Portable arch trellis for growing climbers all year around
Making safe trellis to give support to vines is a challenge for farmers. Climbing vegetables like bitter gourd, long beans, cucumber and snake gourd need strong support. But brittle trellis poses a threat especially during rain and wind. As a creative solution to this, Malappuram Oorakam native Badaruddeen and Kallengalpadi native Abdulla introduced arch-like trellis in vegetable farming.
Ordinary trellis made of wooden frames and ropes gets damaged easily and causes huge expense. When Badaruddeen visited Bruno with his friend, he happened to notice the different method of farming.
Iron pipes with 6 metre length and one inch width are bent in arch shape and are fixed on pipes buried on ground at 1.5 metre distance. The arch is covered with plastic net. Then plants are allowed to climb on the trellis.
Drip irrigation is used for watering and giving fertilisers. Estimated cost of setting up arch trellis for farming in 50 cent of land is Rs 1.25 lakh.
Plants grow only on top portion of ordinary trellis whereas arch trellis let them grow everywhere on the arch. As it ensures maximum sunlight, vegetables grow from top to bottom. Even excess heat would not affect the crops. The trellis is portable and can be used for many years. As it is strong, the trellis is unlikely to break.
In this method, farming can be continued all year and it gives double the profit, Badaruddeen said. Half of the expense of setting up the trellis was given as government subsidy. Oorakam Agriculture Officer P M Mehrunnisa told Mathrubhumi that arch-trellis method is applied for commercial purpose for the first time in Kerala.