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Post  AvaDGardner 2/17/2012, 11:16 pm

I've got my boxes, and now I need to look at trellis systems.

How do you build those metal conduit trellises? How do you bend conduit? How do you connect conduit?

I've been looking and asking around the hardware depot and I think the staff was trying to scare me...talking about bending conduit as an art form, a massive tool, etc. It looks too simple to be that complicated.

The netting I've got, although I don't know how to attach it to metal.

How do you anchor it?

I've used all sorts of things in the past - cages, wire systems, drilled wood with bamboo systems. None where in SFG and the wood system worked best (plenty tall, completely adjustable to your needs with removable bamboo sides, no scratches from exposed wires), but the wood rotted over time.

It's the last thing I need to build.
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Post  Lindacol 2/17/2012, 11:46 pm

AvaDGardner wrote:I've got my boxes, and now I need to look at trellis systems.

How do you build those metal conduit trellises? How do you bend conduit? How do you connect conduit?

I've been looking and asking around the hardware depot and I think the staff was trying to scare me...talking about bending conduit as an art form, a massive tool, etc. It looks too simple to be that complicated.

The netting I've got, although I don't know how to attach it to metal.

How do you anchor it?

I've used all sorts of things in the past - cages, wire systems, drilled wood with bamboo systems. None where in SFG and the wood system worked best (plenty tall, completely adjustable to your needs with removable bamboo sides, no scratches from exposed wires), but the wood rotted over time.

It's the last thing I need to build.

The basic instructions are in the SNSFG book 2006 edition but using the search function of this forum, searching for trellises yields 10 pages of results. Here are a couple of threads to get you started:

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t9223-vertical-gardening-structures#85557

https://squarefoot.forumotion.com/t1980-t-connector-and-elbow-substitute-for-conduit#13565
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Post  Furbalsmom 2/18/2012, 1:38 am

How do you build those metal conduit trellises? How do you bend conduit? How do you connect conduit?

I've been looking and asking around the hardware depot and I think the staff was trying to scare me...talking about bending conduit as an art form, a massive tool, etc. It looks too simple to be that complicated.

The netting I've got, although I don't know how to attach it to metal.

How do you anchor it?

See pages 148 thru 151 of ANSFG.

I built my trellis using the electrical conduit and 90 degree connectors shown in the book, rather than bending the conduit. They just screw on to make the joints. Very secure.

I placed the netting on the conduit by weaving the top piece of the conduit through the open weave of the nylon net, then wove each leg through the left side and right side, before adding the 90 degree connectors. Once they were attached, I did add a few zip-straps as additional security. It may be easier to just weave the legs through the sides and zip tie the top of the nylon net to the top piece of the conduit.

I anchored the conduit on rebar. Because I have table tops, I also used a conduit strap to anchor the trellises to the side of the table. Trellises Img_0911
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/18/2012, 2:04 am

What is a zip tie? A cable tie?

Where is the rebar...inside the conduit?

I should have the book at 10 tomorrow...glad to know the details are there. I've been reading the older thread on trellises (and your post on your netting).

Great stuff.
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Post  floyd1440 2/18/2012, 7:17 am

AvaDGardner wrote:What is a zip tie? A cable tie?

Where is the rebar...inside the conduit?

I should have the book at 10 tomorrow...glad to know the details are there. I've been reading the older thread on trellises (and your post on your netting).

Great stuff.



Zip ties are plastic and come in different sizes and are usually white. You can get them at most hardware stores and are not expensive.

Yes the rebar is inside the conduit as it gives it support which is why you drive it into the ground and slide the conduit over. If you are concerned about the fit and go to one of those big box store, just take a small piece of rebar and make SURE it firs inside the conduit.

Hope this helps
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Post  TN_GARDENER 2/18/2012, 8:07 am

U have several options for when it comes to buying pipe connections.

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Post  camprn 2/18/2012, 8:35 am

Thanks for the photos TN! What a Face

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Post  Furbalsmom 2/18/2012, 11:59 am

Yes, Thank you TN. I used the connector shown in the first photo, it was several dollars less expensive than the one I consider typical, the bent looking one from the center of the right side of the bottom photo. I did make sure the connector did not have threads, as the conduit is smooth, not threaded.
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Post  boffer 2/18/2012, 12:07 pm

There're some other ideas here.

This is a cheap solution; free storage as a bonus! Wink
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/18/2012, 4:14 pm

I had the book in my hands by 10:10...

If a zip tie has the ridged teeth on it that lock into place when tight, yep, that's my cable tie. I found I have 2 paks of 3 sizes in deep green in my garden chest. I have no idea when I bought them (although carbon dating the dust on them might tell us!)

Thanks for the many photos. Great ideas.

Boffer, what would you store in the electrical box...your coffee mug?
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Post  quiltbea 2/18/2012, 5:27 pm

I took the easy route. I bought metal fence posts and pounded one at each north corner of my beds. That way I can attach netting for peas and beans and string for my tomatoes.

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They come in assorted lengths so there's bound to be one that suits everyone. It was so simple.
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/18/2012, 6:52 pm

I posted My Garden Adventure, 2012 under SFG Plans. You can see my set up there.

I'm going to need 10' long trellises!

The frame shouldn't be difficult, but the netting might be.
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Post  camprn 2/18/2012, 7:00 pm

AvaDGardner wrote:I'm going to need 10' long trellises! The frame shouldn't be difficult, but the netting might be.
I hand weave the net of my 10' trellis.

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Post  floyd1440 2/18/2012, 7:27 pm

I purchased mine from Johnny's as some was on sale! It is 7x7 and is nylon and seems strong and hope it lasts for years.

My trellis is 4x8 and when it get's a little warmer out I will put it up. Trellises 3170584802
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Post  landarch 2/18/2012, 9:33 pm

I am trying these simple 90 degree rigid pvc sleeves for connections on my first trellis...just push onto the conduit for a nice tight fit...no screws to mess with. They are just under $2 each at Home Depot.

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Post  AvaDGardner 2/18/2012, 11:24 pm

Okay...I'm going to need some visual help here.

Or maybe I'm just dense.

In the book, he talks about plant supports on pg 77, and my brain is spinning. I don't understand what he's talking about. I thought for CERTAIN there would be photos!

Just like I'm not visualizing the corn cages.

Or where you find cheese cloth large enough to cover your hoop...do you sew it together? Get it at a fabric store?

I'm looking at the photo on pg 76, and thinking...how does the covered wagon protect the vertical plants on the trellis?

Being in the city, I don't know what kind of critters we have. I live next to a water channel, so I see the occasional opossum. And stray cats. But the garden is 2.5 miles away, with no water channel near by...but is bordered by a 6-lane road.

Cats, yes.
Birds, yes (especially green parrots at 5pm).
Anything else? Clueless.

No one is using protection...yet.

Sigh...another blow to my plant placement! Good thing I haven't put them in! LOL
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Post  Cincinnati 2/18/2012, 11:38 pm

I used 90 degree connectors on my conduit frames. If I had it to do over, I'd bend the conduit for the simple fact that my frames rapidly became too expensive.

I used 6" or 7" nylon mesh on my original frames. I've converted my tomato trellises to a single string that I wrap the plant around as it grows.
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Post  Lindacol 2/18/2012, 11:59 pm

AvaDGardner wrote:Okay...I'm going to need some visual help here.

Or maybe I'm just dense.

In the book, he talks about plant supports on pg 77, and my brain is spinning. I don't understand what he's talking about. I thought for CERTAIN there would be photos!

Just like I'm not visualizing the corn cages.

Or where you find cheese cloth large enough to cover your hoop...do you sew it together? Get it at a fabric store?

I'm looking at the photo on pg 76, and thinking...how does the covered wagon protect the vertical plants on the trellis?

Being in the city, I don't know what kind of critters we have. I live next to a water channel, so I see the occasional opossum. And stray cats. But the garden is 2.5 miles away, with no water channel near by...but is bordered by a 6-lane road.

Cats, yes.
Birds, yes (especially green parrots at 5pm).
Anything else? Clueless.

No one is using protection...yet.

Sigh...another blow to my plant placement! Good thing I haven't put them in! LOL

Skip ahead in the book to page 145 - Vertical Gardening - there is lots more info on building trellises.

As for critters, ask some of the more experienced community gardeners what they have encountered. Every area is different. I have gophers so I have wire bottoms on all my beds. Rabbits & squirrels weren't too bad last year. And I have my dogs fenced out of the garden.
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Post  walshevak 2/19/2012, 6:06 am

Cincinnati wrote:I used 90 degree connectors on my conduit frames. If I had it to do over, I'd bend the conduit for the simple fact that my frames rapidly became too expensive.

I used 6" or 7" nylon mesh on my original frames. I've converted my tomato trellises to a single string that I wrap the plant around as it grows.

Ninety degree PVC connectors are a lot cheaper and can be used on EMT if you use a metal drill bit. Saved a lot doing it this way. As the guy at Lowes and I agreed, we aren't building to code, just putting up a trellis. The trellis stood through a hurricane, but it's companion succumbed to a tree falling on it. Not the connector, the EMT itself bent. BTW, I'm a bit construction challenged, and I managed this.

Trellises Imgp1512

The trick is to put the connector on the emt and drill through both at the same time. I also found pushing the bolt through on the other side as I was removing the drill bit kept the hole aligned. It was frustrating the time they slipped apart to get the two pieces back in alignment.

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Post  llama momma 2/19/2012, 7:39 am

AvaDGGardener You want to see a corn cage picture??
You can see mine. Click onto the Gallery at the top of this page. Then click Showcase of Gardens. It's right there in the top row.

As for your page 77 dilemma. I don't have a picture but maybe I can say it in a different way, sometimes that helps. It is a Horizontal or Flat support for plants. That's all. Think of a trellis laying Flat Very Happy You want a funny visual?
Ok then your support is Not like this l
But like this ----
So you would attach your trellis material Flat. Attach it to your choice of vertical pole or post. Your plants grow happily right through it. Oh, I hope this helps!
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/19/2012, 11:53 am

LOL...that's great!

So what is it like when it comes time to take out the plants? Aren't they all tangled up in the nylon netting? Do you cut out the netting and replace it next year?

DH is going to love this thread.
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Post  llama momma 2/19/2012, 12:48 pm

You would cut the plants off the trellis material. The same way as with a vertical trellis. Or toss it out completely and replace the whole thing another time. My vertical trellis was a mess with tomatoes, cukes, and green beans all tangled up. Yes it was annoying to cut them all apart to save the trellis netting. Then had a bright idea. Went in the house had a quick Geo. Killians, then I didn't care anymore, went back outside with a smile and trimmed away..... Trellises 3170584802 and saved the trellis netting for another season.


Last edited by llama momma on 2/19/2012, 1:12 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : try to clarify..)
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Post  AvaDGardner 2/19/2012, 1:09 pm

that's what I thought while reading the book. After intertwining it would be a mess to remove.

When I've done climbers before I had cages around them and attached them to it with pieces of old nylons. Works great because the nylon gives with the growth and then you just untie and the vines just drop. Another way to recycle & reuse!
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Post  llama momma 2/19/2012, 1:15 pm

Ah yes but I think the whole beautiful point of a trellis is that you train a huge plant in only one square, up and away on the north side of your bed. It won't shade out any of the other plants and gives you a load of production at the same time.
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Post  Furbalsmom 2/19/2012, 1:18 pm

I have used some of my nylon netting over the past three years and it is still strong for this year.

I cut the vines at the bottom, let them dry a bit and just yank them out of the netting. Now the netting is ready for next year. Last year I tried to attach pink string at the bottom of the trellis and lay it over the square, hoping the peas would latch on by themselves and grow over to the trellis, which is on the back side of the North squares. It did not seem to make a difference, still had to start the peas onto the trellis by hand.

This trellis is woven onto the uprights of the conduit, then zip tied to the frame to keep the netting taut.

Pea Trellis 2011

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