Featured Dragon fruit support frame.

Discussion in 'Fruit & Vegetable Growing' started by Director, Mar 27, 2015.

  1. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    So I got all excited a week or so back and planted 3 poles in the ground to grow some Dragon Fruit on. Was on the lookout for some kind of support rings for when they grow up. I have no welding or forming gear so was limited to what I could buy locally. Nothing too great in the shops and simple round rings were upwards of $30. So on a whim I ducked into an Anaconda outdoor shop and picked up some kind of fishing net-thingies for about $6.50 each. I guess you'd get them at BCF as well.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty cunning don't you think?
    Of course I had to cut the netting off but the black nylon support string came included. :)
    I'm hoping it's going to be strong enough when the plants have grown up that high...which might be a while.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You've nailed it mate! :twothumbsup:

    I so wish I put more thought into the top of my posts when I first started growing dragon fruit because I'm in a world of hurt now as I need to retrofit some type of top bracket (like you have) to support the vine head. My plants are too heavy now for the post and structure I originally built. I also like the mini raised bed - this has given me an idea for one of my other plants I'm growing up a cross structure that needs a better base.

    This post and frame should work perfect for your Pitaya vines are all 3 the same variety?
     
  3. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    HI Mark, No I got three different types and some seeds from a fourth. I didn't have any wood for those frames so I got a mini garden bed kit from Bunnings for $39, cut six of the planks in half which was enough for three boxes. The kit even came with the right amount of screws. :)
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Cool! Like I said I have to "upgrade" my dragon fruit vines and also plant a new one I grew from a cutting so you've given me a few great ideas...
     
  5. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    So how long do these suckers take to get going?
    My cutting still look like the photo above, hasn't changed a bit?
     
  6. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    It'll slow down a little over winter but typically the fully grown vine will put energy into growing fruit through a subtropical winter and do the extra growing in spring/summer.

    Although being a cactus and thus can survive dry periods, dragon fruit plants do like water (but free draining soil of course) so they tend to grow quite well in the rainy season.

    Is your plant a cutting or planted out of a pot with an established root system?
     
  7. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    HI Mark,

    The plants are cuttings.
     
  8. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ahh, well then it has to develop its roots first before you'll see much growth - it could take a full year to get cracking and then it'll be up that post in no time at all!
     
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  9. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    OK , cool. A bit like bananas I guess whenever we replant one it 'dies' then comes back to life in it's own time. Just checking.

    Thanks
     
  10. Danie

    Danie Active Member Premium Member

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    image.jpg Hey Mark,
    Here is a picture of my dragon fruit. I am thinking that I need a better pole for my dragon fruit to climb on.
     
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  11. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Hi Danie and welcome to SSC :)

    That's a good looking young dragon fruit plant! It's growing straight and is nice and healthy.

    Yes, you will need to plant it against/beside a good sturdy post preferably similar to the Director's image in the first post. Pitaya vines need a strong support and they do grow best on a big post about head high then left to branch out from the top like an octopus.

    This is what happened to one of my plants just the other day... See the post has broken off and the plant fallen over? :( I need to fix this up ASAP and make a trellis, cement a bigger post, or try to attach the broken post back on the star picket. Whichever way I go, I wish I had made a proper support post from the beginning.
    dragon fruit plant fall over broken post.jpg

    Here's one I have growing in a large pot with the base cut out the plant is not too old but it does need a little training to grow straighter and a clean up at the bottom.

    Note the size of the post.

    dragon fruit pitaya on trellis pot.jpg
    We still have several fruits on some of our plants at the moment!
    yellow dragon fruit spikes close up.jpg

    None of the examples I have shown need be this tall, in fact they should be a lot shorter to make them more practical. I'm working on several new ways to grow DF and will detail them soon in the future.

    You can grow DF fine in pots also - the pot does need to be at least 40 ltrs or bigger though and have a head high support post/picket.
     
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  12. Director

    Director Valued Member Premium Member

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    Mine haven't done a thing since the last update. I 'assume' they'll start growing come springtime...if the cold weather didn't do them in?
     
  13. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, they do fruit through winter (or autumn) but they don't grow much that's correct. I'm going to give mine some extra care this spring and see if I can't get some of my plants to thicken up a little.
     
  14. Danie

    Danie Active Member Premium Member

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    Thank you Mark!! I will definitely look into getting a bigger post for my DF. Thank you for your help in this.
     
  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    No worries Danie! Please keep us posted on your dragon fruit progress :)
     
  16. Danie

    Danie Active Member Premium Member

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    Mark,
    After I read what you told me, I went home after work and found a peace of wood and I tied up the DF but I didn't put the wood in the ground. It is just sitting on top of the soil and from there I tied the wood to a beam so we shall see how that goes. . Lol. Do I need to have the post in the pot too? I didn't repot my dragon fruit in a bigger pot?? Do I need to do that also?
    Danie
     
  17. Danie

    Danie Active Member Premium Member

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  18. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Yes, I would pot the plant up to at least twice the size. Fixing the vine to a house post will certainly be strong enough - how much sun will it get there?
     
  19. Danie

    Danie Active Member Premium Member

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    Okay I will definitely do that soon. And it gets the morning sun and then it is in the shade the rest of the afternoon.
    If I wanted to make a new plant. How would I do that?? ?
     
  20. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Let the plant grow more and then use a cutting 6 to 12 inches long from a branch potted in some cutting mix. It will eventually root and start a new plant.
     
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