Monday, March 4, 2013

Grow Vertical!

Yesterday I attended a great class on vertical gardening in north Dallas - it was perfectly timed because of other things going on in my garden.

I saw this on Grow Food Not Lawn's Facebook page a couple days ago.  I've been watching a stand of bamboo down the street from me for about a's been calling my name loudly for the past several weeks.

Today was the day...I spent about 45 minutes cutting down four large pieces, then cutting them into 4 and five foot pieces.

If you've attended a Citizen Gardener class you know that trellising is a great way to more effectively use the north side of your raised bed.  They have a great technique for setting up the trellis, and of course it's always good when the bamboo is free.

To build this trellis on a 4x4 raised bed, you'll need the following:
8 pieces of bamboo - four 4' sections and four that are a bit taller and with a smaller diameter.
4' piece of 2x4
A spade bit that is around 7/8".  A little bigger is fine
Jute for lashing

You will drill out four cavities with the spade bit.  Brian Gallimore of the Citizen Gardener program always drills a small hole all the way through to ensure drainage as well.  Having water sit in the holes will just rot them more quickly.

Once you've drilled out the four holes, drill some pilot holes so that you can easily attach the 2x4 to the raised bed without splitting the wood.  Attach to the north side so that it won't shade the other plants.  Insert the bamboo poles into the cavities, then lash the crossbars on using the jute. (This skill will serve you well if you are ever stranded on a desert island and forced to build a raft).

So here's the finished product.  This photo is from one of our Citizen Gardener classes.  I've also seen the trellis left much longer and then during the heat of the summer it's flexible enough to be pulled over the bed to shade it with whatever you have growing on it.

I love the idea of making this trellis so cheaply - and you can modify it based on the length of your bed or the space you are trying to fill.  It would even look nice as a green wall - attached to the side of a balcony or deck and then covered with a climbing plant it would be a great way to shade a sitting area.

I'm so glad it's spring!

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