Garden Trellises and Cages for Flowers and Vegetables

Garden trellises and cages are structures that are used to help support vegetables or plants; it is done by tying them onto the trellises or cages or by allowing climbing plants to secure themselves to the structure. Garden trellises can be constructed of vertical, horizontal, or diagonal bars that can be arranged to make a decorative form. These structures can be made of metal, plastic, or wood.

A garden trellis can be a decorative structure for a flower garden. It adds some vertical height as well as the feeling of something that is permanent in the garden. They are easy to maintain and at the same time inexpensive. You can purchase garden arches, wrought iron garden trellises or wooden garden trellises from a garden center and then choose the type of flowers you want. Remember to keep in mind that the vines and flowers will attach themselves tightly around the trellis making it hard to maintain the structure. If you decide on a wooden trellis be sure it is pressure treated. When you choose the flowers and vines make sure you know where your structure is going to be placed so your flowers will receive the proper amount of sunlight and moisture.

Garden trellises and cages are common supports that are used in vegetable gardens.  Vertical vegetable gardening crops such as vegetable garden beans and vegetable garden peas are going to need something tall to climb. The horizontal vegetables such as squash, cucumbers and melons will need trellises lower to the ground to keep the produce straighter and cleaner by keeping them off the ground.

Many varieties of tomato are classified as "indeterminate" which means they will continue to grow all during the season. We want to keep the fruit off the ground and the best way is to support them with a tomato garden trellis, tomato cages, or tomato ladders. Even the "determinate" varieties of tomato, which grow to a certain height, produce all their fruit, and stop growing, will benefit from a tomato trellis or ladder; these trellises keep the fruit cleaner, they are less likely to rot and more free from disease.

Some gardeners that only have small garden areas will bypass the crops that need a lot of space and plant "bush" varieties of squash, cucumbers, and melons. The long-vined varieties of these crops can be grown in small gardens as long as you can train them to grow on garden trellises; the smaller varieties of cucumber, winter squash, and melon that only get to be about 3 pounds will work best.

Garden trellises can also be homemade. They usually are constructed of two vertical supports with a mesh material stretched between them to help support the climbing plants. Metal or wooden stakes need to be pounded into the ground deep enough so the trellis does not fall over in a strong wind. If you pound a six-foot stake a foot into the ground it will give you a five foot high trellis area. You can use a number of materials for the trellis netting or mesh. Plastic is a newer product that can be used as well as the old stand-by chicken wire and galvanized fencing. It is best to use a heavy material for the larger fruited crops and the more vigorous varieties. You can attach the trellis to its supports with staples, nails, lengths of wire or plastic locking ties.

Garden supply manufacturers have recently started to introduce new types of tomato support systems. Heavy-duty square tomato cages are taller than the original conical style cage and will fold flat when not in use. There are sturdy metal spiral structures that will support the main stem of the tomato plant and allow the branches to extend and droop. Plants that are grown on these spiral structures, similar to the plants that are grown on a stake, will need to be pruned and fastened to the support. There is a new plastic coil that is to be fastened to the top of a stake that will allow a tomato plant to grow up the stake while its branches are supported. These newer garden trellises and cage items should work much better than the old conical wire cage, and will be much easier to store away.


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Published on May 04, 2010 at 02:38 PM | Comments (0)

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