Trellis weaving is satisfying work and i'm glad for the miscalculation that has made this necessary. Can i tell you a secret? I grew only bush beans for years because i didn't know how to build a trellis. My puny attempts bowed, sagged, listed, and generally ended badly. The pole bean pages of my favorite seed catalogs stayed clean and shiny, free from dog ears and purple sharpie marker stains. I pretended that i didn't care about growing beans that measure two feet long or beans that curl and corkscrew like the tail of a pig. If it needed to be trellised i wasn't interested!
He offered to help, of course, but i demurred. I knew that his trellis would stand true and tall and bear even the weight of Jack's famous bean but i also knew that it would be a forever trellis. Forever is good in love and marriage but in gardens, not so much. I wanted my trellis to be as easy to take down as it would be to put up, a trellis that would stand firm for only as long as i wished it to. I'm not quite there yet but i'm pretty close.
And here i really should insert a disclaimer. This is not my design. It's an idea i borrowed from another, more structurally talented gardener, offered here with a few minor modifications of my own. It's simple and sturdy and the materials are easy for the average home gardener to find and to transport.
|Click on photo to enlarge details|
- Two or more t-posts. I like to use galvanized posts but the green painted ones are a few dollars cheaper and work just as well. Maybe you can find them on Craig's list or at the Restore but i have had rotten luck with that. My second choice is Del's, a local farm and feed store. Lowe's or Home Depot are my back-up options. Avoid U-posts which are not as sturdy. T-posts come in different lengths. I went a little crazy and got seven footers and a sore neck. Be smarter than me and select five footers instead ; )
- Enough 5/8" rebar to span the distance between your t-posts. You'll need one for the top and if you use twine you'll need another one for the bottom. Smaller diameters seem a little flimsy to me.
- A PVC 'tee' for the top of each t-post, 1 1/4" diameter.
- Your choice-a big spool of garden twine or a 4 x 6 precut panel of concrete reinforcing wire.
If you are using twine then start by tying laterals between the posts. Begin your trellis weave by tying your verticals off to the top piece of rebar. Wrap the twine around each lateral as you travel down the trellis, reversing the direction of the wrap at each twist and maintaining even tension. Tie off to the bottom piece of rebar and repeat until complete.
|CRW lashed to top bar|
|Beans tackle that open space at the bottom.|
I still prefer growing bush beans to pole beans but now it's not because i don't know how to build a trellis.