose(11)

Annette i like that! do you use tent pegs to tie the string off to?

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 3:43AM
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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

Mauirose, I'll be using something similar, I have some long wire rods with a loop on one end DH made for me for another purpose but they will do the trick. I don't have a big garden so have to come up with the best ways to use the space.

Annette

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 10:25AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Here's a close-up of mine last week, with pea plants getting ready to climb. It's made of 2" × 4" mesh fencing anchored to T-posts. I'll try to post an overall picture soon.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 4:27PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

If you want to make teepees with bamboo or stakes, these Wigwam Grips might work well. Apparently they just hold the tops of the bamboo or stakes securely in place.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:24PM
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sandyman720(NJ)

Dar Jones, what type of wire would you use at the top and bottom of your trellis? Will bailing wire work?

I am looking to do this for beans and tomatoes.

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 11:41AM
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fusion_power

I use electric fence wire that is just over 1/16 inch diameter. It is strong enough to hold up beans with posts on 20 ft centers. Please note that the posts I use are 8 ft tall and I drive them into the ground 1.5 feet. I run a wire at the top and another wire at the bottom about a foot above the ground. don't put the bottom wire any lower, you need to be able to weed under it.

DarJones

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 9:26PM
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ppod(6 SE NY)

Scroll down to Snakegourd-Viper for a picture of a well-built, overhead trellis. Seems to having been built of gas pipe and able to withstand strong winds.

Thought it could inspire.....

Here is a link that might be useful: overhead trellis

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 1:38AM
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zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin

I've posted photos of mine previously, which is why I have not responded to this before now... but those threads are probably buried pretty deep by now.

My own trellises are much like Mauirose's & Fusions, mounted on T-bar fence posts (I use 7.5 foot) driven about 18" into the ground. Since my posts are free standing (unanchored) they are closer together, generally 5-6 feet between posts. A 1.25" PVC "T" tops each pole, through which I run rebar rods between the poles (3/8" or 1/2", depending upon the anticipated load). A bottom support rod, also rebar, is tied between the posts 6" above the ground.


bare trellis

I tried using plastic twine for the verticals also, but some beans are reluctant to climb artificial supports. This problem does not occur when using an organic twine, such as sisal, hemp, or cotton.

This frame supports either string (my preferred method) or lengths of concrete remesh or fencing. For string, I run several horizontal strings between the poles, from 12-18" apart; these are plastic baler twine, which bind the poles together for strength, and help support the verticals. Sisal baler twine is tied between the rebar rods, and wrapped around the plastic on the way down.

When I first started using T-posts, I used the plastic twine as the top support. The problem was that in strong winds, the vertical strings would get pushed together on one end, tearing or up-rooting the vines. The roughness of the rebar prevents this, and has the added advantage of not sagging under load.

This construction is very sturdy, I have never had a trellis fail due to wind. By tying rebar rods together, the trellis can easily be extended to any length. About the only drawback is the initial expense of the steel & PVC. I average about 500 feet of trellis each year, so it took me several years to accumulate enough steel. As an investment, however, I expect these trellises to last my lifetime. I purchased a pole driver & a pole puller from my local farm & fleet.

Some photos of the trellises when covered:



    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 6:36PM
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sandyman720(NJ)

Hey DarJones,

How do you attach the wire to the top of the t posts?

What gauge wire is that?

Thanks!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:47PM
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fusion_power

Use a piece of wire about 18 inches long to twist around the top of the t-post and attach the long wire.

You can use any gauge wire from #9 to #16 depending on how far apart the t-posts are set. I never checked mine to see but it looks to be about #14 or maybe #16 steel wire. Don't use aluminum, it will break if repeatedly put up and taken down where steel wire will last several years.

DarJones

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 9:27AM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Thanks zeedman, for posting your trellis information in this thread. Your trellis system has been the model for others and having it in this thread will make it easy for others to find in the future I hope. That's the idea behind this thread anyway, to answer one of questions frequently asked by prospective pole bean growers.

BTW, thanks to everyone else who has contributed. There certainly is a varied and interesting array of designs.

Jim

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:25AM
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sandyman720(NJ)

Yes I like Fusion's and Zeedman's ideas. They one reason that I am gravitating towards Fusion's is that the cost will be much lower.

Thanks all!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 11:16AM
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mauirose(11)

Yes Jimster, i think this will be a valuable reference thread, thank-you for starting it. Too bad you can't add it to the FAQs or something.

My first trellis was more like Dars, two t-posts with wire laterals at the top and bottom. i ran twine up and down from the laterals. Not bad but what happened for me is close to what zeedman describes except my beans all slid to the middle. Since my trellis' use only two t-posts, and since the t-posts weren't braced and probably since i didn't drive them far enough into the ground, the posts leaned in to each other creating the central sag. i think it would have made Dar Jones cringe, lol. So Sandyman, learn from my mistakes ; )

i spent a lot of time searching the forums after that and settled on zeedman's design. Love it!

One more thing to add. As i mentioned earlier i am switching from twine to CRW panels on the trellis. i got lazy on one of them and tried to skip the crossing piece of rebar at the top. Now that the trellis is loaded with bean vines i notice that it is flexing and cupping in the wind. If the rebar was in place i think it would stabilize the top edge of the CRW panel.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 12:14PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

The tomatoes are really liking their trellis...

All the cucumbers are just starting to expand upward...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 3:06PM
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fusion_power

Alouw,

Your trellis is going to be in big trouble if you have strong lateral winds unless those pieces of conduit are driven at least a foot into the ground. I can see that someone put in a lot of time and effort to make things look really pretty, I just hope it is able to stand a serious storm.

DarJones

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 5:31PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

Hi DarJones,

All 3 of the pretty :) conduit trellises (two are 4ft and one is 3ft tall) are resting over 3/4" rebar (5ft long?) that is pounded into the ground (thank you husband) down to 2 feet or more. The little braces on the base of the pipe are really pointless and don't offer much support; I think the rebar will do the job, don't you? So far we've had 2 good thunderstorms with no problems but the trellises are not carrying their full poundage yet!

Amber

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 8:54PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

I've thought about using conduit over a piece of rebar driven into the ground. The rebar would be easy to drive with a heavy hammer at waist level and without a special driver. I think the set-up would compare favorably on an economic basis with 8' tee posts.

What do you think, DarJones? Does it make you cringe?

Jim

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:40PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

Lol Jim. I'm waiting for DarJones' response to this too! I have a feeling we'll get a straight-up answer . . . which is what I need!

The pounding of the rebar was not too bad for my husband; he used a heavy sledge hammer like you describe above. I wanted to put the braces over the conduit at the base of the boxes just to make myself feel better; I was worried about what would happen with serious winds too. Now that I've seen the high winds in action, I don't think they serve much of a purpose. But like I said, I felt better afterwards!
I'm also hoping that the fact of us keeping the trellises 4ft or less will be in our favor if a tornadic episode occurs! :)
-Amber

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 5:59PM
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fusion_power

It doesn't make me cringe, but it does make me wonder about you. Consider that the conduit is actually stronger than the rebar. Why not just drive the conduit into the ground. It would be ultra easy to build a driver to slip over a 10 ft section of conduit and knock it into the ground. All you need is a 3 ft long piece of heavy pipe large enough to fit over the top of the conduit and put a cap on one end and extended handles on the other. Lets say you get two pieces of rebar 5 feet long. Weld the rebar pieces lengthwise on the side of the piece of pipe. Screw a cap onto the end of the pipe. Bend the ends of the rebar to form handles. Voila, a conduit driver that would work great. It would have to weigh in the range of 7 to 10 pounds to work right. I could see this as a VERY cheap way to support beans and other climbing crops.

DarJones

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 8:26PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

I'm a bit intimidated by the high trellis standards, but I'm sure my SO's handiwork is up to the comparison :) Here are is my brand-new 30-ft trellis, with 2x2 crosspieces and uprights driven about 1.5 feet into the ground, anchored to the t-posts supporting my deer fencing.

We are considering adding some bracings to the trellis from my row houses for wind insurance, as 30 ft is a long way to go without some perpendicular support.

~emmers

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 9:38PM
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alouwomack(Zone 7)

Well I'm proud I haven't made anyone cringe and I appreciate all suggestions that have been made . . . however, for my particular choice of vegetables I don't need a 30 foot trellis that will be left standing after the tornado took away the house :) Don't know about larger diameters but the 1/2" conduit we used easily bends . . . contrary to the rebar. I like our results.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 11:16AM
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mauirose(11)

Those row houses are cute emmers. What do you use them for?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 1:07PM
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sandyman720(NJ)

DarJones,

Sorry for asking you but do you think you can post a pic of how you connect the wire to the tie downs and how you connect to the top of the tposts?

Sorry, I just love your setup!

Thanks so much!!!!!!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2010 at 10:08PM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

Hi mauirose,

My row houses evolved as the result of a conversation that went something like:

Me: can I use some of the wire you have around to support some row covers?

Him: Wire? Pfft. Here's what we're going to do...

and he went on to design my rowhouses, which are intended to be supreme multitaskers in that they can be used for rowcovers, hard or flexible plastic for season extension, attachment points for bed edging or plant supports or even, theoretically, mini-trellises for squash and such. (so I'm not quite off-topic, I swear!)

So far I've only tested the rowcovers, so I haven't fully explored the possibilities yet. I posted a picture of a rowhouse covered in nylon netting over in the veggie forum if you're interested.

Here is a link that might be useful: cabbage moth thread

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:42PM
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fusion_power

Here are two photos for those who want to see how I build my trellis. The first is of the trellis with beans just getting started up it. The second is how I attach the wire to the t-post. This photo shows it with only one wire wrapped around the post for clarity. I use two wires with another going around from the other side of the post to give solid attachment.

DarJones

    Bookmark   May 22, 2010 at 7:02PM
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plantslayer(8)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Our bean trellis from last year was made almost entirely from bamboo and twine. We got the bamboo for free from someone who was required to remove a stand from in front of his house, and happy to give it away to anyone who wanted it. We took them home in the fall (?) and let them dry out and "cure" for about 6 months. They were only about .5" or so at the base, but as you can see from below, they easily supported the weight of the beans!

It was basically just a simple A-frame. Each side is an inverted "V" with a single horizontal bamboo pole running between the crotch of the vertical poles at the top. The horizontal sections were made from recycled cedar lathes that we also got for free (I am sure using bamboo would work just fine too). Everything was tied together with twine, and twine strings for the beans to climb were hung down from horizontals. (The wire mesh you see at the bottom was not necessary, probably a bad idea in fact since it made picking harder).

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We had what I considered very vigorous vines and a very heavy crop, so the thin .5" poles held up fine under a heavy load, even through some very windy days that summer. I had thought about using construction stakes to anchor it down, but we ended up not doing that, it worked fine without them. This thing was rock solid, by my standards at least.

As you can see, our garden is very small, so this might not be as easy to do for someone with huge 100 ft rows of beans, but it worked great for us!

Living in the middle of a large city, it is not easy to find free bamboo (but not impossible). When we harvested the bamboo we didn't even have a car, so we bundled is all up and wheeled it through a busy city on two bicycles rolling in tandem! It was pretty crazy, but I wasn't causing any problems for anyone, and I felt righteous and greener-than-thou for being so resourceful.

The cost of bamboo poles in the store or from people sellng it on Craigslist is kind of ridiculous, so I personally wouldn't have used it if it weren't available for free. I daresay that if I lived in the South or some other place where there is lots of bamboo running wild all over the place, I'd use it for everything. It would be free, strong, easy to use, reusable to some extent, attractive looking, etc. etc. In many places you can probably get bamboo that is twice as thick and longer than the poles I had, which would be every more solid and easy to work with. How I envy you people in the South! As long as you cure it well before using it, it does not seem to rot in the first year of use, even here in Seattle. I'm not an eco-hippie type or anything, but I think it is great stuff, highly recommended!

Total cost of materials: about 2$ for the twine. (More time investing in cutting and moving it.)

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 2:46PM
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sandyman720(NJ)

I will be going to Tractor Supply tomorrow to get my earth augers, t posts, and electric fence wire to copy Dar Jones' design. Thanks DarJones!

Ah DarJones, I just realized you are from Selected Plants?

Do you use this for your Maters also?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 11:32AM
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rdback(Z6 VA)

Hey sandyman,

TSC has cattle panels on sale for the holiday weekend. Just thought I'd let you know.....lol.

Rick

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:29PM
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aubade

I use these funky metal trellises I got super cheap on sale at Ikea. I just tied them to the fence. At first I was worried the plants wouldn't like the hot metal, but in two years no problems yet. Peas, beans and cukes seem to like them just fine. This is a pic with sugar snap peas from last June.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 12:31PM
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happyday(WI4a)

Aubade, cool trellis! The hot metal of CRW trellis doesn't bother my plants either.

Concrete reinforcing wire works well, and you could probably buy a roll for the cost of one or two cattle panels. Use some for trellis, some for hoops, some for tomato cages.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 2:29PM
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chaman(z7MD)

Pic. Trellis

    Bookmark   May 27, 2010 at 3:51PM
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chaman(z7MD)

One more pic. of trellis from my file.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 9:34PM
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anney(Georgia 8)

Jim

Thought I'd bring this up again to include these couple of ideas for bean trellises at the Victory Seed site. The second one, the Bean House, looks great for gardens where there are little kids! Open the door, and in you go to a shadowed cool place!

    Bookmark   June 1, 2010 at 8:38AM
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terry_upstate_ny(5)

I love the pictures of the beans and trellises. They are all different and creative.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2010 at 4:44AM
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WestEnder(z7 Atlanta GA)

Here's what we made this year at our community garden to grow climbing lima beans on.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo Bean Trellis at the Rose Circle Community Garden

    Bookmark   June 12, 2010 at 11:37PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

I love seeing all your beautiful gardens--and trellises! This thread is what gave me the idea to put up a cattle panel arch for my pole beans. We erected it on a dirt terrace next to the house. As you can see from the first picture, it shares the space with some flowers.

Here's how it looked this morning. The zinnias are just starting to bloom. The Kentucky Wonders (on the right) are outpacing the Fortex, and several have grown beyond the 8' peak of the arch.

When I thinned the pole beans, I hated to discard the healthy plants with their impressive root systems, so I planted them in a container at the base of one of my son's ham radio towers. It seems to function fairly well as a trellis. :-)

Thanks, all, for the pictures and ideas, and to Jimster for starting this thread.

1 Like    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 6:47PM
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jimster(z7a MA)

Thank you for the pic of your son's bean pole antenna tower, alisande! Nicest bean pole I ever saw. I like that you can climb it to harvest beans no matter how tall they grow.

N2KMB "Jim"

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 1:54PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

How cool! I'll tell N3PKC that we were in touch. :-)

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 11:14PM
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riverfarm(7)

Here is what my bean trellis looked like last year early in the season; it's bamboo and twine, and it's behind the bamboo tomato tripods.

Here's what it looked like this year - same setup, with tomato tripods behind it. But I have to find something sturdier because the bamboo poles have been breaking at ground level. Currently I have them reinforced with metal stakes just to get through the season. Lots of leaves on those plants but not many beans for some reason. Anyway, I was looking for something stronger yet still attractive for next year. It has to be movable since I rotate my crops.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2010 at 1:35PM
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natal(Louisiana 8b)

Jim, if you didn't receive my email today please drop me a line.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2010 at 4:03PM
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johngreenhand(8 Hill country texas)

cant show pictures but have been experimenting with different material for trellises. used 3/4 pvc and baler twine, 11/2" pvc 1/2 inch conduit. also using hortonova 6" nylon mesh. all trellis 7 ft by 10ft. used pvc connections for pvc and used conduit bender to shape trellis and connectors with screw (4) on both sides of conduit. this is by far strongest and best main problem is support will brace to 6 foot chain linkd fence. tried drivin stakes in ground but in heavy rain and wind they tried to give./ am now contemplating using posts and high tensile wire covered with pvc pipe. pull tite pulling pvc or conduit toward each post then dropping binder twine down to bottom line (using baler twine for that. Posts are $1.75 each hitensile wire .02 cents per foot eyebolts 2.50 dollaars each conduit 1.89 and pvc 3.50 for 20 foot
total cost per 40 foot row should be approximately 16.00 plus binder twine will use wire only with baler twine for indeterminate tomatoes and cucumbers and netting for hybrid melons by this time next year i hope to be able to say what works best have used 3/4 inch pvc and baler twine netting this year and 11/2 inch pvc with hortonova netting this year needed at least one more brace in middle for better support (grew melons and cucmbers) will not plant melons without trellis if possible. used baler twine to make sling to hold cantaloupe. tried stockins and cheese cloth but they grabbed leaves vines and fruit to much sorry so long just thought i would pass along my experience and thoughts if questions contact me at johnwm21@verizon.net

    Bookmark   October 29, 2010 at 12:18PM
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rnewste(8b NorCal)

I've just developed this trellis system for my 31 gallon self-watering container (EarthTainers).

The idea is that they can "grip" the rim of the containers and then are removable and flatten for storage instantly:

Raybo

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 10:25PM
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lantanascape(z6 Idaho)

I've posted a few times before, but my trellis system is basically metal conduit for the uprights, and the horizontal piece at the top is a 2x4 with holes drilled into the narrower edge that the conduit fits into. At my old house, I had wood-sided raised beds, so I put eyes in both the trellis top and the bed and ran jute twine in between the two to make a netting for the plants to climb. I don't have sides on my beds at the new house, so I am probably going to attach CRW to the top 2x4 of the trellis instead, as this will be more rigid and stay in place for the plants to find it and start climbing.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 7:13PM
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biradarcm(7b)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 3:11PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

Do you tear down the trellis and move it each year or plant beans in the same place?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 11:41AM
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emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)

biradarcm,

absolutely beautiful!

If I can ever find cattle panel here I'm stealing your design.

admiringly,

~emmers

    Bookmark   July 23, 2011 at 3:41PM
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tikigardener

I used bamboo and twine looked great but now that the melons and tomatoes are coming in heavy they are breaking and falling. Looking for something more permanent that has a natural look to it like the bamboo but strong for year after year use. Biradarcm your picture is no longer loading but I was really hoping to see it!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:58PM
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c333

I put this together for my sweet peas, they are just now starting to sprout after about a week.

I am trying to figure out how to put one together for my squash vines, but not sure how to do it since we live in an apartment and can't have anything permanent and on a virtual non existent budget.. Anyone have any suggestions?

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Through the Seasons

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:04PM
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lukeott(7 south jersey)

biradarcm, i like your set up, but how is the top panel supported. I would think, late in the season the weight would make it sag.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:04PM
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Bel.1

New to this forum: anyone have a non-rustic trellis idea for a cylindrical raised bed, 2m dia x 500mm high, school garden? The wigwam link above didn't work. Will post again if I come up with a good design.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 7:45PM
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james956

First garden got started about a month ago since the gf wanted one. I used pre constructed 4x4 beds that connect to make it a 4x12 on each side. Then I got 2x4 10ft long and made the A frames which hold 2"x4" 4ft high welded wire. These are the ten foot long trellises for cucumbers. It's looking good so far hope it survives many years :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:10PM
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james956

Side view to view climbing cucumbers, all suggestions welcome since this is my first try at gardening :)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2013 at 6:14PM
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tkdcoach(6)

Yet another cattle fence arch trellis using t posts. My first attempt at it here in 2013. Got the idea from another thread. A guy in the thread asked where you get these and I didn't see an answer--I got mine at Tractor Supply (TSC). Next time, I'll tell the guy what I'm doing with it as the bend he applied is a little warped. Shrug, grin. This shot is from mid June. We got a lot of rain since then and the Sugar Baby melons are topping out now. My idea here is squash at the base with melons, cukes, and pole beans *not visible here but doing very well) rising. So far, so good.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 3:20PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I'm so glad I didn't get rid of the kids' swingset. I lined it with concrete reinforcing wire and grow cucs up the sides and snow peas on the ends. I grow beans up the same wire that is on electrical conduit frames. I've tried growing some things up cattle panels, but it just didn't work as well for me as the concrete mesh. I do let the butternut squash grow up a cattle panel though. It works well, but I usually have to hold the stems up with bungee cords as it grows. I really love vertical gardening! As you can see on the other side of the trellises I grow my tomatoes in concrete reinforcing cages. I love that stuff! :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:41PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

I'm so glad I didn't get rid of the kids' swingset. I lined it with concrete reinforcing wire and grow cucs up the sides and snow peas on the ends. I grow beans up the same wire that is on electrical conduit frames. I've tried growing some things up cattle panels, but it just didn't work as well for me as the concrete mesh. I do let the butternut squash grow up a cattle panel though. It works well, but I usually have to hold the stems up with bungee cords as it grows. I really love vertical gardening! As you can see on the other side of the trellises I grow my tomatoes in concrete reinforcing cages. I love that stuff! :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:42PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Sorry, double post.

This post was edited by catherinet on Fri, Jul 5, 13 at 20:58

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 8:43PM
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rwittmer(7A)

I just built this while on Christmas vacation. I plan on using it this spring for snow peas, then pole beans. I may add more sections and use that for cucumbers. I bent the aluminum conduit my self...it really wasn't that hard.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 4:32PM
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knlim000(9a)

the dead tree is great for any pumpkin,cucumber,luffa,etc.. to climb up.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 9:32PM
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knlim000(9a)

during the summer

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 9:38PM
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knlim000(9a)

luffa and hairy gourd went crazy over the tree

    Bookmark   January 26, 2015 at 9:42PM
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