Mar 29, 2012

Trellises For Your Summer Food Crops Permaculture Research Institute

by Sunny Soleil March 29, 2012

If you are thinking of planting tomatoes, cucumbers, winter squash, peas, beans or any vining plant, it’s worth considering growing them vertically to save space in your annual garden area.

Permaculture principles urge us to create no waste and to find multiple functions for whatever we do.

Instead of rushing to your garden center to purchase ready made products, there are many innovative and ecological ways to help your plants grow to their best, and to save space while keeping your produce off the ground and more protected from predators and rot.

The Native Americans used the 3-sisters method, growing beans, corn and squash together. The beans climb up the corn and the squash spreads out to create ground cover. However, if you want to save space you might be advised to use alternative ground cover and help your viners trail upwards.

Four ideas for trellises

Watch this video for inspiration on how you can use different materials and designs to make your own climbing trellises for veggies:

Crape Myrtle or Snowberry branches

In this video we learn how to reuse crape myrtle branches — an idea which will work equally well with snowberry bush trimmings or bamboo:

Scrap Wood and Kite String

This cheap recycled tomato cage uses everyday materials and costs pennies to construct:

Bamboo and Fishing line

If you have access to free bamboo and some fishing line, you can create all kinds of great trellises for your veggies. This video shows how one family does just that:

Bent Wood Trellises

Finally, if you want to use something that looks gorgeous and is made from completely natural materials, check out how to bend wood by steaming and other methods. The best tree wood for bending are Oak, Ash, Walnut, Elm, Hickory, Sweet gum, Black Locust, Beech, Cherry, Magnolia and Pecan, all of which are fairly hard woods.

When you allow the creativity to flow and keep your mind open to being inspired you’ll be surprised how many discard materials in your local area that are just waiting to be innovatively recycled by you in this way.

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