1 Inspired by the cucumber trellises we built in my vegetable greenhouse, I wanted to created similar structures for my peas in the outdoor vegetable garden by the chicken coops.
2 Here are the cucumber trellises we put together in January - stand-alone frames, with one side slanted to a 45-degree angle, covered with fencing. Their purpose is to allow the vines to grow on the diagonal side, so cucumbers could hang through the holes for easy harvesting.
3 In previous seasons, we planted peas along the inside walls of the vegetable garden, so they could grow up the fence.
4 A trellis for growing peas would be the same concept with a slightly modified look. For our projects, I always encourage the use of materials we already have on hand. Chhiring was able to find suitable branches in the woodland that would work for the new pea trellis frames.
5 It was important for the posts to be very strong and secure, so they could support the weight of the vines, a good, prolific harvest, and any strong winds we may get during the growing season.
6 We also use a lot of jute twine for many of our outdoor projects.
7 To start, Chhiring tied some twine from one end of the fenced-in garden to the other, so all the uprights would be level with the garden's fenced perimeter.
8 Chhiring measures the space between each angled pair of wooden supports. At the base, they are all a little more than two-feet apart. These branches would be positioned to slant slightly so they crisscrossed at the top.
9 Chhiring digs all the holes with a post hole digger - about two feet down, so each support is really secure.
10 A tamping bar is used to compact the soil in each of the holes.
11 Each branch is measured to accommodate the length to be buried.
12 Here are two supports at the base of one of the trellises.
13 These wood branches will anchor the trellises. They are about 10-feet apart.
14 The wooden supports were tied together using twine.
15 Chhiring did the same process for seven-trellises along the length of the garden.
16 Notches from the crisscrossed branches served as cradles for a horizontal branch to sit on top.
17 Chhiring secured horizontal bars along the entire length of the trellises.
18 The horizontal pieces were also attached and secured to the uprights using jute twine.
19 In between the pieces of wood, Chhiring uses 10-foot long lengths of bamboo. We already have a supply of bamboo, so it made sense to reuse and repurpose them.
20 Two pairs of bamboo rods were equally spaced and positioned between each pair of wooden supports.
21 Chairing then tied the bamboo poles securely to the horizontal branches.
22 Each of the wooden branches has a two to four-inch radius, and all the branches were tied securely - Chhiring made sure of it.
23 Chhiring continued to tie the pieces together.
24 This is how it looks after all the pieces of the frame were connected.
25 Chhiring trimmed the tops of the wood and bamboo uprights, so they were all the same height - about 10-feet. The next process was to secure the netting.
26 The netting is strong enough to support the weight of hanging vegetables, and soft enough not to cut the delicate vines.
27 The holes of the netting were also wide enough to accommodate the growing plants.
28 Using a staple gun, Chhiring affixed the netting taut over the trellis frame.
29 Chhiring stapled the nets several times along each wooden branch support.
30 To support the net even more, Chhiring used zip ties to attached the net to the bamboo - two zip ties to each bamboo pole.
31 Chhiring trimmed the netting at one end of the trellis frame.
32 Then, Chhiring prepared the netting for the other side. It is the same netting we use to cover my American boxwood each winter.
33 He stapled it at one end, and draped it across the entire length of the trellises.
34 The netting was long enough to reach the other side in one piece. Animal fence netting is available at The Home Depot and at other garden centers.
35 Chhiring trimmed it once again at the other end of the frame.
36 And, stapled the netting to the wooden supports.
37 Chhiring stapled the netting to the horizontal bar.
38 The net was now taut and secure on both sides.
39 And, he trimmed the top of the net so it was even and tidy. The trellises were complete!
40 It looks great, Chhiring - thank you! We're ready to plant some peas. I will share that process with you on Monday.