Trellising

Visions of tall, lush plants full of ripe, voluptuous fruit requiring capable and considerate support can be an irresistable lure to the creative act of building trellises. Yet, admittedly, I have gotten behind and the job becomes a little more difficult once plants have decided to sprawl.

The bamboo grove that our friend shares with his neighbor needs maintenance from time to time and the poles that J and I helped clear out are perfect for building supports for plants. I like bamboo because it is a readily available strong and versatile material, lasts one or two years, provides shelter for spiders and insects, rots, and becomes compost. Here is the trellis that I built for a row of 6 tomato plants. I like the unusual appearance and the sturdiness of this trellis. Rather than forming a single plane or wall; it zig-zags. In that way, we may not get a full sail effect when it is full of foliage and the wind blows. Each plant is “caged” by three poles of varying heights. There are two low horizontal posts that lash them together and a higher horizontal post that lashes this “cage” to the next. I see that I might want to better attend to my lashing technique for an improved aesthetic. We used a large 10-12 foot long A-frame trellis for the last two years but I find it cumbersome and I need help to get it up. I liked growing the tomatoes up a string to the top cross bar of that trellis but I wonder if the tomatoes did not suffer from the severe pruning that that technique required. I’ve tried wire cages but they went the way of teetering and crashing so that I had to tie them to all sorts of additional supports.

This is a similar idea…less developed but will probably work for the three tomato plants that are here.

This is a most simple solution for a few Red Malabar plants. The eventual wall of foliage may create that sail effect. Though, I do have these poles pounded and shimmed in quite well; I find that a wall of foliage tends to want to take off in a good wind.

I created this pea trellis with the prunings from our two apples and one pear tree. I was wise not to procrastinate in supporting the peas. The harvest is a doosey! I, roughly, followed a pattern for making a living fence made with willow. You can see some examples on this site. Admittedly, this is a very rough and temporary representation of a living fence. This support will soon be a mulch for our shrubs and trees. The neat thing was seeing the prunings flower with apple and pear blossoms and later to leaf out to welcome the climbing tendrils. It is sturdy, yet, flexible and just the thing for a load of peas. I will use this again. Those are Hopi Dye sunflowers in the background which will, no doubt, get mobbed by finches and squirrels. OK.

This is our better late than never Loufah support. Strong. Framed like a box. I’m hoping, necessarily strong!

Another better late than never trellis for Christmas Limas. This design reminds me of telephone poles strung together.  Again, creating a full wall of foliage like this can get a bit chancy in a strong wind. The poles are pounded and shimmed in pretty well and it is a fairly protected area.  We’ll see. I didn’t want to be fussing in front of the hives for too long or to be stomping all over the other plants. Tight spot…should have done it earlier.

Almost forgot this one. J attached metal trellis frames to three of the raised beds that he constructed a few years ago. They have held up nicely and, this year, I strung them up for more snap peas.

This year, I didn’t have to trellis pole beans and opted for bush type only this year. I kind of miss those pole beans..next year…

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5 Responses to Trellising

  1. Scargosun says:

    Hello! Saw the article on philly.com and had to stop by. Such a wonderful garden you have! I just read some great posts and learned so much. Looking forward to stopping by often.

  2. michellesaya says:

    Reblogged this on Design For Journalists and commented:
    I absolutely love this! Michaelann Velicky, the Permaculture Designer that appears in the “Deep Roots” video I created, shows us the new support she is providing to her growing green amazingness… Thank you, Michaelann, for doing a blog about what you do, it is so beautiful and inspiring…

  3. michellesaya says:

    Reblogged this on My Ponder Tree and commented:
    I absolutely love this! Michaelann Velicky, the Permaculture Designer that appears in the “Deep Roots” video I created, shows us the new support she is providing to her growing green amazingness… Thank you, Michaelann, for doing a blog about what you do, it is so beautiful and inspiring…

  4. Mandy Levine says:

    I live in the other side of the tracks in Melrose Park and look for excuses to walk my dog past your garden! Like you, I use prunings as plant supports whenever possible. I’m intrigued by your tomato trellis, but haven’t gotten my impatient puppy to hold still long enough to really understand how it’s constructed. I’ll keep strolling by, and maybe one day I’ll run into you while you’re out in the garden.

  5. Pingback: Building a Budget and Eco-Friendly Bamboo Trellis |

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