Introduction: How to Build a Low Cost Vegetable Garden Trellis
A great way to expand the space in your garden is to grow your vegetables and fruits up a trellis. It is inexpensive and can be done for under $20. A trellis will add character to your garden and allow you to grow more fruits and vegetables.
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Step 1: The Trellis Materials
I bought the materials at a home improvement store. A bag of six - 6 foot bamboo canes at $2.97 a bag. The chicken wire measures 24 inches by 10 feet and it cost $7.00. You can buy a 3 foot wide role of chicken wire or a roll that is up to 14 feet long. I don't recommend dimensions larger than those.
Step 2: Unroll the Chicken Wire, Walk on It and Bend It in Half
Unroll the chicken wire and walk on it. Chicken wire wants to roll back up and it can be difficult to handle with just your hands. The best way to handle it is with your feet and hands. Once it is unrolled, fold it over to create two five foot sections. Make sure you walk on the crease of the fold and firm it down. The height of your trellis will be 1/2 the total length of the roll.
Step 3: Weave the Six Foot Bambo Poles Up the Sides
Follow the picture below and use four bamboo poles to weave up the sides of the chicken wire. Insert the pole, starting at the bottom, and weave the pole through every 5th or 6th hole. It does not need to be exact. Leave about 2 inches of bamboo pole on top of the trellis (where the bend is) and leave the rest of the length on the bottom. The excess pole length is what gets inserted into the garden earth. If you buy chicken wire that is great than 10 feet you will need taller bamboo poles. The bamboo poles in this trellis are 6 feet. Each side of the trellis is 5 feet. That leaves extra room for the bamboo poles to extend beyond both ends of the chicken wire.
Step 4: Insert the Trellis Into the Garden
It is important to leave several inches of pole at the bottom of the trellis. That is what you will insert into the ground to anchor your trellis to the garden bed. The trellis can be opened to any length but I recommend a minimum of a 3 foot opening in the base of the trellis. Tie the tops of the poles off as pictured below.
Step 5: Plant Your Vines at the Base of the Trellis
You can let 2 to 4 vine plants grow up the trellis based on their size. This trellis is designed for small to medium fruits. That is... any cucumber, mid sized squashed or small mellons. If you want your trellis to hold more weighted fruits then add 2 bamboo poles in the middle of the trellis wire for extra support.
Just plant your plants at the base and gently weave them up the trellis as the vines grow.