Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Garden 101- Trellis

Hello again!
This time I wanted discuss trellis.

There are several vegetables that thrive or need with trellis and or cages.  There are so many items that you can use to assist these vegetables.  I will start with pole beans, other than the obvious a simple pole or stake you can use trellis as well.  We made this Willow Branch Trellis a few weeks ago, it is too late to use for beans this year but we are thinking about it for next year, I also may use it in my butterfly garden for a  hummingbird vine.
Some people use simple stakes in a row, not a straight row, there would be two rows, the gardener would alternate which row to place the stake.  After the stakes are in the ground, one would take string and make a zig zag with the poles as shown in the picture below.  (This is someones crop at our community garden.)
 
Another method could be a simple tripod method as pictured below.  (Again another gardener's method at our community garden.)
Here is another tripod, where someone built one resembling a ladder. (This is another gardener's vision at our community garden.)
 
One can use whatever they have.  Pictured below is a shoe tree someone is using as a trellis. (Yes, you guessed it another gardener at our community garden.)

Why do you need a trellis in the garden?  Well we use them for Sugar Snap Peas, for one.  The picture below is our first trellis we made for the Sugar Snap Pea.  Sugar Snap Peas will grow as tall as your trellis. Our Sugar Snap Peas that year grew as tall as 8 ft and our row was 16 ft long.  How we Todd constructed it was building a frame out and then a netting was stapled to the frame.
It worked well but we feared for it during some of our storms therefore we found another method.  This is what we did this year.  We Todd took some flattened tomato cages and used zip lock ties to attach to one another.  We planted one row in between our fence that boarders the garden and the flattened tomato cages.  We then planted another row directly behind the flattened tomato cages.  On more row of peas were planted behind the second row and another row of flattened tomato cages went into place after the 3rd row.  Although our Sugar Snap Peas only grew to 5 ft, we had 3 rows of 16 ft Sugar Snap Peas.  The two pictures below are from this year's garden.
Beginning of the season.
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We also use a trellis for our cucumbers.  This will help control where the cucumber plant grows.  Cucumbers, zucchini, and squash can easily take over your garden and if you trellis them, you can use less space for your vegetable.  Below is one we constructed for cucumbers.  We also have used the fence perimeter as a trellis for zucchini and cucumbers as well.
One can use trellis for pole beans as well.  Once again our fence around the garden is what we use for pole beans.  It has worked wonderfully for us.  (Pole Beans are in the back, this is a picture of our garden in 2010.)
I have seen some people use trellis for strawberries and some other berries.  I am sure there are more things to use a trellis.  As I said in my first Garden 101 post, I am not an expert but love to share what we have learned.
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