Thursday, April 4, 2013

Going Vertical

This summer will be our third summer in the new house.  Each year, I start a beautiful garden in the back with hopes of a fruitful harvest and each year (well, just the past two since we've lived here) I get squash squat.  Actually I do get a zucchini or two, but my tomato plants rot from the bottom and only a handful of beans will grow.  It is a pretty pathetic site. 

This year, I am set on not letting it happen again.  I've decided to take a different approach this year.  Beans in the back up against a trellis, tomatoes in the front, and lots of potted veggies, like lettuce and bell peppers.  Also in pots will be my herbs - but I always grow some hearty herbs in a pot...I suppose you can't really mess up herbs (Hopefully I didn't just jinx that).

I have already started my garden in the little newspaper pots like I did last year, in hopes of planting them into the garden in a few weeks.  By the way, Punxsutawney Phil needs to look for a new job - spring did NOT come early this year.  The weather has been wacky lately.  We just had 4+ inches of snow last week - but hopefully it'll soon be warm enough to plant my seedlings.  

So on to making my garden better: the trellis. It is pretty simple to make, but I had to bring in some muscle to help me near the end (hubby to the rescue) to finish it.

  • Hand saw (or saw of choice)
  • Drill
  • Wire Cutters
  • Pliers (if needed)
  • Hammer
  • 3 pieces 1 X 2 X 8 treated pine 
  • Cage wire
  • Wire Cloth Staples
  • Screws/Nails

First, I sawed the wood to a little over 5 feet so it wasn't taller than my fence.  I used two of the leftover pieces for the top and the middle.  I used my drill to make holes and then screwed all the pieces together. I used some nails for extra reinforcement near the top.  Here is what the frame looked liked:

After the frame was made, it was time for the cage wire.  At first, I thought my heavy duty staple gun would be able to connect the wire to the wood - WRONG ! The cage wire was so thick that the staples kept popping out.  Maybe the staple gun would have worked with a thinner wire (or a seriously heavy duty staple gun).  So I had to run over to Ace and grab some staples that I could hammer in.  Thankfully Ace is less than a mile away because there was one time when one of us (hint: not me) went there more than a handful of times in one day while doing another home improvement project.  For this project, I just needed one visit :). 

I used the wire cutter to cut the cage to fit across the cage - not up and down because the frame was just a bit too wide.  This is where the muscle came in.  Kerry had to finish cutting the wire because it was just too hard to cut. You would think cutting wire wouldn't be hard, but after getting an arm workout cutting just a few wires, I couldn't finish it.   Once the hubby was done cutting, we hammered in the big staples over the wire. We hammered the staples in about every 2-3 inches, sometimes closer to make sure the wire stayed on the wood.  Even some of those kept popping out too!  It was like playing a game of whack-a-mole - we would hammer in one and a staple would pop out at the other end. 

Once we were finished, I just set it in my garden and leaned it up against the fence.  I used some floral wire to attach it to the fence so that it won't fall forward.

Now I just need my beans to sprout and some warm weather to plant outside !  We'll see how well this trellis holds up through the summer.

How do you go vertical in your garden?  What is your favorite vegetable to plant vertically?

Now you can Do It Yourself Too !



  1. That looks fun! I don't grow vegetables on our balcony (too scared) but I do grow some plants. I don't really do much to them but they seem to last quite a while! Herbs on the other hand - I'll be honest, I never have luck with them... Good luck. x

  2. The wooden frame is awesome. Every parts of frame is set in very proper way. The cutter tools is playing vital role while making the frame. So we can say that tools and hardware gives good shape to any design.