T-Frames – Placement in 4′-Wide Boxes

Q.  Where do I place my T-Frames in my containers that are 4′ wide? 
A.  If putting T’s in a 4′-wide box you place them inside the box but at the outside edges.  That way there is 16″ between the T’s in the middle of the box, and with a 3 1/2′ aisle (which is the minimum you need in this case) you end up with 14″ between the T’s in the middle of the aisle.  Always place 4 T-s in a 30′-long bed or box – 10′ apart.
If you build the PVC arches and cover with plastic to extend your season, the plastic doesn’t come straight down, but would be angled back in toward the box at the bottom, so a person can walk down the aisles.



How do I build the T-Frames you recommend for vertical growing?

Graphically illustrated instructions for building and installing T-Frames are contained in the Mittleider Gardening Course – advanced section, Chapter 15, as well as other books. Here are the “guts” of it. For a 30′ Soil-Bed or Grow-Box, buy 6 – 8′ treated 4 X 4’s. Cut two of them into 6 equal-sized pieces 32″ long. Four 32″ lengths become the top of the T.

The other two 32″ 4 X 4 lengths then are cut into 4 equal-sized braces using 45 degree-angle cuts as follows: Measure and mark 10 5/8″ along the bottom edge, then 3 5/8″, then 10 5/8″, then 3 5/8″. On the top edge, measure and mark 3 1/2″, then 3 5/8″, then 10 5/8″, then 3 5/8″. Draw lines between these marks, then, using a table saw, cut on the lines.

Pre-drill through the top center of the 32″ tops, then use a 6″ spike to nail into the 8′ post. Screw or nail the braces to the top and post. Bury 15″ in the ground at 10′ (or shorter) intervals.

Use #8 gage wire and eyebolts between the T-Frames, or use 1/2″ galvanized pipe (held in place by two nails). If you want to extend the growing season, use 2 X 4’s on edge, and make an arched canopy with 3/4″ PVC and 45 degree Slip fittings every 2′, then cover in early Spring and late Fall with 6 mil clear plastic.