Trellis location

jganyardApril 16, 2009

Ok, so I have two beds recently built. One is 2x9 and one is 2x10. They run N-S and there is about 3 ft between the two beds.

My original idea was to trellis the West side of each bed (the 9ft side and 10ft side) but now I'm concerned about shading the westernmost bed with the trellis on the eastern bed. An alternative I've now thought of is to only trellis the eastern bed (2x10), but down through the center and having plants on both sides share.

I know we've got some trellising experts hanging out here, would you all mind giving me some ideas? My goals are to grow lots of tomato, squash, cukes and a few melons with my trellis(s)(or would the plural form be trelli?).

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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

The trellis and any tall plants should go on the North side. But it is your garden and you are certainly free to do it another way.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:19PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

I would do it like this, because you will still have 8 feet of total trellis (planting on both sides), and they won't interfere with the sunlight. The red parts are trellises - spanning the width of the beds.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 5:52PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

If planting on both sides of each trellis, it would amount to 16 feet total. Sorry...I was in a hurry. Another thing...If you have room, I would allow 6 feet in between the beds, to really open it up.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 10:15PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

If I needed more trellis space, I would put ALL on the North side unless I had plants which needed the shade.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 7:08AM
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oasis_226(z7b Atlanta GA)

First post in a while ... hi everyone.

My question would be ... how much sun do you get? Morning, evening, or all day. Some crops would be OK with some afternoon shade, and might even like being out of the worst heat of the day. You're a 7/8 so I assume somewhere in the sunny south, which means that the mid-summer shading is not too bad with trellises except at the beginning and end of the day (the sun is very high overhead at noon).

I like EGs idea. If you're really that far south you could even add another trellis or two in between (at least 2 feet between. My Toms trellis only shades about another square back mid-summer. Lots of veggies would work in those less sunny squares because they would still get alot of sun (assuming you have full sun all day).

As an alternative if you want more trellis space, you could put a trellis in the outside edge of the eastern most row of your east bed for your toms and other trellis veggies. From 11AM on, all squares would be full sun that way.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 9:25AM
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Wow.. thanks for the input folks.

EG, love the drawing - I'm a visual person myself and I knew the subject would get your attention too.

Oasis, I'm in similar area to you.. Kennesaw exactly. I'll really need to pay attention to the sun patterns tomorrow to see how it may be in a few months when the sun is a little bit higher. What are some veggies that would appreciate a little shade in our area?

One unfortunate thing is that the beds are built already in the space I had available so I can't do any relocation, spacing or turning. Believe me, I would have run them E-W and much larger (4ft instead of 2ft) if I could.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 10:44AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

jganyard - Thanks, I threw that drawing together in about 10 minutes. Although conventional wisdom says to only install a trellis on the north side of a bed (and I respect that), I have bent the rules with excellent results. Variety of vining veggie planted in a particular location means alot, and the most dense growing varieties should always be on the northernmost end. Since you're located in Kennesaw, you'll have better overhead sun than most people (even me).


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:15PM
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gardener_mary(6 MA)

Would it be possible for you to build another section of garden bed on the south end between your 2 beds so that you could put a trellis across all and use the whole south side for trellis planting.

Good gardening, Mary

    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:25PM
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oasis_226(z7b Atlanta GA)

Hey Kennesaw ... I'm in Lawrenceville.

Frankly, if you have full sun from 11AM till sunset I'd consider your garden "full sun" even with a trellis along the east edge.

If you wind up shading with Tomatoes, a couple of things to think about.

They won't be tall enough to shade for a while yet. You can easily get a full crop of a spring veggie (any leafy, carrots, peas, etc.) or even bush beans (done end of June) even if it's creating some shade. Alot of these (leafy, brocolli) will bolt (go to seed) if they get too hot or too much sun, which here they most definitely will.

The shaded area is then nice for starting fall crops that you don't want to put in the worst of the sun in late July, such as Brussels Sprouts or other cooler crops, so shady doesn't mean unusable by any means.

You can also get creative with your trellis shapes. I had a 4 foot a side triangle last year for pole beans that did great, and the back side wasn't really that far behind the front sides. If you ran a trellis down both sides of your bed I think you'd still have plenty of sun for tomatoes or melons going up both sides (leaving the full 2 feet between trellises).

Really though, you've got the hard part done: starting and getting the beds ready. Now, just have fun and stick stuff in the ground. It'll grow.

Oh ... and hopefully I won't get flamed on this, but toss a bit of lime in the tomato bed before planting ... the calcium will help prevent the dreaded blossom end rot. I think Mel's mix is light on calcium. I had a terrible problem with it last year.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:28PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

@ David - ya know.....I had zero BER last year on my toms, and didn't add dolomitic lime or anything. I wonder if the miracle gro I use has some in it? I'll have to look at the label when I get home. Consistent watering is another important thing to consider, especially since y'all got alot less rain than we did last year.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2009 at 1:40PM
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gumby_ct(CT it says Z5)

The beauty of gardening is not only can you bend rules - you can break em and if it doesn't work out get another chance next year.

The confusing thing is - what works for one may NOT work for another. So understanding the basic gardening principles and some common sense are useful, if you don't have a bunch of money.

Experience is THE BEST teacher ;-)

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 8:19PM
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