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Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone?

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Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Empty Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone?

Post  llama momma on 2/19/2013, 8:29 am

I have been searching for pictures on this forum for a successful cattle panel tomato arch. I'm interested in seeing reinforcement ideas that work with heavy wind.

I plan on the basic 4 ft by 16 ft arch, supported at both bottoms with attached 3 or 4 metal green posts /maybe rebars too, and clamped to the sfg beds. The sfg beds are spaced apart 7 feet. This will bring the top of the arch down to about 6 1/2 feet tall. Has anyone used a horizontal brace inside the top of the arch? I'd like to see that. Or else I'll improvise with something... Also I want to run the tunnel east/westerly to help handle strong westerly winds around here.

I've seen pictures of arches that didn't work. Now I'd love to see what works. Any advice re: any of this is greatly appreciated.


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Post  RoOsTeR on 2/19/2013, 9:22 am

Lm, I don't use arches, however I do use green metal t-posts as support for my cattle panel trellis'. Works great! My panels are between 9-10' tall and we have times of extreme high winds here along the Colorado front range. 50-75mph at times. No problems! I see no reason why the same support wouldn't work for arches. Good luck!
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? 20120811_125447
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? 20120811_125508

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Post  llama momma on 2/19/2013, 11:07 am

Rooster, Thank You so much for the great pictures. Are the green posts 6 footers and attached with wire onto the panels?

I think this idea is better than an arch. Pretty much the same growing space without the concern of the arch collapsing or plants tangling at the top. That's probably some mess to cut down at the end of the season too. Especially for a short person like me. My other concern is for the north side companion plants receiving too much shade from tomatoes. Ok then I choose function over beauty!



Last edited by llama momma on 2/19/2013, 11:09 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : advertisemnt came up on an underlined word then disappeared (?) wanted to let rooster know, oops it came back I can't get rid of this!! help)
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Post  RoOsTeR on 2/19/2013, 11:22 am

Yes 6 footers attached with wire.

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Post  southern gardener on 2/20/2013, 2:46 am

here is our arch. it goes North/South, not East to West like you are wanting. Our plants never grew tall enough to climb, so I can't tell you how it worked, but it did withstand some crazy high winds...

Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Archga10
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Post  camprn on 2/20/2013, 6:17 am

Hey SG, nice arches! How far apart are those beds?

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Post  llama momma on 2/20/2013, 7:24 am

Thanks Rooster.
SouthernG- nice picture. Looks like the bottoms are supported with conduit?
And yes my current imaginary arch would have run east-west to deal with strong storm winds from the west. Can't find any pictures on this forum with a fully loaded 16 ft. arch of heavy plants. So for now I am sticking with Rooster's plan.
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Post  cheyannarach on 2/20/2013, 10:15 am

I had some but I can't find the pictures of the fully loaded arches, just when the plants started to take off... But I loved them and they looked sooo pretty all full of green, like a magical tunnel! I grew canteloupe, sugar baby watermelon, spaghetti squash, and cukes last year on them. I was nice not to have the spot on them from laying on the ground. This year I am growing beans and tomatoes up them! Have fun building llamamama!
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Post  southern gardener on 2/20/2013, 10:47 am

@camprn wrote:Hey SG, nice arches! How far apart are those beds?

Camp: Those particular beds are 4' apart. The top of the trellis is prob 6 1/2 feet? I just had my hubby make them so I could reach without a ladder Smile
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Post  jewlz2121 on 4/25/2013, 9:48 am

@RoOsTeR wrote:Lm, I don't use arches, however I do use green metal t-posts as support for my cattle panel trellis'. Works great! My panels are between 9-10' tall and we have times of extreme high winds here along the Colorado front range. 50-75mph at times. No problems! I see no reason why the same support wouldn't work for arches. Good luck!
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? 20120811_125447
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? 20120811_125508

How deep are your t-posts dug down? Trying to prepare my husband for more hole digging! I'm trying to decide how tall I want my panels to be. Tractor Supply has the 6ft t posts on sale this week. They will be holding mostly tomatos and cucs.
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Post  Lindacol on 4/25/2013, 11:35 am

No hole digging - you need to buy or borrow a post driver.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-Fence-Post-Driver-901147A/202024132#.UXlNHaJO-8A


Last edited by Lindacol on 4/25/2013, 11:38 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add content)
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Post  Lemonie on 4/25/2013, 12:18 pm

I haven't used my arch for tomatoes yet as I try to keep it available for my heavy duty plants like watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin. My tomatoes have done really well on my conduit & netting trellis, but it's also against a fence to give it more support. Here is a pic of my arch between my two 2x3 wicking beds.
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Photo11
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Photo210
This pic shows how I have it attached to the boxes w/ just long, heavy-duty nails that are bent over it to hold it in place. This is the 3rd season with it and haven't had issues with it holding up to storms (though we may not have the gusts here that you have?).
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Post  jewlz2121 on 4/25/2013, 1:01 pm

@Lindacol wrote:No hole digging - you need to buy or borrow a post driver.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-Fence-Post-Driver-901147A/202024132#.UXlNHaJO-8A

Thanks. How deep do you put the t-posts under ground?
And how high are your cattle panel walls?
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Post  Lindacol on 4/25/2013, 3:59 pm

@jewlz2121 wrote:
@Lindacol wrote:No hole digging - you need to buy or borrow a post driver.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-Fence-Post-Driver-901147A/202024132#.UXlNHaJO-8A

Thanks. How deep do you put the t-posts under ground?
And how high are your cattle panel walls?

There is a wider plate about 12 to 18" from the bottom(depending on how long the post is overall). You pound the post in til that plate is in the ground. That gives it a good anchor.
I'm not the original poster but I use various sizes from 4 to 6 ft above the ground for my trellises. I have T posts and cattle panels as also I use them for goat pens.
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Post  Triciasgarden on 4/25/2013, 11:10 pm

All of these are so beautiful! I can only imagine how even more beautiful they all are with plants on them!
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Post  jazzycat on 4/26/2013, 1:21 am

@Lemonie wrote:I haven't used my arch for tomatoes yet as I try to keep it available for my heavy duty plants like watermelon, cantaloupe and pumpkin. My tomatoes have done really well on my conduit & netting trellis, but it's also against a fence to give it more support. Here is a pic of my arch between my two 2x3 wicking beds.
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Photo11
Cattle panel Tomato arch anyone? Photo210
This pic shows how I have it attached to the boxes w/ just long, heavy-duty nails that are bent over it to hold it in place. This is the 3rd season with it and haven't had issues with it holding up to storms (though we may not have the gusts here that you have?).

I have a wicking bed also. I'm curious, how did you build yours?

I'll bet that trellis looks pretty amazing with melons and pumpkins hanging on it! Very Happy
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Post  RoOsTeR on 4/26/2013, 9:06 am

@jewlz2121 wrote:
@Lindacol wrote:No hole digging - you need to buy or borrow a post driver.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/YARDGARD-Fence-Post-Driver-901147A/202024132#.UXlNHaJO-8A

Thanks. How deep do you put the t-posts under ground?
And how high are your cattle panel walls?

jewlz, you can buy the t-posts in different lengths. I typically use 6 footers. There is a spade type deal about 18" inches up or so from the bottom.
http://www.gemplers.com/product/163947/T-style-Fence-Posts?gclid=CJPOu-6y6LYCFVQFMgod_nkAkQ&sku=163947&CID=25SEPLA&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=WEB163946&ef_id=QZ5QLj9reDoAAF1E20130426130444s
You bury it to at least below that. And yes, you definitely need a driver to pound them in. They can be very difficult to remove once in though. To remove them, I attach a chain to the bucket of my tractor and lift them out. There are other devices sold to remove them, but that's the economical and easiest way for me.

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Post  CapeCoddess on 4/26/2013, 10:52 am

Gadz Rooster, you must have some hard azz ground. My posts go in easily with a hammer and come out when wiggled back and forth. Of course I live on a sand bar... Rolling Eyes

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Post  slimbolen99 on 4/26/2013, 1:00 pm

Great ideas on the arching trellis' between the planter boxes. Will have to give that a try next year!
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Post  Lemonie on 4/26/2013, 4:05 pm

@jazzycat wrote:I have a wicking bed also. I'm curious, how did you build yours?

I'll bet that trellis looks pretty amazing with melons and pumpkins hanging on it! Very Happy
Not to hijack the thread, but I used large yogurt containers in those small beds for the wicks. I drilled lots of small holes in them and then stuffed them with old foam cushion pieces because our neighbor reupholsters and throws it out all the time. The boxes are completely lined in plastic (though needs to be replaced soon) and there is an overflow hole on the back of the box. The design has worked well, but I think I will use the black 8mil plastic from now on as it seems to hold up better to inclement weather damage. I also have two, 2x12 wicking beds and it's a true time and water saver for me as I'm a bit of a negligent gardener. Embarassed
The arch itself is beautiful when full....though we have to walk through it very slowly in the morning when the bees around.
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Post  jazzycat on 4/26/2013, 4:19 pm

@Lemonie wrote:
@jazzycat wrote:I have a wicking bed also. I'm curious, how did you build yours?

I'll bet that trellis looks pretty amazing with melons and pumpkins hanging on it! Very Happy
Not to hijack the thread, but I used large yogurt containers in those small beds for the wicks. I drilled lots of small holes in them and then stuffed them with old foam cushion pieces because our neighbor reupholsters and throws it out all the time. The boxes are completely lined in plastic (though needs to be replaced soon) and there is an overflow hole on the back of the box. The design has worked well, but I think I will use the black 8mil plastic from now on as it seems to hold up better to inclement weather damage. I also have two, 2x12 wicking beds and it's a true time and water saver for me as I'm a bit of a negligent gardener. Embarassed
The arch itself is beautiful when full....though we have to walk through it very slowly in the morning when the bees around.

hahaha Do you have any photos of it when it's full with fruit? I would LOVE to see that! Very Happy Do you support the heavy pumpkins with something tied underneath them? Or do they hang fine on their own? I'm growing some melons (cantaloupe and watermelon), so I'm going to have to come up with some kind of way to support them. This trellis idea seems like a pretty good one. Will it support watermelons, do you think? How many plants per square did you use? And what did you plant in the front squares? Some greens or something? (sorry for all the questions)

My wicking bed is also working great so far. Yesterday I added water for the first time, even though it probably wasn't necessary yet. I'm shocked at how well the plants are doing in that bed! What a Face
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Post  Lemonie on 4/26/2013, 4:40 pm

@jazzycat wrote: hahaha Do you have any photos of it when it's full with fruit? I would LOVE to see that! Very Happy Do you support the heavy pumpkins with something tied underneath them? Or do they hang fine on their own? I'm growing some melons (cantaloupe and watermelon), so I'm going to have to come up with some kind of way to support them. This trellis idea seems like a pretty good one. Will it support watermelons, do you think? How many plants per square did you use? And what did you plant in the front squares? Some greens or something? (sorry for all the questions)

My wicking bed is also working great so far. Yesterday I added water for the first time, even though it probably wasn't necessary yet. I'm shocked at how well the plants are doing in that bed! What a Face

Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of it in bloom. This year, I am trying to have some cold crops (snap peas, lettuce, kale, cabbage) close to the arch and my melons/pumpkins in the back squares...trying this in hopes that the vines may shade and lengthen the harvest of cold crops and also make it easier to manage their huge leaves. As the cold crops are spent, I will pull them out and they other plants will have about 2sq/ea. I also have green beans in the front corners as they really take off and cover the arch. and nasturtium and marigold are about to go in right behind them. I really need to make sure I get pics this year!
I do support the large fruits with mesh bags (like from buying oranges) when I feel I need to...but most of mine are small varieties and haven't needed much.
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