Sunday, September 25, 2011

Trellises for the Garden

Trellises are helpful for vining plants in a garden. For my tomatoes I used the cheap circle wire frame ones that stick in the ground. My tomatoes got so big, they are pulling them over. This is after I reinforced them with a 6 foot wooden stake.

Following Mel's guideline in Square Foot Gardening, I built 4 trellises for the raised beds. The beans and peas that are in the fall garden that will take advantage of the trellises. Trellises are placed on the North side of the raised bed, so they will not shade out the bed itself.

To build the trellises I bought 6 10ft 1/2 inch metal conduit pipe, 8 1/2 inch 3ft rebar, and 4 3/4 inch conduit 90 degree angles from Lowes. Amazon had 5ft by 30ft trellis netting for $10. To build the 4 trellises I spent about $70.

Garden Trellis

Building the trellises is very easy. On the North side of the raised beds I pounded the rebar halfway into the ground with a 3 lb sledge. To save oneself some pain, make sure that one end of the rebar is straight. Rebar tends to have burrs on it or is bent on the ends. The straight edge needs to be up in the air.

After the rebar was in the ground, 4 of the conduit were cut in half with a hacksaw, so that they were 5 foot in length. I then cut the other two pieces into 4 45 inch lengths. These pieces will be the vertical cross bars.

Assembly was fairly easy. The 5 foot conduit sections slid over the rebar. Two of the pieces of conduit were pounded on because two of the rebar had a burr on the end. The rebar adds extra support so the trellises don't fall. Next, the angle conduit brackets were slid on top of conduit sticking up in the air. Then 45 inch conduit is pushed into the angle brackets at the top. This completed the framing.

Garden Trellis

Probably the longest step is attaching the netting. I had some cable zip ties that I purchased a long time ago. The net was strung over the conduit, pulled tight, and secured with the zip ties. Finally, the netting had little strings at the edges. I tied these off and this was the longest part of the process. I figured the extra support couldn't hurt.

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