Oh, the weather’s getting good, isn’t it??? I am so excited to have 75 degree days andI love seeing all things green in the garden. I actually picked my first Oregon strawberry yesterday…Not beautiful, but so yummy! Of course, my preschooler gobbled it right up, so I had to take her word for it. Nothing like giving my firstborn the first pick, right? So with this great weather and my greenhouse seedlings ready to be planted, I thought I’d build a fun trellis for my sugar snap peas and pole beans. And what could be more fun than a teepee trellis? I love the idea of having a kids’ teepee in the garden area. Not only does it encourage them to play in the garden, they can snack their little hearts out while I am pulling weeds and pruning tomato plants. And I couldn’t do this project and not share it with you! It’s too fun to keep to myself. So here’s 6 easy steps to building your own teepee trellis:
Prepare your ground
I have a gravel “parking lot” for my garden, so I do all of my gardening in raised beds and containers. To prepare my ground, I found a nice, flat spot, about 6 feet in diameter, and placed 6 large containers in a semi circle. I left room for the entrance to the teepee. I filled my containers with good potting soil and aged horse manure and planted my sugar snap pea starts in the containers. I’ll add pole beans after the danger of the last spring frost is gone. You could also simply plant seeds in the containers rather than starts. And if you have a nice garden that doesn’t require containers or raised beds, you can just clear a 6″ round area and use it.
Gather your sticks
My friend Jobey had recently pruned a large tree in her backyard, so she let me come by and collect enough branches for my teepee. I cut 12 branches about 6 feet long.
Make a tripod
To start, I took three branches and created a tripod. I placed the bottoms of each branch in a pot. Then I secured the top of the tripod, where all the branches came together, with garden twine.
Add your other sticks
I added the remaining 9 branches, and again, wrapped them with twine to keep them secure. For the most part, each container had 2 branches.
Add additional string
With 6-9 plants in each container, I was concerned that they would have a hard time finding only 1 or 2 branches to latch on to, so I decided to add some additional string, giving the vines some alternative ways to climb. Talk about spoiling my plants rotton, right? In central Oregon, you kind of have to do that…otherwise they get crabby and won’t grow. So I added a horizontal string to the top and bottom areas and then strung vertical lines between the two. This gives the li’l guys a few more options.
Grow, vines, grow!
And then, it’s just time to water and watch! If you plant beans right away, you’ll probably have to cover them on cold nights, but the peas are just fine regardless of the temperature.
I am hoping that by the end of the summer, the teepee looks just like this:
Wouldn’t that be grand? All those sugar snap peas and green beans playfully plucked by my little ones while they play with trucks and fairy princess wings.
What creative things are you coming up with for your garden? I am always on the lookout for new and fun ways to grow, save money and space, and provide fresh produce for my family. Please share!