Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Cucumber Bean Trellis

Last year I made this cucumber trellis.
It served its purpose for the most part,
but it wasn't the greatest.
The chicken wire allowed the cukes to grow through them
but it sometimes pinched off the growing veggie.
It also wasn't very sturdy, so Big E and I knew we'd either have to improve the design of this 
or find something else.
So I found something else here: The Rhinestone Beagle.
Basically it uses 8- 1x2's and 7- 2x2's
some galvanized nails and some twine.
The original design uses 8 foot lengths
but I opted for 6 foot 1x2's for length and
stuck with the 8 foot 2x2's for height.
You're going to use 6 2x2's as your vertical posts and the 1x2's for the cross pieces.
Lay them out and then nail them together.
Be sure to use 2 nails at each juncture to prevent the board from spinning.
The bottom cross piece we nailed 12" from the bottom
and the top piece was about 2 feet from the top
and I think the other 2 were spaced about 18" apart from the others.
(you can tell I'm not one for exact perfect measurements, that why Big E built it)
The original plans called for the 7th 2x2 to lay in the crook at the top
of the trellis and everything gets lashed together with rope or twine.
Because I was too lazy to walk to the barn to get twine 
we were running out of time,
and Big E wasn't keen on lashing, 
he suggested we nail the sides together at the top.
So using 3 1/2" galvanized nails
(they were a little too long but it didn't matter)
he nailed the sides together at each of the 3 posts.
This also made the trellis able to close as if hinged.
This makes it easier to carry and a cinch to store in the winter.
(this is why I'm learning to let Big E build things how he wants 
because he usually knows what he's doing)
 And here we have the finished product.
Cucumbers are planted on one side
and pole beans on the other.
One improvement I think we'll have to make is that 
I think there needs to be either 2 more vertical pieces 
and/or extra cross pieces to make for easier climbing for the plants.  
But I think that's something that I can add after the fact 
as it won't be for sturdiness just for the plants' benefit.
Also, because it's so easy to get under the trellis,
I'm going to grow my lettuces under there.
The cucumbers and beans will provide some shade for the lettuce.
We also managed to get nearly everything planted
with the exception of the plants I started
and the tomatoes.
That's on for the weekend.