Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Trellises Shouldn't Cost a Fortune

Thought I'd do a follow-up on the trellises. Using the found materials, after clearing up the woods, I was left with three cattle gates, lots of metal fence posts, and 2"x4" fencing. So, that's going to be the permanent trellising in the back section of the yard for grapevines, raspberries, gourds, etc.

For the inside back yard, will use pvc pipes, painted with fusion. These will be easy to take down in winter and leave the space open for additional layers of composting material. Here's what I'm going to do, just in case you want to try it, yourself. Just remember that most of my materials were "found" and available for free. So, I don't mind paying for the pvc trellises, which will be under $25 for all three beds and will last for many years.

Full-grown plants weigh plenty when full of stems, leaves, and fruit or vegetables. You need sturdy support but you don't need much more than 2"x2" posts or 1.5" pvc piping. First and foremost, use what you have, which includes old ladders, stepstools, door frames, whatever. Bring it all together by painting the same color and folks will think you're really clever.

To make two pvc trellises, you'll need:
  • four (4) 10-foot 1-1/4" pvc pipes
  • one (1) 8-foot 1-1/2" pvc pipe
  • four (4) 4-foot or 6-foot rebars
  • four (4) 1-1/4" pvc elbows
  • two (2) 1-1/4" pvc straight connectors
  • twine
  1. Cut a 3' section off each 10-foot 1-1/4" pipe.
  2. Connect two 3' sections with one straight connector to make crossbar
  3. Cut 8-foot 1-1/2" pipe into four (4) 2' pieces.
  4. Drive (use rubber mallet or place a board over end of pipe and use regular hammer) two 2' pvc pieces into ground, the width of one connected crossbar and elbow at each end. (approx. six feet)
  5. Drive one rebar into center of pipe, leave at least two feet exposed above top edge
  6. Position and drive 7' 1-1/4" pvc pipe over rebar and into 2' 1-1/2" pipe
  7. Place elbows on each top and attach crossbars (see pix)
  8. Attach twine horizontally every 8" between sides of each trellis. Attach a length of twine every 8" on crossbar and connect with a knot at every horizontal meeting to bottom of trellis. Repeat every 8" across crossbar.

The beauty of these trellises is that they are incredibly portable! Create different widths around the yard and use 5-gallon buckets for your plantings. Next year, move the trellis to a different part of the yard and try something new! Put different trellising plants on either side. Train one to grow straight up and the other to extend vertically for an interesting effect. I'll be doing this with some warmth-loving climbers next to the white side of my workshop so they can enjoy the reflected heat! Now, to go root some cuttings!

1 comment:

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