Monday, July 2, 2012

Using Remesh for a Trellis

The week of June 26th, the full sized indeterminate tomatoes, planted in the square foot garden plot, were of a size that demanded support. The weight of the fruit pulled the vine down to its natural growing position on the ground. Because the small surface area of square foot garden, vining plants must be grown vertically.

A second trellis was always in the garden plan. As with the first trellis, recycled materials were planned to be utilized. However, suitable recyclable material with which to construct the trellis was not forthcoming. That material just never materialized. The tomato plants were beginning to spread along the soil surface. A trellis was needed immediately.

 42" x 84" Mesh Sheet

A piece of remesh was purchased to make the second trellis. Remesh is concrete reinforcing wire mesh with 6"/15cm spacings. That spacing allows a hand to pass through in order to pick ripe fruit. Any spacing smaller than 6"/15cm is not recommended.

Photographed in late April
Earlier in the spring, two wooden frames were constructed using 2"x2" (50mm x 50mm) lumber and some plywood gussets. Only one of those frames received a wire grid as you can see in the above photograph. The grid was saved from the trash at Lowe's, zero cost to me. The time had arrived to add wire to the second frame. Wire that needed to be purchased.

To start the project both wooden frames were removed from the plot. Each was supported by two 6'/1.2m lengths of 1/2"/13mm concrete reinforcing bars driven several feet into the ground. Each leg of the frames was tied in two places to the rebar using rebar tie wire. The first wire several inches above ground level and the other wire a few inches below the top of the rebar.

The frame with the Lowe's rug grid was moved to the center dissecting the plot north to south. The two rebars supporting the frame were pulled from the earth and again driven several feet into the earth at the center of the plot. Rebar tie wire was again used to secure the frame to the rebars.

The second frame was placed flat onto the patio concrete. The remesh was laid upon the frame with the bottom of the remesh about 6"/15cm above the bottom ends of the frame legs. The 6"/15cm allowed for some room for uneven soil. The cucumber and melon vines will be able to span that 6"/15cm between the soil and the remesh.

Three screws were inserted into the middle of the 2"/50mm width of the bottom wooden cross brace of the frame. The spacing wasn't critical. Eyeballing the center, left to right, a screw was driven into the wood leaving enough screw exposed to allow the wire between the head of the screw and the wood. Two additional screws were inserted into the wood, as above, 12"/30cm out from the center screw in each direction. Repeat the same on the top wooden cross brace. These six screws will support the weight of the remesh and the weight of the vines and fruit.

Two correct sized fender washers are encircled. Also in the photograph are the screw , small washer and larger  holed fender washers.

To keep the remesh in that position required several more screws, each with an a fender washer. Fender washers have small center holes compared to the overall width of the washer. Four fender washers were found a pile of saved hardware in the garage. However, only two of the four fender washers were the correct size. The holes in the other two were larger than the head of the screws. The larger holes would allow the head of the screws to pass though. Something had to be done in order to use the larger fender washers.

In the same pile of unused hardware were found small washers that would not allow the heads of the screws through but were too small to hold the remesh on the frame. These smaller washers were first placed on the screws followed by the larger holed fender washers. Then the four screws and with fender washers were driven into the wood above the wire to hold the remesh onto the frame. 

Explanation of the above photograph to follow.

Once the remesh was attached the frame was wired to the rebar as described above. Two trellises were now in place in the square foot garden plot, ready to support tomatoes, cucumber and melon vines. 

©Damyon T. Verbo - all rights reserved


  1. how nice blog post. i like it so much. thanks for your sharing.
    rebar reinforcement

  2. I've read your post "Using Remesh for a Trellis". Good job Damyon!


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