I finally finished my cucumber trellis. You don’t even want to know how many hours I’ve spent tying the twine on this thing! Here are the cucumbers that have survived the chickens scratching around in the bed. I really hope the trellis holds up well once they start to climb it! We shall see.
When I planted the cucumbers, I knew I wanted to trellis them. Keeping the growing cucumbers off of the ground helps to prevent disease and insect infestation, enabling the plants to yield a larger harvest. But pre-built trellises and heavy gauge fences are expensive, and the whole point of gardening is to save money, not spend more, right? I’d resolved to make my own. After scouring the internet for a cute trellis idea, and not finding a single one I liked, I decided I’d just have to wing it. I looked around the home to see what materials I had on hand.
A short walk into the woods scored me several nice branches. They were long, relatively straight, and good quality hard wood. Perfect. Now to cut them to size. I ransacked my husband’s tool shed, looking for the right equipment. I found a tape measure, an extremely dull hand saw, and an axe. Good enough.
After measuring the length of the cucumber bed, and the height of the fence I was going to lean the trellis up against, I had my dimensions- 136″ x 63″. I got the saw out and hacked away at the wood. That didn’t last long. I picked up the axe instead, and set to work cutting all of the little twigs off of the branches, and chopping everything to size. For those of you who have never done it, let me tell you, it is extremely tricky to swing an axe and try to hit the measurement mark every time! I chopped the heck out of the wood, trying my best to stay as close to the line I’d made as possible! I did well enough though, and the pieces were ready to be screwed together.
Once my frame was fastened with a screw in each corner, I set to work tying the twine like netting across the pieces. First, I ran the string up and down across the frame, tying it to the top and bottom pieces of wood, and spacing them about 4 inches apart. That was the easy part. Next, I ran the string in the opposite direction, running the length of the frame, also spaced about 4 inches apart. Everywhere the twine crossed, I tied it in a knot, to make sure that it would hold once the cucumbers started to climb on it. This part took FOREVER!
Once finished, I simply laid it at the base of the cucumber plants, and leaned it up against the fencing behind the bed. I deliberately made it a little taller than the fence. It would have looked neater had it only come to the top of the white pickets, but the fence is only 4 ft. tall, and cucumber trellises are usually around 6 ft tall. With my trellis being a little over 5 ft tall, I’m hoping it will be sufficient.
I found some scrap pieces of wood shaped like a wedge in my husband’s wood pile, so I hammered them at the base of the trellis to keep it from sliding into the cucumber plants.
The only material I had to buy for this project was a 3 Ply 520 ft. roll of Jute Twine for $3. I probably used about half of the roll. So, total cost for this trellis was about $1.50. Can’t beat that!
All in all, I think it turned out pretty darn good! I sure hope it holds up after all that work!
Do you have any homemade trellis ideas you can share? How do you keep your cucumbers off the ground?