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How to make Garden Trellises from Plastic Pipe

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Written by Aupoet   

Garden trellis with Clematis 

Beautiful flowering plants such as morning glory vines, clematis vines, and trumpet vines, are a great way to cover up that plain brick wall or that ugly metal garden shed. Flowering vines need some sort of support for growing through like garden trellises. Here is an easy way to build rot proof, rust proof, garden trellises that can be put together quickly and will last for years.

1. Purchase the needed lengths of PVC pipe. The two legs for the plant trellis are made from schedule 40, 2 inch, pvc pipe that is 5 foot long. The upper arch of the decorative trellis is a single piece of thin walled, 1 1/4 inch, PVC pipe, that is 10 foot long. Pipes cut to these lengths will make an arched trellis some 7 to 8 foot tall and 5 foot wide depending on the spacing of the legs. If white pipes are not wanted then the pipe can be spray painted before putting it up. It it best to roughen up the surface of PVC pipe by sanding it slightly before painting it, so the paint will adhere to it better. These decorative trellises are a great source of shade and when covered with fast growing plant vines make wonderful privacy trellises around a patio.

2. Get the right type of plastic fencing for the garden trellises. Metal fencing can be used but it will rust over time so plastic fencing is better. The fencing should have openings of at least 1 inch square, with 2 to 3 inch openings being better. Garden supply stores are a good place to buy rolls of cheap plastic fence. A 15 foot length of three ft. tall fence will be enough to cover one trellis from the ground to the top. Don't use thin bird netting as it cannot support the weight of the vine and will tear easily.

3. Put the trellis legs in the ground to support the trellis. The PVC pipe legs need to go at least 2 foot into the ground to give the trellis enough support once it is covered with growing vine plants. Dig post holes about five foot apart, to place the pipes in, filling in and tamping the dirt around them well to hold them in place. If the decorative trellis is going next to a wall, place the pipes in the holes so they slant back toward the wall. This way the trellis will lean back on the wall for support as well. If possible some screws or nails can be placed in the wall to tie the trellis to it, but this is usually not necessary. Tie a piece of nylon string from the top of one leg to the other to keep them from spreading apart when the arched top pipe is placed in them.

Trellis leg support

4. Bend the long section of the smaller PVC pipe and slide each end into the pipe legs. The arch pipe needs to go into the leg pipes at least some 6 inches or more. Once the top arch pipe is in place, use the drill to make a hole through both pipes where the top pipe extends into the leg pipe. Place the long nail through the hole to hold the pipes together. Adjust the height of the Arched trellis by sliding more of the top pipe into the legs before drilling the holes.

5.Cut the fencing to length and tie it to the trellis. Measure the width of the trellis and cut the plastic garden fencing a couple of inches longer than the width. Starting at the trellis bottom, place a length of fencing across it allowing the ends to wrap around the pipe. Tie a 10 foot long piece of nylon string to the pipe leg neat the ground and tie the fence to the pipe by wrapping the string through the fence and around the pipe. When the top of the section of fence is reached go around the pipe twice, pull the string tight and tuck the free end under one of the wraps that are tight against the pipe. Pull the excess string through the tight wrap to secure it but do not cut it off. Go to the opposite leg and tie the other end of the fence there the same way. Now do the second section of plastic fence over the top of the first, slightly overlapping the two runs. Use the excess length of string to continue tying the ends of the second run of fencing.

6. The top run of fence will have to have the top corners either cut off to match the curve of the arched trellis or the top corners will need to be bent over and tied down. Tie on extra lengths of string as needed to continue tying the fence to the PVC pipe all the way across the arched trellis top. Next tie the sections of fence to each other across their lengths where they overlap. Be sure to especially tie the fence up well at the top of the arch so it can support the weight of any fast growing vines. Besides being a thing of beauty, a vine covered trellis will help to cool the house by shading outside walls. Patio trellises can help bring some privacy to the area and provide shade.


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