Friday, June 12, 2009

Trellis Progress

I've made some progress with my trellis situation this week. I stayed with essentially the same plan but I changed how it's put together. My original plan was to build 4 individual rectangles to go over the bed. Once I built the first one, I felt it was not going to be sufficient once the beans & tomatoes started getting tall.

Here's what I ended up building...


While it looks very similar to what I had planned, I made some real changes to how I built it. This one is built in sections that run down the sides, not over the bed, which makes it much less dangerous (for the plants) during installation. The 4 uprights have a loop of pipe strap at the top which is how they're attached to the top horizontal piece. Having the uprights loosely attached made it easier to adjust placement (read: lots of wiggle room!). I marked where I wanted them on the side of the bed, attached with one screw to hold the height, straightened them out and added a second screw in the bottom. I then put up the other side the same way. I put the overhead cross pieces on last. There are 2 at the tomato end to run string from. There's one at the pole bean end just for visual balance and a little extra support. I'm going to run horizontal lines for the beans similar to the peas but a little more heavy duty (and neater) as they'll be there much longer than the peas.

I also decided to use my scavenged ladder for the Small Wonder spaghetti squash and Small Sugar pumpkins. The ladder is not safe for use anymore so it's got a new purpose. I picked this up free on Craigslist this spring. I also added a few cross pieces to it. These were also scavenged. They were attached to the stairs we re-purposed so I wouldn't have to jump off the retaining wall anymore (or go the long way around) to get to the garden. All last summer, I used a bale of straw as a step (still had to jump down, just not as far). By fall, my step was getting lower and lower...

Anyway, I have a little pile of these 2x2's from the stairs and I was happy to finally find a use for at least a few of them. This poor ladder will look like a jungle by fall I suspect. I did put a couple screws in each side to attach it to the bed so (hopefully) it won't come crashing down in a storm.

I still have to add something for the cukes, patty pan squash and watermelon (if they ever sprout - I had one weak start but it died shortly after transplanting) .

Speaking of spaghetti squash, here's why I was getting anxious about a trellis here...

I know, it's not huge, but it's growing pretty quick. It's sending out tendrils and if you look to the right of the photo, there's a female bloom about to open. Luckily, the bloom on the left appears to be male. I'm surprised how quickly this one bloomed. The spaghetti squash and pumpkin are the farthest along of my vining plants. The cukes & patty pan are hanging in but are smaller. The watermelon is non-existent. The zucchini seem to be starting to show some growth now as well.

The potatoes in the bin didn't put on a huge amount of height this week but they are filling out more. I'll add another board soon. I've added some straw to nearly all the potatoes this week. . Some are growing faster than others, but most seem to be in good shape. The only variety that seems to be doing poorly is Viking.

These are Red Pontiac, a late season variety.


When reading about growing strawberries, I read conflicting information about what to do with Junebearing strawberries. Some sources say pluck the blooms the first year, others say leave them. I even read that they won't produce the first year. Unless that last bit refers to runners that are sprouted in the summer, I'd call it false information.

This is one of the Honeoye I planted this spring. I decided to learn for myself what the best way to handle the blooms was. I plucked blooms off half the plants and let the other half go. I have 4-6 berries started on the ones I let the flowers grow. I'm planning to allow limited runners this summer. I want the bed to fill in but I want to (try to) avoid total chaos. We'll see how that goes...

7 comments:

Engineeredgarden said...

Those will work well, for trellising the veggies. The ladder is a cool, rustic addition to the garden!

Ribbit said...

It all looks great!!! I just love the idea of using that ladder.

GrafixMuse said...

Great trellis setup. I too love the ladder and can't wait to see the spaghetti squash growing all over it.

Amy said...

Thanks! I'm glad the neighbor who can see it from their house likes it too! They were almost inspired to buy a tomato plant last weekend (but not quite).

I saw a second female squash blossom today. We'll see if anything comes of it, but I'm thinking this may be a prolific plant.

Just Jenn said...

The trellis looks good n' sturdy - it came out nice! Also love the repurposed latter - that's pretty cool. =)

rachel said...

Love the ladder. Free stuff is my favorite kinda stuff! Plus it's cool to be able to repurpose stuff that would've gone in the dump.

I've been kinda disappointed in the flavor of my strawberries. We bought some Everberry plants earlier this year, and probably about 75% of the berries have been sour. :(

Amy said...

Thanks Jenn & Rachel! Free is my favorite too and I like to save things from the landfill if I can.

I saw the first blush of color on my berries yesterday and the birds got them today. :-(
More will be coming soon though.