Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peas Please: Nearly Free Trellis for Climbing Peas

I love peas.  Last year, I didn't plant nearly enough.  This year, I think I went a bit overboard.

Just a bit.

Now the peas have sprouted and they're going to need something to attach to when they start to grow. 

And what's better than cheap, cheap, cheap?  Nearly free!

It started with a special find--a discarded painting on canvas that was attached to a wooden frame.  (It was so ugly, I didn't even bother to take a pic of it.)  I ripped off the painting (that was on canvas) and was left with the frame, which was in good condition.

I had a roll of chicken wire that I'd stashed in my gardening shed and two pieces of wood (about a foot long) that I decided would make good stakes to hold the pea trellis in the ground.

First, I attached the wooden stakes to the frame using screws.  Okay, my wonderful teen son attached the stakes to the frame using screws.  (Take advantage of free labor as much as you can!)

Once you've attached the stakes, you could paint or stain the frame.  Make sure you use a paint or stain that will withstand the weather.  We elected not to paint or stain it because quite frankly, I wanted to get it into the ground and there were April rain clouds moving through.  Plus, I wasn't sure how comfortable I was with paint that close to pea plants.

Next, he unrolled the length of chicken wire to fit the length of the frame, then stapled the chicken wire to the frame.

It just so happened that the chicken wire was the perfect width for the frame.  No, we didn't plan it that way--it just happened!

Once the chicken wire is stapled all around, was time to put it into the ground! We put it close to the peas, but not on top of them. (We didn't want to damage the seedlings.) We pushed the stakes into the soil until the frame was about half an inch from the ground.  I didn't want the frame resting on the soil, as it would hasten the decay of the wood.

Now, it's ready for the peas!