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Thursday, March 21, 2013

How to Build a Low Cost Garden Vegetable Trellis: About 10 Bucks!

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How to Build A Low Cost Basic Garden Vegetable Trellis

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 along the ground. The trellis also creates a shade area. If you garden in a hot zone, you can now create a micro-climate for cool weather crops beneath the shade of the trellis.

A Finished Garden Trellis - The Rusted Garden Blog

By using trellis shade, you can extend the season for cool weather crops like lettuces and other greens. 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 in your vegetable garden.

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.

Trellis Materials - The Rusted Garden Blog

STEP ONE: 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.

Roll Out Chicken Wire - The Rusted Garden Blog

10 Feet of Chicken Wire - The Rusted Garden Blog

Fold and Crease - The Rusted Garden Blog

STEP TWO: 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 Pole Through Chicken Wire - The Rusted Garden Blog
2 Poles In - The Rusted Garden Blog
4 Poles In - Length at Bottom is for Ground

STEP THREE: 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 and Sunk in the Garden
Tie Off Tops for Added Support - The Rusted Garden Blog

STEP FOUR: 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. You might use a 5th and 6th pole up the middle of each side of the trellis for heavy loaded vines. 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.
Plant a the Base of the Trellis - The Rusted Garden Blog

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