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There are many crops in the garden that can be grown vertically to save space. I built an easy DIY Teepee Trellis that I use in my garden to grow my cucumbers, peas, and even pole beans. It is a great way to get more crops in the same space and makes it easier to harvest the food off the vines. I use my teepee trellises in my raised garden beds but you could also build them directly on the ground in your in ground garden bed. Teepee trellis are really easy to build and don’t require a lot of materials to get started. This is really one of the easiest and cheapest methods I have found for growing vertically in my garden.
Instructions For Building a DIY Teepee Trellis
How To Make a Teepee Trellis
- Decide where you are going to build the teepee trellis in your garden. You should put it together where it is going to be for the season.
- Start by hammering in your center pole. This pole should be placed in the center of your teepee vertically and will be used to support the other poles.
- This step is easier with 2 people but I have done it very successfully on my own as well. Place the base of the 4 other poles in a square around the center post and lean them against the center pole at the top. I am able to just push the bases of the poles into the raised bed garden soil but if your soil is a little more compact use the hammer to hammer the bases into the soil for additional stability.
- Take your garden twine and wrap it around the tops of the 4 poles ensuring they are wrapped to the center pole. I wrap around several times and go over and under the poles to make sure they are securely connected to the center pole. You should now have a square teepee shape made out of your poles.
- Now take your garden twine and create some horizontal strings going around the poles at different intervals. This will give your cucumbers, peas, or pole beans additional surface area to climb up. I usually have around 4-5 horizontal strings going up the sides of my teepees.
- Plant your crop either at the base of the poles or just under where the horizontal strings are located.
Training Your Plants on a Trellis
You may need to assist your crops initially with vining up the teepee trellis but usually once established your plants know what they should do with little intervention from you. I have used some garden velcro or garden clips to initially help the plants to grow vertically up the trellis. You can always add more garden twine to make additional horizontal growing supports.
Harvesting off your Teepee Trellis
Since your plants are growing vertically it should be much easier for you to harvest from the teepee then if they were vining on the ground. Make sure to look under leaves and towards the middle of the trellis because I had quite a few cucumbers trying to hide in the middle of the trellis. Overall I find it much easier to harvest from a vertical trellis like the teepee trellis and it only takes a few minutes to build at the beginning of the season.
Building a DIY Teepee Trellis is Easy
Building a Teepee Trellis is probably the quickest and easiest way to build a vertical trellis in your garden. If you don’t have bamboo poles you could use large branches. You could even get some poles from a home improvement store. I was lucky and had a friend who was cutting down their bamboo and asked if anyone wanted some. We went over and helped cut things down and now get to utilize them as poles for all kinds of garden projects. I have seen people post things on Facebook Market place all the time that could be utilized for the vertical poles of this trellis. So for me the overall cost of building this trellis every year is the length of twine that I use. So this trellis for me likely costs 1-2 dollars a year at the most.
If you have a smaller place you can still utilize this same concept in your space. Growing in containers? Scale down the width of your square around the center pole and use some shorter poles. This would allow you to grow things using this method in a large pot. How about growing some vining flowers instead of vegetables. I bet clematis or morning glories would love to grow up a trellis built in this manner.
Here are some links to seeds that I have utilized this trellis for with great success
- Dragon Egg Cucumber
- Boston Pickling Cucumber
- Marketmore 76 Cucumber
- Green Arrow Shell Pea
- Sugar Snap Peas
I hope you will give vertical growing a chance this year. It is a great way to save some garden space and makes it easier to harvest. There are some other vertical growing methods I am going to give a try this year. If you have a little more garden space or would like to build an archway over your garden paths check out my How to build a Cattle Panel Arch Trellis article. Happy Gardening!