On Friday, I constructed a trellis arch tunnel at my Newark Street Community Garden plot. It's been years since I designed and built any large structure for gardening purposes.
This one, however, seems a bit more functional--and in a few months, perhaps it'll be decorative, as well. It's 6 feet tall, 6 feet long, and about 2 feet wide. I have fencing tied to the frame using twine and lots and lots of knots. Because of the community garden rules, I can't reasonably grow my hops up the fence that borders my plot, nor my chayote, grapes, or even beans. The deer will eat them, the plants may block other gardeners' light--and besides, who gets to choose which gardener is allowed to grow vines up a shared fence? So, really, this trellis tunnel is a concession to fairness--I get to grow a ton of awesome vining plants; enjoy a cool, shaded spot in the middle of the summer; and my fellow gardeners will not have my vigorous growers sending creeping tendrils into their plots.
If you're interested in constructing your own, here's the supply list and instructions. I kind of developed the idea on Tuesday, went to Home Depot on Wednesday to see what they had available, modified the design after seeing the supplies, and built the thing in about 2 hours (most of that was tying the fencing to the poles--zip ties would have been much faster and easier!).
For a 6-foot-long, 6-foot-tall trellis arch tunnel, I used:
- 8 1'-long pieces of PVC (or whatever you'd like to use, really)
- 9 2'-long pieces of PVC
- 16 3'-long pieces of PVC
- 3 T connectors
- 9 X connectors
- (I used 3 Ts and 9 Xs because I want the opportunity to extend the trellis later--but if 6 feet is long enough for you, get 6 Ts and 6 Xs.)
- 8 elbow connectors
- 3-foot by 50-foot fencing with 2-inch by 4-inch mesh to prevent damage to visiting wildlife that can get tangled in smaller mesh
- Twine (not pictured)
Last step? Plant some vining plants! My hops are doing pretty well--once I have tubs large enough to grow them in for a full season, they're going straight to the garden and set right next to this trellis!