Tuesday, March 19, 2013

DIY Natural A-Frame Trellis Part 1

Today my boyfriend and I started making trellises for our peas, cucumbers, gourds and melons.  We had an abundance branches from cut trees.  So we dug through the pile of tree limbs matching similar size branches. 
Basically we started with a tripod.  Taking 3 branches and anchoring them together using the natural notches in the stick to lock them in place.  We wound the thickest jute I could find around the sticks, wrapping tightly and knotting in multiple places. 
We built 2 tripods close to the same height.  Then put a long, relatively straight beam across the tripods giving us a well supported a-frame.   We tied the center beam down, although it didn’t seem necessary because they are pretty sturdy as they are.
We made a couple for the house garden, and 3 others to take to our other gardens in the neighborhood.  We tied them up in little bundles so we can carry them easily and remember which branches go together.  It seems to be easier to set the frame up on site, rather than carry tripods.  Once you have some branches picked out it really only takes about 15 minutes to put together. 
And best of all these trellises are all natural and biodegradable, just compost or burn when you’re done.  We haven’t decided what to put across the sides to encourage the plants to grow up the frame.  Wire fencing, bird netting, or jute is what we are debating. Jute will work for peas and possibly for cucumbers if strung in a grid, but that will be figured out in Part 2.

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