How can you instantly add space to your garden without having to expand it? Install a trellis! Trellises free up a lot of real estate by allowing you to grow crops up into in your garden's vertical space. Use this easy-to-build A-frame trellis to support cucumbers, small melons, gourds and sugar snap peas. Then, plant crops that prefer cooler temperatures, including cilantro, lettuce and spinach in the space underneath the A-Frame.
Things You'll Need
- (6) 42-inch long two-by-two boards (we used naturally rot-resistant cedar)
- (4) 36-inch long two-by-two boards
- (12) 3-inch long wood screws
- (2) 2 1/2 inch galvanized utility hinges (they typically come with screws)
- 1/2 inch staples and a staple gun
- Wire mesh (either 1/2 inch hardware cloth, chicken wire or 2-inch mesh metal fencing)
- Electric drill
Select two 42-inch long two-by-two boards and two 36-inch long two-by-twos to form the first panel of the frame. Build the first half of the panel by screwing one short piece of wood to one long piece to form an L-shape (when forming the L, place the short piece of wood on top of the long piece, rather than on the inside). Repeat with the two remaining wood pieces.
Create the panel by placing the two L-shaped halves together to form a rectangle. Screw three of the corners together.
Mark the center point on each 36-inch board (18 inches). Add in a center support by placing a 42-inch two-by-two in the center of the panel and screwing it in place. Finish the panel frame by screwing together the final corner.
Measure a piece of hardware cloth, chicken wire or metal fencing to fit the panel and staple it into place. Then, build the second panel.
Create the A-Frame by laying the first panel hardware cloth side down on a level surface. For a 42-inch tall, 3-foot wide A-Frame, lay the second panel (hardware cloth side down) end to end with the first, butting the short sides up against each other. For a 3-foot tall, 42-inch wide A-Frame, lay the second panel (hardware cloth side down) end to end with the first, butting the long sides up against each other.
Open the hinges. Then position them on either edge of the abutting panels and screw them into place.
Tips & Warnings
- Make your life easier by drilling lead holes before you screw in the screws.
- Increase the longevity of the trellis by preserving the wood with a non-toxic wood preservative and storing the trellis indoors during the winter.
- Try this succession plan: in the spring, plant sugar snap peas on the trellis and spinach below. When the peas and spinach are done, pull them out and plant cucumbers on the trellis and bolt-resistant lettuces below.
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