Tuesday, August 5, 2008
When you grow plants like tomatoes or cucumbers or even peppers you need to support them. This requires a support structure of some kind. When I was first starting out I used an A-Frame but that really doesn't work too well because it draws the top of the plants together. You get enough of a jungle as it is, but if you force the plants together then you get such a tangle that finding the fruit can be an adventure.
So what's the solution? Well you'd like something that goes straight up, but it has to be able to handle a fair amount of weight. I've never actually estimated it, but it might end up being almost a hundred pounds, certainly over fifty per channel.
The solution that I finally came up with was thin-walled conduit. I drop 3/4 inch conduit into 1" conduit supports and then run cross beams of 3/4" conduit by joining it with 90 degree 1" conduit bends. Then I cross brace with 1/2" conduit held in place by wrapping it with those small bungie cords. The picture at right shows what my overhead structure looks like on a fairly large NFT system in the backyard.