Finally, it’s time to plant the warm-season veggies.
No, that’s not a current photo – those are last year’s cucumbers, growing along the fence. Growing them on a trellis wasn’t my original plan – the winter squash were supposed to be there, with the cukes trailing along the ground. The plants had other ideas…
Never argue with a determined vine.
Turns out, the ones that reached the fence produced better fruit than the ones that didn’t. They were easier to see, too, so I didn’t wind up with too many oversized, over-seedy cukes – a situation I’d love to repeat this year. You know, on purpose this time?
The only hitch in that plan is The Rotation. This summer’s cucumbers are supposed to go in a central bed. No fence to climb.
We’re making a trellis. One so easy, even I can do it.
Trust me, I am NOT that handy…
The beauty of this project is that it uses things easily picked-up at the local home center. Pre-cut pipes (4 two-foot sections, 3/4 inch diameter; three five-footers) and rebar (four two-foot pieces), a few fittings (two elbows, two T’s) and some nylon trellis netting.
First step, drive the rebar pieces halfway into the ground at five foot intervals. Measure carefully, so you don’t have to pull one out to readjust it later. Slide the two-foot sections of pipe (the legs) over the rebar that’s sticking up from the ground. Assemble the crossbar – T fittings in the middle, elbows on the end – and slide the fittings down over the top of the legs. Attach the netting, and tack it to the ground with wire earth staples. Or rocks, whatever works for you.
Obviously, not everyone has beds that are 16 feet long, but the math is pretty easy, whatever size you need. If you’re slightly more mechanically inclined than Yours Truly, the pipes aren’t that hard to cut (or so I’m told). Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a hardware store where you can find a helpful employee to cut them for you, if you want a different length.
Oh, yeah – I used copper pipes because this garden is close to the house, and copper is pretty. If I wasn’t going to be looking at it out my kitchen window, I probably would have used something cheaper.