Building a Trellis

In need of a trellis for your climbers? You could buy a ready made wooden trellis or construct one from lumber. Wood is pretty expensive and the materials for a home made trellis add up quickly. Also in the wet Florida soil the wooden trellis does not have a long life expectancy. I have seen wooden stakes rot away in the ground within a year.

Here is a DIY project that will build a trellis 6ft tall and 3 ft wide, made of PVC irrigation parts.

10ft PVC pipes

Items needed:

  • 4 pipes 10ft long and 1/2 inch diameter
  • 2 elbows, 90 degrees, 1/2 inch
  • 10 tees, 1/2 inch
  • PVC cement
  • cost for this set: approx. $20, a bargain compared to the cost of wood!!!

Tools and PVC parts

 

Tools needed:

  • tape measure
  • hacksaw or similar saw to cut PVC pipe
  • Stanley knife or file to smooth the rough edges after cutting

 

 

Cut PVC pipes

Step 1, cut the pipe components

  • cut 6 lengths of 3 ft (horizontal bars)
  • cut 2 lengths of 2 ft (bottom vertical bars)
  • cut 10 lengths of 1 ft (other vertical bars)
  • remove the burr (smoothing the rough cutting edge) with a Stanley knife, or file

 

Step 2, assemble the structure and glue with PVC cement. Caution: the cement dries quickly, you only get a few seconds to get it right.

  • ensure that the black print on the PVC parts faces the same/back side of the trellis.

    Assembly steps

  • work on a flat surface (floor) to ensure that the structure will be flat
  • start with a 3 ft length and connect the elbows (this becomes the top horizontal bar)
  • working from the top down: insert a 1 ft pipe in each of the elbows.
  • connect the first tee to the right down pipe; straight T section running up/down; make sure the tee is flat on the floor.
  • connect a second tee (side opening) to the next 3ft pipe
  • stick the other end of the 3 ft pipe in the first tee (side opening)
  • connect the second tee to the left 1 ft down pipe.
  • repeat process until all 3 ft and 1 ft pipes are used.
  • the 2 2ft pipes are the bottom vertical bars, of which 1 ft will sit in the ground.

Step 3 optional.

Completed Trellis

  • the white PVC pipes make an architectural statement. They contrast with the green of the plants and the color of the possible flowers.
  • one may chose to paint the trellis in a contrasting color
  • alternatively one may chose to let the trellis blend into the background by painting the structure in the same color as the wall.

Step 4

  • dig two holes 1 foot deep and 3 ft apart.
  • place the trellis in the holes and fill the holes and compact the soil.
  • this example trellis is 6 ft tall. One can make the trellis as tall as desired by adding more vertical segments in 1 ft increments
  • depending on the final height of the trellis one should anchor the trellis to the wall on one or multiple levels when exceeding 6 ft in height.

…. and this is the end result:

In this case the trellis has been painted in the color of the wall.

Climb away Confederate Jasmine!!

 

FLGardener

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