Ya got a belligerent Bougainvillea, ya say? Or a wandering Wisteria threatening to take over your yard? Never fear, the solution is near. Just whip up a sturdy, inexpensive garden trellis to restrain the frustratingly flourishing flora. Here’s how:
Materials You Will Need:
2 – 1″ X 1″ X 6′ pieces of Redwood or Cedar (Called “One by One” at the store, even though they’re really only 3/4″ X 3/4″.)
6 – 1″ X 1″ X 4′ pieces of same.
15 – 6d (d=”Penny”) Galvanized Box Nails.
Lay the two 6′ pieces side-by-side, aligning (what will become) the top ends. With a tape rule or ruler, measuring from that top end, make marks on both at 1′, 2′, 3′ and 4′. This will represent the top of the cross pieces you will then attach.
Separate the 6′ pieces (we’ll now call them “Legs”) the distance of the 4′ pieces (now referred to as “cross pieces”) on a hard, level surface. (The garage floor, for example.) Raise the leg up off the surface with scrap 1-1/2″ material, placing them BETWEEN your marks. Starting at the top, attach one end of a cross piece to the top of the leg using one of the nails.
Note: The 1X1’s will tend to split on the ends when you nail them. To circumvent this problem, pre-drill with a bit just ever-so-slightly smaller in diameter than the nails.
Hammer the nail in flush, so that it protrudes from the back. (Once assembled, you will turn the trellis over and hammer these nails over flat to “clench” the joint.) Continue with all cross pieces down one leg, then repeat the process with the second leg.
Attach the remaining 4′ piece to the cross pieces, vertically, in the center of the span, between the legs, just as you did the legs. Flip the assembly over and clench the nails. Make sure you square the assembly before you clench the nails. Do this with a carpenter’s framing square or by measuring to mirror points diagonally with a tape rule. (ie: From the top right corner to the bottom left cross piece / leg joint and vice-versa. When those measurements are equal, the trellis is square.) You now have a Trellis!
The two legs can be buried in the soil a few inches to secure the bottom of the trellis. To attach the upper part (to the house siding, fence, etc.) use outdoor rated screws. Do not, however, attach it to your house without creating an isolation between the trellis and the siding. Stand off from the siding at least an inch, using either a metal or plastic spacer. What works best for me is 1/2″ PVC piped couplers. I screw through the two legs, between the top and the first cross piece, using the coupler to create the necessary isolation, precluding a path for termites to start feasting on the siding.
Now you can lasso the branches of that wild Wisteria and hogtie it into submission on your new Inexpensive Garden Trellis!