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I've decided I want trellises between my central raised beds to improve not only my use of vertical space but also to create a nice space below (and make harvesting a little easier for climbers). So yesterday I popped to Bunnings, found a few garden stakes, u nails and some wire mesh and knocked this in over the course of the day. It's quite secure (though we'll need a good storm to really test it) but light weight so would need additional support to hold anything heavier than beans, but this was only the first test so I'll improve the design soon. I wanted to diy rather than paying the huge costs it would have taken to buy something pre-made.
Any suggestions on improving the design I'm keen to hear, so don't be shy.

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Comment by Dave Riley on January 25, 2019 at 3:52

I gave up on trellises generally -- and switched to a ladder approach. Easier to manage and work around. Mobile. Single plant adapted.

Indeed these ladders are my 'shade cloth' which still enable direct sunshine occasionally thru each day as the sun moves across the sky.

The other advantage of the ladders -- and aerial lines -- is that any climber can be trimmed with a pair of garden scissors. Since I water-from-above -- using sprinklers -- there is no significant rain shadow, like you get with trellises.

I've just run a few aerial lines criss-cross over the chook pen with vigorous choko coverage. Not that I need even more chokoes but as a means to keep wild birds out and the chickens cool.

In your photo:Beans on the right? Snake beans? I'm sure that design will work well.

If you can find a stand of feral bamboo -- that's a handy rig resource. But I'll use any stick or pole -- but you do need a  latticing strip to encourage adhesion and climbing.

Just saying, if the green Bunnings uprights are of the hollow type, I've found them prone to bending and later breakingwith continued use. In your context I'd suggest  the high star posts instead -- but buy them at a fencing supplier and not Bunnings as they are too expensive there.

Star post are relentlessly re-useable. Over 2 metres is a versatile height. Just cap the top to protect your shade cloth from abrasion.

The other trick I've learnt is that wire mesh is preferable to other materials because when I run it up a pole in strips 30 or so centimetres wide, I can bend the its sides to curl around the stem of the climber. This gives excellent support.

That doesn't suit your trellis design ... but you could snip the mesh in some selected sections for that purpose.

But you won't need to encourage Snake Beans as they are dedicated climbers and hang on like the Boston Strangler .

The thing about trellising is that once you have grown plants up it and harvested whatever, how do you use it again? Not a good idea to replant beans in the same spot. With my poles and ladders I simply move the rig to another place for another plant to climb or clamber up.

In your case I'm thinking that maybe if you standardized the design so that you could shift it from one bed to another. So using a more durable upright like a star posts makes sense.

Also the mesh running parallel to the ground at the top could be replaced with cheap ropes -- 'aerials' --so that the upright trellising could be designed as standalone vertical panels. When the plant grew beyond the trellis height you give it a rope to hang onto.

I have chokoes, gourds, Tromboncinoes, Madagascar Beans, Tomatoes, Roma Beans... clamberering along ropes roughly 2 metres from -- and parallel to -- the ground.Cheap Polypropylene works fine: not for something to climb UP  against gravity(as there is no adhesion) but for a vine to twine along.

Comment by Susan on January 24, 2019 at 23:06

Check out roots and refuge vlogs on YouTube.  Jess has really sturdy trellises made out of some sort of wire that looks great too.  Just a suggestion for something to look at for ideas 

Comment by Valerie on January 24, 2019 at 21:18

That looks good. Did you see the free trampoline frame in the other discussion?

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