I’ve been looking for an inexpensive trellis for some future melons. After thinking about the time I would spend cobbling together a trellis versus the simplicity of buying one, I reluctantly decided I would buy one at some point. In some catalogs, they cost about $60. Ugh.
Tonight, I was looking around the web and found a fellow DC-area gardener who shared how he built a vegetable garden trellis on his blog, The Rusted Garden. This process looks so simple that I think even I—possibly the least handy person on the planet or, at least, in Zone 6/7—could create this vegetable trellis. I am so excited that I am going to call up my furniture designer/architect friend and tell her what I am going to build.
Before I send you over to the instructions, you might wonder why you need a trellis in the first place. They serve a number of purposes.
A trellis works well for tomatoes, peas, cucumbers, melons and other veggies that climb or need support (like tomatoes do).
For the urban organic gardener, space is always an issue. A vegetable trellis creates a vertical garden. As your garden goes up and up, you have more ground space for additional veggies.
A trellis helps to prevent moisture from causing rot. Learn from a mistake I made many years ago. One year, I grew loads of watermelons. I had so many that I could have opened a watermelon store. Lucky for me, they grew all over the grass and flourished there. The next year, I was not so fortunate with my watermelon crop. The melons rotted in damp grass that they’d flourished in the year before.
So, build a trellis if you want to prevent disease and have more room in your garden.
With some chicken wire, bamboo poles, and a minimum of elbow grease, you can have a trellis for under $20.
Have you used a homemade or store-bought trellis before? If so, how did it work out for you?