Instructables

The ULTIMATE Tomato Hoop House Trellis of Death and Dismemberment

Picture of The ULTIMATE Tomato Hoop House Trellis of Death and Dismemberment
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Perhaps the title is a little dramatic, but this is a killer trellis!!  The hoop house was about $100 in materials (all purchased from a big box store), which certainly seems like a lot, but this thing is BIG!  It's about 7' wide, 10' long, and 7' high. 

The materials used in this project are weather resistant, UV resistant, and rust resistant which means it can be left in place for years, and the fencing material allows a great deal of light to hit the ground allowing for ground crops if vines aren't desired one season or another.  Additionally, shade cloth can be attached to the hoops to prevent burning for any crops that don't particularly love full sun in certain climates.

The goal of this project was to create a trellis for growing tomatoes that is sturdy and inexpensive for the amount of crops that can be grown and that allows a lot of air flow, sunlight, and easy access for picking fruit and maneuvering the vines.  Although we did this for tomatoes, this trellis isn't limited to that particular crop.  Just imagine this thing covered in cucumbers and sweet peas!

Materials:
  • 1 1/4"x10' UV resistant electrical pvc pipe (x3)
  • 3/4"x10' UV resistant electrical pvc pipe with connectable ends (x10)
  • PVC plumbing adhesive
  • 3'x50' Galvanized welded wire fence (x2)
  • Pack of rebar ties

Tools:
  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Saw
  • Wire cutters
  • Gloves
  • Sledge hammer
  • Scrap piece of 2x4

Method:
  1. Prep the soil for growing your crop.
  2. Glue 2 lengths of the 3/4" pipe together (repeat 4 more times to get five 20' long pipes) and allow to cure for 24 hours.
  3. Cut the 1 1/4" pipe to 2 1/2' lengths.
  4. Measure a 10' by 7' area and create line guides making sure to square the corners.
  5. At 2' intervals along the long side of the measured area, pound the 1 1/4" pipe into the ground using a piece of 2x4 for cushioning so as not to damage the pipe.
  6. Insert the 3/4" pipe into the 1 1/4" pipes creating the hoop.
  7. Span the wire fence over the hoops and attach the fence to the pipe using rebar ties.
  8. Plant your vegetables or ornamentals or whatever!  Have fun and enjoy!
jmsamr5 months ago
AngryRedhead did you find that you needed and lateral support when the trellis became laden with plant growth? I am going to use your instructable and was just wondering if the trellis needed a support backbone or if the galvanized mesh holds it in place pretty good.
Thanks
Looks awesome!
AngryRedhead (author)  jmsamr5 months ago

I can't say that I tested the full extent of what it would hold, but it seemed fine. The fencing material held quite well and didn't allow movement or swing, but I wasn't growing loofah on it. The most irritating issue I encountered was fruit growing on the wrong side or getting stuck in the fencing, and if I were to do it over, I'd beef up the pvc and go with a fencing that had larger gaps (e.g., hog wire). I'd probably also lower it so it was still possible to get inside but everything was easier to reach. Maybe 5' tall (I'm 5'3") rather than 6'+.

A few other people have created trellises like this, so it's probably worthwhile seeing how they did it.

kz11 year ago
Crop rotation is a non issue if using self-watering containers to grow the plants. This is a great trellis idea and will work for a number of plants. Positioned in relation to prevailing winds, it would create a nice breezy cool spot in the garden. Great idea.
ToniB2 years ago
I was wondering how you were making out with your trellis. My plants are getting gigantic and I've been looking for something that works better than the cages and trellises that seem to be falling "short". Got any recent pics?
coptician2 years ago
Great concept with one caveat: It places your tomatoes in the same place in your garden year after year. Not good for soil health and disease control.
AngryRedhead (author)  coptician2 years ago
Tomatoes can be rotated using a square foot system of crop rotation and other crops can be grown such as cucumbers, loofah, and peas.  Also, I'm considering installing another one (or two).  Either way, the principles of crop rotation can still be applied.
Creativeman2 years ago
Great concept, AR!
AngryRedhead (author)  Creativeman2 years ago
Thanks!  I was fed up with other trellis/cage methods, and I think this one will resolve those issues.
Let us know how it works out, OK?