Quick! Plant those delicious snap peas, and then rush straight to the workshop and build them this trellis. It'll shrink right down for winter storage and stretch out to match that row of peas. Also the stylish lattice makes the peas happier. Proven fact.
Follow along with what I did, or adapt it to suit you own situation and materials. As you can see in the third photo, I had on hand a pile of lath left over from our neighbors' remodeling project. My purpose in making this trellis was half getting ready for the spring garden and half spring-cleaning by using up that pile of lath! The full lengths were four feet long, which determined my final design. If your materials or the plants that will be climbing on it push you to interesting modifications, post pictures or comments!
My trellis turned out to be 4 feet tall and about 8 feet long when fully extended, and probably took about an hour and a half to make.
The Two Main Ingredients
This trellis is composed of the following components: a lattice and two legs.
Step 1: The legs
The vertical part of the leg is made from two 4 foot lengths of lath with scraps of lath sandwiched between them. The important part is to leave a gap in the center of the sandwich from 17 to 23 inches (measured up from the bottom). (See Fig. 4) This gap (highlighted in Fig. 2) will allow the lower connection points of the lattice to slide up and down as the trellis expands and contracts.
The rest of each leg is made from a 2 foot base and an 18 inch diagonal support.
Screw the three layers of the vertical together, then the base and the diagonal. Trim the corner of the diagonal that sticks out beyond the face of the vertical so that the lattice won't catch on it.
Pre-drill for the screw that will be the upper lattice attachment. This should be at 3 feet 6 inches up from the bottom.