Saturday, November 28, 2015

Trellis Review

Earlier in the summer, we wrote about a multitude of trellises we were trying; some were based on well-thought-out designs, others were the fastest thing we could put together with what we had on hand.  Now that it's the end of the season, which designs performed well, and which crashed and burned?  Let's take a look.

The only ones that really worked well this year were the woven wire fence ones, which provided good support of the cucumbers and some of the beans, and were really quick and easy to set up.  The only drawback is that they're a pain to clean off at the end of the year, since things wrap around the wires so well.  Cleaning these off should be the perfect justification for building a flame thrower, but Katie doesn't' seem to be completely on board.

Our wooden bean trellis fell over in the wind, and although we could have maybe kept it upright by adding screws (rather than rely on friction) and pounding the legs down into the ground, the beans didn't climb the legs very well anyway (maybe because they had to keep being reset when it tipped over).  In any case, we probably won't do that one again.

Our other bean trellis, the UFO on a stick, did ok.  The beans didn't have trouble climbing the wires, but we just weren't overly thrilled with it.  Katie didn't like it right from the start, so she won't miss this clever and functional (Jake's adjectives), but tacky and less-functional-than-Jake-implies (Katie's words), work of art.

The two-tiered tomato lines didn't do well, mainly because our tomatoes were so stout and bushy this year that they never got tall enough to add cross-pieces like we planned.  But even if they had, we'll probably try to fashion some other design next year.

Similarly, the big tomato trellis was too tall for the stubby little romas.  But it would have done better with our Mr. Stripey tomato, which tendrilled out of control and encroached on the peppers and eggplants.  We'll probably use this trellis again, but be more careful to only plant indeterminate varieties on it.  We'll also position the plants on the outside next time.

What's your favorite trellis design?

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