Vining veggies

Besides finishing a drip irrigation system, I have also more than doubled my gardening space, with a new, full sun, 25X25 area in very sandy soil (Zone 5.5, SE MI). The area consists of two walk-in tunnels/hoophouses made of rebar, so I can keep gardening in the cold months under cover.
Now it has occurred to me that the rebar is also a strong trellis so that for the first time I can contemplate growing vining veggies during the warm season (in fact, standing inside the tunnel, the vine comes towards you as it grows up the rebar). So far I had avoided vines due to lack of space - zucchini may have been yellow or green but they were strictly bush. A nice side effect is that I will probably get enough nitrogen from peas or beans that I can mulch entire beds with wood chips, of which I have many cubic yards. Another one is that I can probably have summer lettuce or other fast bolting greens (or slow growing fall veggies) under the canopy provided by the vines.
I would love advice (from, say, Pat, or anyone else), about which vines work best on that site. Primarily I am interested in peas, squash, melons, and cucumbers, but I will entertain beans and watermelons as well (or anything else I had not thought of). Specifically the suitability for soil and climate, for trellising as opposed to creeping, and resistance to pests or diseases proper to our region. For example, which kind of wilt resistance should I be looking for in squashes? There are at least three.
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simy1 said:

Youreally should consider beans.. Once I started growing pole beans I've never gone back. They produce for a long time, at with most of their crop above stooping level. And some of the best eating beans are the old pole varieties. IMO, thhe ideal trellis for beans would use sisal twine stung on a strong frame. At the end of the season, cut down twine and vines for composting.
All the (non-bush) cucurbits can be trellised. For squash, melons, and watermelons you will need to provide some sort of support for the fruit. Where I used to live I grew all of my melons and squash on trellises.
Squash vine borers are a major problem for trellised squash as they can no longer root along the vine. Plants which might have survived a light infestation won't on the trellis And while they are usually pretty wilt resistant, the lack of these additional roots could make them more vulnerable to wilt.
I have given up growing melons and watermelons -- too much spraying is needed to control the cucumber beetles (which spread bacterial wilt) and I don't do spraying anymore. I still grow cukes inside a screened box -- seedless types which set fruit without pollination.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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How did you suppose the melons and squash? I'm imagining shelfs on the trellis...?
Brigitte
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Old stockings would hold them up I suppose, and rebar will take a couple hundred pounds over 25 feet. Unless we are talking about those heirloom Hubbard squash I would like some day to try...
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Brigitte J. said:

Shelves made of chicken wire for the larger squash and watermelons and slings made of old hose for the melons. The 'shelves' were supported by the wire fence mesh I ran between the main supports of the trellis on one side, and the outside corners were supported by seperate wires back to the trellis or fence mesh.
(Crude ascii drawing; works best with a fixed font.)
plane | \ of | \ trellis | \ | \ <-- support wire |____\ shelf
I trellised my melons, squash, and cukes all the time at my smaller, pre-Plymouth garden.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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wrote in message

I see. This sounds like a good idea. I think I'll fashion something like this for my cantaloupe vines.
Thanks, Brigitte
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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message

Thanks.
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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote in message news:

I'm not Pat, but here's my advice (from So. California):
I trellis cherry tomatoes and cucumbers. Both do fine. I use cages made from rebar for my tomatoes. I grow squash on the ground, and don't know how they'd do on a trellis.
Jim Thomas
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