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Homemade Cucumber Trellis

>26 May 2010
 
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homemade cucumber trellis

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.

cucumber trellis out of sticks

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.

chopping wood with axe

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.

cucumber trellis

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!

home made cucumber trellis

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.

cucumber trellis

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?

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11 Comments »

  • tarena said:

    that looks awesome!! I should get to work on some cool trellises and such! =) I love twine. =)

  • Cliff said:

    Sara told me about your idea this morning. We might just try this! Oh, and yes we have things planted by now, finally. Everything seems to be growing well. You guys should come by and see it sometime!

  • Na Na said:

    I am proud of you. I like the looks of your trellis. This idea will work for climbing flowers.

    Love you all. Kiss babies for me.

  • Laura said:

    What a good idea! I hope it works well for you!

  • Sunny said:

    Kendra, I did something very similar for my cucumbers but instead of tying each crossing peice of twine in a knot, I simply wrapped it around the crossing peice in a circle, then continued to do this until I reached the top, then tied it off (does this make sense?). The squares arent as uniform as yours are, but as long as it functions, I dont care. It may not be as sturdy as yours, though. I guess we will see if it holds up!

    - Sunny B

  • Vegetable Garden Cook said:

    Here’s a great arbor/trellis you should check out: http://www.mysuburbanhomestead.com/aunts-simple-garden-arbors/

  • Paulette Calton said:

    We have some rental houses we were repairing and remodeling last spring. One had metal porch railings that were no longer serviceable. I salvaged them and secured them in the garden dirt ~ they worked pretty good for a cucumber trellis after tying twine for the cross-pieces, though they would have been better had they been taller. We improvised with extender posts.

  • Ann Boughton said:

    I don’t see a follow up on this project. My experience with jute twine outside is that is stretches after it is wet. I hope that didn’t happen to you.

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Ann, it actually held up very well. I probably wouldn’t do it again ’cause it took a while to make and only lasted one season, but it served its purpose. I’d also recommend making a couple of shorter ones rather than one long trellis (when leaning it like I did). The cukes that grew in the middle underneath were hard to get to.

  • Edwin said:

    Ok,so I’m not family, can I post anyway? I like your idea for the trellis, Is the twine strong enough later on in the summer?.
    Because on the twine getting wet, will it stay strong till fall when you harvest?

  • Kendra at New Life On A Homestead (author) said:

    Edwin- I’m happy to hear from you, your comments are always welcome! Yes, the twine held up wonderfully all year long, up until harvest time. My only complaint is that it will only last through one year before needing to be replaced.

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