Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cucumber Trellis Tutorial

Last year I put together this cucumber trellis on a whim and it has really held up.  Some of the pictures are from last year when I was putting it together and some are from this year so if the wood looks a little weathered that's why.

Lumber (These can be any length you want.  I ended up using 8 ft pieces but you could totally use something smaller.)
1 X 2 - 8 pieces
2 X 2 - 7 pieces
Galvanized nails (these won't rust)
Twine or rope
Polyurethane sealant

1.  First you're going to need to mark all your boards.  Take one of your 2X2s and mark a line down 24" from the edge.  Now add another mark at an additional 2".  (Each of your 2" marks is where your other board will overlap.)

2.  From your last 2" mark place another mark 12" down the board.  Continue to mark at additional 2" and 12" increments until you have 4 2" spaces.  Repeat steps 1. and 2. on 6 of your 2X2s.  These 6 boards will be your upright poles.

3.  Next we are going to lay out your grid for each side of the trellis out on the ground.  Start with 3 of your marked 2X2s and lay them parallel to each other.  Here's where those 2" marks come in handy.  Now take 4 of your 1X2s and place them perpendicular to the 2X2s on the ground, matching them up on top of each of the 2" marked gaps.  Here's what it should look like before you put any nails in.

As far as the three uprights, just make sure they are evenly spaced along the horizontal poles.  You can go more narrow that I did if you want.  

4.  Now put 2 nails in each joint of the trellis and repeat step 3. for the other side.

5.  After you've got your two sides nailed together you need to seal them.  I used a spray on polyurethane but I have to say I'm not a fan.  Just stick with the stuff in the can and brush it on.  You don't have to seal your wood but trust me it is worth the extra little step to have your trellis last for years to come instead of rotting by your shed.

6.  After your poly dries the last step is to assemble your trellis.  You'll need a helper for this step.  I dug 6 holes for the upright posts to sit in, each about 8 inches deep.  I'm sure you could just sit it on top of the ground but I wanted to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.  Place your two sides in their respective holes and lean them towards each other so they cross at the top about a foot down from the edge.

7.  Now take your last 2X2 and place it in the V that was created by crossing your two sides.  Having your helper hold the trellis in place, take some of your twine/rope and wrap each of the top joints to hold them together.  This isn't an exact science so go with what kind of knot/wrapping technique works for you.  Don't forget to fill your post holes back in after you're done.  

8.  Thats it!  Now just wait for your cucumber plants to get big enough to climb this sucker.  I'm using some extra strips of panty hose to attach them in the training process.

Hope this is a helpful garden tute for your outdoor projects this year.  The best part, next to the price, is that you can take it down at the end of the year and store it to use again and again.

Garden on!

1 comment:

  1. Looks really awesome! Would this also work for winter squash? It's my first year planting it and it's creeping all around my garden and quickly. I think this might help me have more room without taking up too much ground. Happy gardening!