Condo Blues: How to Make Tepee Trellises

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How to Make Tepee Trellises

I planted scarlet runner beans, winter squash, and cucumbers in my covert front yard vegetable garden. The vines are growing! They need trellises.

Grow my pretties! Grow!

Husband and I found functional trellises but were leaning toward something with a little style because they will live in the front yard. The decorative metal trellises were more for what we were going for but did not look sturdy enough to hold heavy winter squash or cucumbers. Oh and the decorative trellises were stupid expensive for flimsy-ish spray painted black metal.

When I can’t buy I DIY!

I promised Husband I would build him a set of tepee trellises for the front yard.

I cheated a bit and bought pressure treated wood deck rails and fence post caps. Husband suggested using such thick rails so the trellises will withstand our ferocious thunderstorms. Good call.The trellises toppled during a thunderstorm shortly after I installed them and before I had a chance to stake them in place.

I chose pressure treated wood because it is treated to survive outside in the element for more than a year. Why not reclaimed wood? Because older pressure treated wood may have been treated with arsenic, which is something I don’t want to introduce into my garden bed or the food I’m going to grow on the trellises.

I used galvanized four inch deck screws at the top of two deck rails to screw them together in a V shape. I used galvanized screws so they won’t rust. One of the reasons I used deck rails is that they already had a decorative mitered edge that I used to make the V shape. Why miter if I don’t have to?

I screwed a set of V shaped legs to the side of each fence post cap. A little green outdoor paint leftover from my front door paint project  and ta da! A scarlet runner bean trellis is born.

Tepee bean trellis
I needed something to support the winter squash and cucumbers on their tepee trellises. I broke out my compound miter saw and some plywood.

I cut the plywood in to graduated 2-inch thick strips. I screwed the slates on four sides of the legs with half inch galvanized screws. I tried to stagger the slats at an angle on each side for interest. A little bit of paint later, I have two slatted tepee trellises!

Tepee trellis with slats

Since I used pressure treated wood for most of this project, I didn’t need to paint the trellises to protect it against the weather, with the exception of the plywood.  I did it anyway. I have a bunch of outdoor paint leftover from the door and my porch chair revamp.

I figured I might as well use it on the legs since I had to paint the plywood slats to protect them from the weather.Rust-Oleum 7929830 American Accents Spray, Satin Lagoon, 12-OunceI wanted something a bit brighter to use as an accent color and to protect the plywood slats from the elements. I figure since I took the time to build something from scratch I might as well take a little extra time to make it look cool instead of solely functional. I went with Rustoleum spray paint in Lagoon. I bought a few more cans of spray paint than the project required. Fortunately, once I got started transforming the garden into an actual garden, it lead to a Power of Paint Remodel on the front porch. Stay tuned for more porch projects!

What do you think? Are my tepee trellises over kill or garden art?

Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed  or to Condo Blues by Email.