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Show Me Your Trellis

jimster
11 years ago

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.

{{gwi:69501}}

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

Comments (103)

  • emmers_m
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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

  • fusion_power
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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

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  • plantslayer
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    {{gwi:1021459}}

    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).

    {{gwi:1021460}}

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us

    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.)

  • sandyman720
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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?

  • rdback
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hey sandyman,

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

    Rick

  • aubade
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • happyday
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • chaman
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Pic. Trellis{{gwi:44576}}

  • chaman
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    One more pic. of trellis from my file.{{gwi:49657}}

  • anney
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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!

  • terry_upstate_ny
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • WestEnder
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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

  • alisande
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • jimster
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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"

  • alisande
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • riverfarm
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

    {{gwi:83804}}

  • natal
    11 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • johngreenhand
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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

  • rnewste
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

    {{gwi:3555}}

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

    {{gwi:54678}}

    Raybo

  • lantanascape
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

    {{gwi:20461}}

  • biradarcm
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

  • wertach zone 7-B SC
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • emmers_m
    10 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    biradarcm,

    absolutely beautiful!

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

    admiringly,

    ~emmers

  • tikigardener
    9 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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!

  • c333
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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

  • lukeott
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • Bel.1
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • james956
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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 :)

  • james956
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • tkdcoach
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • catherinet
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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! :)

    {{gwi:48165}}

  • catherinet
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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! :)

    {{gwi:48165}}

  • catherinet
    8 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Sorry, double post.

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

  • rwittmer
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    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.

  • knlim000
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

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

  • knlim000
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    during the summer

  • knlim000
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    luffa and hairy gourd went crazy over the tree

  • GivingGarden (6a, CO)
    6 years ago

    We use a leaning trellis to shade the lettuce from the blistering afternoon sun.

    Our Marketmore's climbed over the top and half way down again. The trellis is made of 3 sections and is about 20ft long. We used the metal reinforcement rebar things that go into concrete attached to 2x4's with U-shaped nails. Inexpensive and easy to assemble.


  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Re-reading this entire thread, I realize there was something I missed. Fusion, if I read the photos correctly, the twine is just wrapped in a zig-zag from top to bottom, but not actually wrapped around each wire. This is one continuous length of twine, for the entire length of the trellis. So if the twine failed at any one point, would the whole structure collapse? I'm assuming that you are using one of the heavier grades of baling twine?

    If I had more land at my disposal, I would probably incorporate some variation of your design, since it is far less work to put up... but in my limited space, I would just be tripping over the anchor wires. ;-)

  • beesneeds
    6 years ago

    Folks are making me utterly flake out with envy in this thread with all their bean setups! I'm just commenting to make sure I remember this thread, lol.



  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    6 years ago

    Pictures are gone from my earlier post, here's what DH Made me to hang my jute from the conduit I use for bean poles...



    The big one I use on a pole that I think getting seed might be dicey, I can stick an umbrella though the hole and down the conduit, yep I'm one crazy lady but hey it works LOL.
    I ran out of fancy tops so this year it's just wine corks with a nail hammered in the top on the rest of the conduit poles :).
    Annette


  • zeedman Zone 5 Wisconsin
    6 years ago

    Creative. That's using the old bean. ;-)


  • blueflint
    6 years ago

    Here are our rows.

    Most are 90' long, 6' high. Some rows use wooden posts while other rows use heavy t posts.


  • aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada
    6 years ago

    Here's a pic of the umbrella in use on the top turned to hold it. The pic was taken late September after the rains had started. The vines stayed perfectly dry and I harvested a lot of seed of this late planted variety end of October, Blue Greasy Grits if my memory serves me correctly. Just saying, when there's a will there's ALWAYS a way ;).


  • fitzefatz
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The trellis I use - now in it's 7th season:

    2 arches of (zinc galvanized) iron pipe

    1 wooden beam approx 5 m (which is the max. length)

    2 screws and nuts to fasten it on top of the arches

    10 m stronger wire

    20 hooks

    2 wire fasteners

    20 tent pegs

    cheap synth. clothes line (40 - 50 m for my size)

    1.80 to 2 m above ground height (that I can harvest inside without too much trouble)

    20 - 30 cm go in the soil (until the strengthening)

    80 cm width

    beam has holes as has arch on it's top screw&nut will do it (connect the things)

    I have several holes in the beam that I can adjust to the variable length of my patches

    the beam is high enough that if it reaches out noone can bump his head on it

    there are small holes in the arches at the hight of the upper stiffener . I put the wire from one to the other arch and tighten with wire fastener. gives more rigidity and spreads the clothes lines out. gives easier access to the inside of the dark tunnel of beany goodness (for harvest)

    hook every 40 cm

    clothes line from hook to tent peg in ground. I have them a bit outside the arch baseline, approx. 1 m apart (remember arches are 80 cm)

    here's a picture from another year:

    Fitz

  • aholme09
    6 years ago


  • Suzanne Edgel Ferreira
    6 years ago

    Here at reclamation farm, we found an abundance of rolls of chain link fence in the woods. A few t-posts and some muscle from the son-in- law, we've turned this Tennessee trash into wonderful, wind-proof, permanent trellises. Beans, cukes, melons, squash, etc have all been grown on them. A quick look at our local craigslist had 2 different "free" ads for some. Metal scrappers won't take it and so it ends up in the landfill (or the woods.) Maybe do an ISO or contact local fencing companies for some free stuff that's been removed. It keeps it in use, is free and will hold up to weight and wind.

  • shelma1
    6 years ago

    I'm thinking you could build a trellis with four shepherd's hooks and chicken fencing. Maybe I'll try it. Shepherd's hooks are super easy to push into soil after a rain. Just zip tie the fencing to it to form an arch. You could even hang planters off the hooks for some extra color.

  • Cal Yonce
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Willow pole Raider Cucumber trellis complete with skull.

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    6 years ago


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