Make a simple, durable, and low cost trellis for the home garden, that's great for peas, beans, or any other climbing plant. The design can also allow for the trellis to be easily broken down at the end of the growing season for compact storage through the winter months. All materials can be easily acquired at your local hardware store, and the only tools that are required are a hacksaw, drill, and scissors.
Step 1: Acquire Materials
The following materials are required, and can be obtained at most local hardware stores for around $15:
• Quantity 4 of 10 ft long 3/4 inch diameter PVC pipe
• Quantity 4 of 3/4 inch PVC 90° elbow
• Quantity 4 of 3/4 inch PVC 3-way elbow
• Quantity 2 of 3/4 inch PVC tee
• 80 feet of natural fiber twine
Step 2: Cut and Drill PVC
Cut all four of the 10' length PVC pipes into a 5', 3', and 2' length. Take two of the 2' length pieces, and cut them in half, resulting in four 1' pieces. One of the 3' lengths will be extra, but the rest will all be used.
Take one of the 3' length of pipe, and mark 3" from one end. Mark every 6" from the first one, resulting in 6 evenly spaced marks. Drill a 3/8" hole straight through each mark, all the way through the 3/4" pipe. Repeat for the other two 3' lengths, resulting in three 3' lengths with holes.
Step 3: Assemble
Fit all the pieces together as shown in the picture; the four 5' pieces will be the vertical columns, the two 2' pieces connect across the bottom, the four 1' pieces connect across the top, and the three 3' pieces connect the two sides. Orient the 3' pieces such that the holes are horizontal.
The slip fit of each pipe into its respective joint can suffice to hold the structure together, if you wish to be able to disconnect the pieces at the end of the season for compact storage. Although glue can also be used to permanently affix the pieces together for a stronger structure, so long as you have someplace to store the whole structure over the winter.
Feed the twine through one of the holes on one of the bottom 3' pieces, and secure with a double knot. Run the twine over the top 3' piece and down to the third 3' piece, allowing a few extra inches of twine, then cut the twine to length. Feed the twine through the holes in the top 3' piece, then through the holes in the third 3' piece, then secure with another double knot at the end. Trim excess twine to desired length. Repeat for all 6 sets of holes.
Step 4: Planting
Place trellis in well prepared soil and appropriate lighting for your desired plant. Plant seeds near the 3' pieces on both sides. As the seedlings begin to sprout, help train the plants as required to cause them to grow up the twine.