2 questions: trellis & sweet potato

daves_girl(7 GA)April 18, 2009

First, I want to put up a trellis that will support one sugar baby watermelon vine and one Hale's best canteloupe during the spring and a pumpkin vine in the summer. I'd like to use an arch made from PVC and wire that arches over a 4x4 box. I want to plant shade loving plants under the arch. I'm not sure what size PVC I need to support the weight or what gauge of wire mesh/fencing. Will I need additional support? Any suggestions?

Second, approximately how long does it take to grow sweet potato slips? I've got sweet potatoes sitting in cups of water and am just beginning to see roots sprouting into the water. I haven't seen any growth on top. This problem is probably just my LACK of patience, but dang, hurry up already!


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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Kym - I've put alot of thought into the trellis you're wanting to build, and would probably go with 1" schedule 40 pvc pipe. Bigger would be even better, but not very flexible. Since the wire is actually gonna support the fruit's weight, it will have to be fairly strong. Mine is 16 gauge, and holds Hale's best cantaloupes with ease, but not a pumpkin.

You're supposed to start making your own slips about 2- 2 1/2 months before planting time. Mine are slow, too...


    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 5:34PM
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Can we take this subject further please? I have just made a large box that will have butterbeans and watermelon. I have another box that will have tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash. I plan to use trellis with string for the tomato box. I am now thinking of two separate trellis for the butterbeans and melons. I hadn't thought of wire but string would not hold the melons. Comments please.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 10:32PM
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The top growth will show up soon! Check out my sweet potato page...worked like a charm.

Let the page load and then click on sweet potato on the right hand side of the page.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sweet Potato

    Bookmark   April 18, 2009 at 11:20PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

lowraine, what kind of melon? I don't recall ever trellising butterbeans, just let them bush. The wire mesh with 2" x 3" openings in the garden center at Lowes will hold the cantaloupes (if vertical) with ease.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:19AM
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daves_girl(7 GA)

EG - Could I go with 16 gauge wire if I had 3 PVC pieces to make up the arch instead of 2? I was thinking I could use the hammocks to cradle the pumpkin and attach it to the PVC, or is it still more dependent on the wire?

Thanks Dutchess. Maybe I'll see some growth soon. Maybe gardening will teach me patience :)

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 12:12PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Kym - If you'll stabilize the pvc somehow so it doesn't move back and forth - you can hang a melon from it very well. Doing it this way will allow you to use 16 gauge mesh for letting the vines run on.


    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 1:21PM
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EG, I grew up with butterbeans growing up. We used post with wire between the post at the top and bottom then we ran twine or cardlacing up and down between the wires. Here in NC we can purchase bush butterbeans and pole beans. I would be happy to send you a pack if you are not able to get them where you are. My undle moved to Ohio back during the 70's and couldn't find pole butterbeans, he had someone from back home send him the seed for his garden. They are planted after the last frost, produce later than bush beans but produce more than the bush, they last until the frost kills them in the fall. We never considered bush beans, I never heard of them until now. I will plant bush beans so I can get the bean first. We folks here in NC fight for the first mess of butterbeans. LH

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 8:26PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Lowraine - sure, i'll take some! I've never heard of them before. They will be good for Dad, because he is not allowed to eat anything green, because of medical reasons. BTW, I really liked the "mess" part. That's what we say too! Ha!


    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:29PM
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EG, what do you mean when you say your father can't eat things that are green. Our pole bean is the same as a bush butterbean. How do I get your address? Your email on your profile doesn't work for me.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2009 at 9:58PM
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I started a sweet potato also and I thought I started too late. I started seeing buds after it grew a bunch of roots. When I read up on sweet potatoes, no one said anything about the roots coming before the slips. Once they came in, you could really see it growing day by day. I was more fascinated with watching the sweet potato grow more than anything else I planted. I too have very little patience but once you see roots, watch the eyes. You will start to notice little dark purple buds come out. They then turn into green leaves. It is really pretty cool.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 11:11AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Lowraine - You can email me at engineeredgarden@att.net
I'll fix the email on my profile...

Dad has been placed on a blood thinner medication, and isn't supposed to eat any green veggie. That's all I know about it....


    Bookmark   April 24, 2009 at 7:20PM
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