A trellis for winter squash

2009-05-16

I was calling my trellis the ‘Mother of all trellises” but that was being a little presumptuous. The cyclone fence around the garden was four feet tall and I thought that would be a little small for summer squash. My DW and I love the Butterbush squash and it vines about five or six feet so I wanted to increase the height of the existing fence to six feet high. The problem was the fence producers do not make couplers to extend the height of the corner or line post. I knew there had to be something out there I could use.

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What I found was automotive tail pipe couplers and since line/corner post came at a minimum of six-foot lengths and I would be scraping two feet, so I also used two-foot lengths of tail pipe.

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 I reinstalled the original top rail on top of the extensions.

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The trellis will be holding about 110 to 120 pound of squash so I added a line post in the center of the span.

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I added cross members also to tie in the seams of the panels.

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 I checked Tractor Supply’s web site and they claimed to have cattle panel on stock. After driving 20 miles I found out they only had hog panel. The hog panel is made using the same gage steel and the same size, 36” X 16’ so that is what I used. I wish I had taken a photo before I unloaded the truck. Can you imagine hauling 16’ long panels in a Ranger with a 6” bed? You can see at the far end of the trellis where I added a diagonal support to the corner post. When I finish the fence and gates at the open end, I will also add diagonals at the corner and on the line post. We get some strong summer storms with high winds so a little support will not hurt. As usual, all comments are welcome.    john

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Categories: Square Foot Gardening | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “A trellis for winter squash

  1. Looks very sturdy!

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  2. Melissa

    After looking at the final photo, I don’t think your title of mother of all trellises is at all presumptuous. I just wish I had several of these in my garden.

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  3. Monte

    “Can you imagine hauling 16’ long panels in a Ranger with a 6” bed?”

    I can and do.

    I also have a Ranger and just last month found a TSC store near me and am planning on buying some of these same panels.

    Can you tell me just how you accomplished this seemingly impossible transportation task?

    My current plan was to somehow “drape” the panels over the cab and tie things down as best I can.

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  4. Over the cab and bed but take lots of padding with you and ratchet tie down work well.

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  5. Tracy

    I like your trellis! I have read that when you get the panels, you can make an arch in your truck bed. Put one end of the panel in, and push the other end up over the side of the bed and set in the truck. It then makes an arch in the bed of your truck. Just be careful unloading them as they will spring out.

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  6. Hi there. I am also growing winter squash up a trellis, but now that the fruit is getting big and heavy, gravity is causing them to snap prematurely off the vine. I have seen suggestions to hang the fruit with cloth or pantyhose from the trellis. How did you support your squashes?

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  7. I grow the Butterbush squash which only gets to 1 1/2# and they hang on fine. I have also grown Muskmelons in the 7# range without any problems. John

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