Hiya peeps! (Or should I say “Peeps”, since we’re getting closer to Easter?)
I thought I’d show you how I put together very simple trellises for my climbing plants.
The benefits of these are:
- You can make them any size/height
- They virtually disappear with a green plant on them
- They’re freestanding, so you can access fence panels, decks etc without having to rip your vine off first.
Ok, and now for the downside:
- They aren’t decorative, if you prefer a decorative trellis.
- Because they’re freestanding, they need to be pushed into the ground, which can be challenging, as you’ll see
I went ahead and did these last weekend, because our huge clematis is getting ready to wake up. I did major trimming on this guy over the winter, and I removed the original trellis bits still wrapped up in it. So, when it wakes up, it needed somewhere to grow, and fast.
It was originally planted on a very flimsy, wooden “Y” trellis that had been literally torn apart by the plant as it grew.
The plant was large enough, though, to get a good hold on our deck railing, so that’s where its support was coming from. Last summer, it got so big, the clematis started folding over itself, so I made a quickie trellis extension to give it more room to grow:
Well, this year it needed a sturdy replacement trellis to help it get back up onto the railing. I also have another clematis (“Sweet Autumn”) coming soon, and it will need a trellis as well….so I made two. I’ll need one more of these trellises before all is said and done, but I’ll do that one later.
It’s super easy.
Grab two “U” posts from the hardware store. They come in different heights, and they’re measured as the total length – so if you buy a six-foot post and stake it up to the “fins”, you’ll have five feet above ground.
Next, get some fencing. I have a roll of green plastic coated wire fencing that I use for tons of stuff (I used it in the trellis extension above as well.)
Lay your posts out on the ground and unroll the fencing to the total length you need. I used the width of the fencing as the width of the trellis, and roll it out to get the total height I want.
Once your fencing is the right length, finagle it into the “U” notches on each post. Use a hammer or mallet to close the notches so the fencing stays put.
Now take it out where you need it, and push it into the ground up to the “fins”.
Our dirt is unbelievably awful, so we had a lot of trouble getting it more than a couple inches into the ground. Hammering the stakes didn’t work either (though we don’t have a sledgehammer, which might’ve helped), but I plan to hand dig the holes this weekend so we can get the trellis down deeper so it’s not taller than the deck railing.
Stand back, and wait for the trellis to be covered with your favorite vine!
I know it’s not pretty, especially not this time of year. But it will be extremely functional in about a month.
(Notice the nice spot on the deck skirting that isn’t painted – the old clematis must’ve been in the way!)