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Thursday, January 26, 2012

KNOL: Building a Low Cost Vegetable Trellis in Pictures

Transfered from Google Knols for storage. They are discontinuing the service.

Expand Your Vegetable Garden Upward: Beans, Cucumbers, Squashes, and Small Melons

A vegetable trellis will give you more gardening space. Take the vine crops upward and off the ground. Not only will you have more growing space but you also create a healthier garden. The trellis will lift vines and provide the garden with more air circulation and better disease management. This trellis can be built for $10 and only takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Building A Low Cost Vegetable Garden Trellis: In Pictures

Expand Your Vegetable Garden Upward: Beans, Cucumbers, Squashes, and Small Melons
By Gary Pilarchik LCSW-C
For more gardening ideas visit my blog The Rusted Vegetable Garden

Why Build a Vegetable Trellis?

A vegetable trellis will give you more room in your garden to grow vegetables. Vine crops will grow up the trellis and not take up space sprawling on the ground. The trellis also creates a shade area. If you garden in a hot zone, you can now create a micro-climiate for cool weather crops beneath the shade of the trellis. Essentially, you can extend the season for crops such as lettuces. The shaded cooler area will slow plant bolting. One way to get diseases in your garden is to have little air circulation and sprawling vines. The trellis allows more air movement in your garden and this benefit helps to quickly dries the leaves of the vines. The trellis aids in creating two good conditions that help prevent diseases and the spread of diseases.

The Trellis Materials

I bought these at a home improvement store. A bag of six - 6 foot bamboo canes at $2.97 a bag. The chicken wire measures 24 inches by 10 feet and it cost $7.00. A trellis is an inexpensive way to increase space in your garden.
The Supplies

Unroll the Chicken Wire, Walk on It, and Bend It in Half

Unroll the chicken wire and walk on it. Chicken wire wants to roll back up and it can be difficult to handle with just your hands. The best way to handle it is with your feet and hands. Once it is unrolled, fold it over to create two five foot sections. Make sure you walk on the crease of the fold and firm it down.
Rolling Out the Chicken Wire

10 Feet of Chicken Wire

Fold it in Half to 5 Feet and Step on the Crease

Weave the Six Foot Bamboo Poles Up the Sides

Follow the picture below and use four bamboo poles to weave up the sides of the chicken wire. Insert the pole, starting at the bottom, and weave the pole through every 5th or 6th hole. It does not need to be exact. Leave about 2 inches of bamboo pole on top of the trellis and leave the rest of the length on the bottom. The excess pole length is what gets inserted into the garden earth.

Weave a Bamboo Pole Up Each 5 Foot Side (Like Every 5th Hole)

Two Poles In

Four Poles In: Notice the Bottom Pole Length

Insert the Trellis Into the Garden

It is important to leave several inches of pole at the bottom of the trellis (see above picture). That is what you will insert into the ground to anchor your trellis to the garden bed. The trellis can be opened to any length but I recommend a minimum of a 3 foot opening in the base of the trellis. Tie the tops of the poles off as pictured below.

Placed in the Garden

Tie Off the Tops for Added Support

Plant Your Vine Crops at the Base

You can plant your vine crops on the inside or outside of the trellis. Make sure you position your trellis in a way that it is easy for you to reach in and pick the vegetables. You can grow anything you wish as long as the single fruits stay under 2 pounds. If you grow heavier crops you will have to figure out a way to support the heavier fruit. A nice shade area will be created beneath the trellis. You can plant lettuce, spinach, radishes, or other vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures. The shade slows down the bolting process.


I Planted Small Melons 




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