Has anyone used deck/pier blocks to make supports

plantslayer(8)April 28, 2009

Hello,

I garden in a plot where the soil is shallow, and I do not have boards along the sides of the beds that are sturdy enough to anchor supports to. So I was wondering if anyone has ever used concrete deck blocks (concrete blocks that are designed to serve as supports for a wooden deck) to make trellises or other supports.

Here is a picture of the things I am talking about:

1)

2) Also, there is this kind:

Both blocks are 11 in x 8 in x 11 in and weight about 60lb. Type 1 has a 11/16" hole pre-drilled in the center. Type 2 is made to receive 2x4 plants or 6x6 posts. Type 1 costs just under $5 after tax, and type 2 costs around $7 each after tax. I am just wondering if you think someone could use either of these as a base for upright supports of any kind. What kind of post would you use? Has anyone done this before?

I am asking here, because Sqft gardeners seem to have a knack for this kind of thing... :)

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homertherat

I'm sure that would do just fine. If you could slip some re-bar into the hole in the first type, I would go with that.

However, I don't know if you'll need that. If you pound re-bar into the ground like 6-12 inches (the deeper you go, the steadier the trellis) and then slip electric conduit over that, then you've got yourself a trellis waiting to be strung up.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 1:58AM
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plantslayer(8)

Well, would you train a squash plant with 4 or 5 three-pound squash on it up the typical conduit support usually used for tomatoes and the like? (not a rhetorical question)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:47AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

Plantslayer - I've put alot of thought into what you're wanting to do, and the second one (Dekblock, from Lowes)isn't an option.
However, the first one has possibilities....I've got to go to Lowes today anyway, and i'll get the stock numbers of the hardware needed....

EG

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:08AM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

plantslayer - This should work ok......

Using the block in the first picture, mount a 4x4 post on top of it. To do this, there are several options.

1. Mount one of these (item #97361 - Lowes) with a piece of all thread rod, washers, nuts....And fasten the post to the bracket with deck screws...

2. Drill a hole so this can be screwed into the end of the post (item #137397 - Lowes), then screw a piece of all thread rod into that. Insert the other end of the rod thru the block, then put a nut,washer, and lock washer on it.

A 2x4 connected between two of these posts (one at the top, the other toward the bottom), will make it pretty dadgum sturdy. Hope this helps!

EG

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 2:04PM
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Dan Staley

So I have both 1/2 and 3/4 conduit for trellises. You do not need these blocks for support.

My conduit is held by 24" SCH40 PVC buried in the soil, protruding ~1.5in above grade, with 5/8 rebar as additional support; 3/4 for the 1/2 in and 1 1/4 for the 3/4. Way cheaper than these blocks. And I have a lot of wind. A lot.

Dan

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:10PM
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plantslayer(8)

Thanks for the info EG. I think they also make brackets with a metal rod coming out of the bottom specifically made to be mounted on the first kind of block...

Being a cheapskate and not having my own drill (sad, isn't it?), I was considering just buying a large piece of 5/8" rebar, cutting it into pieces of the proper size, and simply sticking that into the hole in the block and several inches into the ground, then tying some kind of fencing onto the rebar with wire or ties of some kind. I figure that with the block there, the rebar would be stable and not slip in the soil. However, I am not sure how to keep the fencing attached sturdily. I guess rebar has ridges on it, so maybe just some wire would work. I can buy 20' of the 5/8 rebar for around $15.50

Of course, the wooden post attached to a bracket is a much more sturdy construction!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:11PM
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engineeredgarden(7, nw Alabama)

plantslayer - the bracket that you're talking about, indeed has a rod protruding from the bottom - and is bent on the end. This is for submerging into wet concrete, so that the post can be mounted to the bracket after the concrete has set up.

Of course, the wooden post attached to a bracket is a much more sturdy construction!

Would you expect anything less from EG, who builds all kinds of crazy, heavy duty things? Ha!

EG

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 10:54PM
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