Kratky Tomato Stand with Trellis

This is a riff on the bucket garden stand that showed up on one of the YouTube videos and all those trellis designs that came before. Due to slug issues (they ate an entire raised bed of lettuce and destroyed just about every other vegetable that touched the ground), an overabundance of shade, and a lot of rain (welcome to the Pacific NorthWet) I had a need to raise beds off the ground and make them mobile enough to move around based on available sunlight at different times of the year and keep the critters (and slugs) away.

This led me to growing tomatoes (as well as a lot of other veggies) using the Kratky hydroponic method. Last year I built a trellis using wood and string, but the weather pretty much trashed that over the winter. I had built a trellis attached to a raised wood bed using 1/2" EMT, standard EMT connectors, and wire field fence attached with plastic cable ties that I had used for snow peas, and I used what I learned from that to create the Kratky Tomato Stand with Trellis.

The finished product was made using 4 10' x 3/4" EMT pipes. I used 8 T connectors, 4 90s, and 4 Short Foot PAD Canopy Fitting/Batting CAGE Ground Plate Fitting (not cheap, found these on Amazon). I modeled everything first using Maker Pipe Minis, an exercise that was extremely useful and very enlightening. The trellis "netting" is a 4' x 5' piece of field fencing that started out life with 2" x 4" grids that I modified to be 4" x 4" grids and attached with plastic cable ties.

I'll be making another one of these and will likely go a cheaper route with the foot pads. One of the welds gave out when tightening the screws down and I had to secure that pad by drilling a new hole and using a self tapping screw. If I decide to leave one of these on the deck, I will get some threaded pipe inserts and add some casters/wheels to make it easier to move around. If I decide it will go out in the garden area then I will likely use a round flange with a set screw connector rather than overpaying for something with crappy welds.

I will also be adding some end caps to keep water out of the open pipes and give it a nice finished look.

I will update this during the growing season to show how the tomatoes look as they are added, grow, and (hopefully) bear fruit.