The Trellis

by A.J. Coltrane

This year we thought we might try a vining zucchini, with the idea that a vining type may do better in the EarthBoxes, and that it may represent a more efficient use of patio space. The variety we’re targeting is “Tromboncino”. It’s supposed to be relatively resistant to powdery mildew and many other things that tend to plague squash. The vines grow to about 6-8 feet, so today I finished the trellis:

140501 trellis

It’s big. Like, really big — it’s 4′ wide by almost 8′ high. I think it’s going  to need to live in the back corner of the patio so that it doesn’t shade everything else out.

A picture of “Tromboncino” from the Territorial Seed Co. website:

territorial seed tromboncino

(“Tromboncino” Wikipedia page here. Territorial Seed Co. page here.)

I basically copied this design from the EarthBox forums. This EarthBox forums – “Trellis Design Gallery” link has some interesting  ideas as well.

8 thoughts on “The Trellis

  1. I would recommend setting out a couple of cinder blocks about 15′ to front and back, and tying the top corners to the blocks like guy wires. Get something growing up that, and first stiff breeze the whole thing’s going to fall over.

    I just put up the trellises on my EarthBoxes (I used the ones EB sells–I’m lazy that way), and even at that low height (ca. 7′ tall) I know I need to use some stakes and guys to keep them stable.



  2. Well, I’d like to think that tying it down isn’t going to be needed. The main difference between this A-frame trellis and the EB trellis is that the A-frame has a naturally wide stance. It’s about 4′ across at the bottom, and we can make it wider if we choose to.

    That, and much of the weight is going to be in the bottom 3-5′ feet or so.

    I’m doubting it’s going to want to “go anywhere”, but I guess we’ll see. (The tomatoes didn’t blow over last year even though we had some windy days — they became one big interlocked viney mess, which I’m sure helped the stability.)

    Actually, the main thing I want to do to it is to run either twine or a chain somewhere near ground level between the uprights so that the A-frame doesn’t “walk” or try to shift to an even wider stance.

    Point noted though.


  3. Okay, I can see that, once the plants have a grasp on the trellis, the weight of the climbing plants will keep the center of gravity down. That makes sense. I’d think that a sandbag would solve your “walking” problem, plus add stability until such time as the vines do their work.


  4. Good idea. We have spare concrete blocks, I’ll just stick one on the outside of each leg. If we wind up tripping over them then I’ll use twine or chain instead.


  5. I had no idea about vining zucchini. I love this as I have been wanting to plant zucchini but didn’t think they would do well in my boxes. Thank you!


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