Friday, March 25, 2011

A Simple Lattice Style Trellis

I had an idea to create some privacy on one side of our house, build a trellis! I put together a quick design for a wooden trellis that could easily be built in a weekend and provide a nearly instant structure for growing climbing roses, honeysuckle, or other vine plants to create a nice living privacy screen. The trellis idea below is approximately 6' wide by 6' high. I think it would look great either stained or painted.

The trellis plan is fairly simple:

A) Two 8' 4x4 treated lumber posts form the sides. They should be set in concrete to assure stability.
B) A 72" long 2x4 to connect the posts
C) Another 2x4 this time cut at 84" to allow for some overhang at the top.
D) Set about 6 inches of gravel in a 2' hole for drainage and add concrete to secure the posts.
E) The vertical lattice slats are made from ripped 2x4s cut to 1.75" wide.  This will allow for one 2x4 to be cut into 2 slats. These should all be long enough to attach to the top board (C) and the bottom board (B). If the bottom board is set 6" above ground level these should be 66". Measure the distance between the top and bottom boards to get an exact measurement. Space the slats evenly (approximately 6" on center) by subtracting the width of the two end slats then dividing your distance by the number of slats you are installing, more slats will mean a shorter spacing.
F) The horizontal slats are ripped 2x4 like E. Secure them across evenly at the same interval as the slats in E.

Material List:
  • 2 - 8 foot 4x4
  • 10 - 8 foot 2x4
  • Concrete and gravel to fill approx. 1.5-2 cubic feet.
  • 2" deck coated screws
Pre-drill all holes to prevent the wood from splitting. 

Approximate cost: $75-100 without paint or stain.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Potager Style Vegetable Garden Layout

One of my many iterations of our vegetable garden layout was this simple potager style garden layout. It features two entrances. There were two large beds for corn and beans that were planted directly in the ground while the rest of the garden used raised beds for growing crops. In Tennessee our soils tend to be filled with clay and rocks which doesn't make for a wonderful garden but with raised beds we can overcome those issues.

Crop rotation is easy to accomplish with this many beds. I would recommend using fewer but larger beds. Combining the 2'x4' vegetable beds into one 6'x4' bed would add several square feet of gardening space.

Also here are 11 Things to Think about if you're considering a new raised bed vegetable garden.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Garden Border Ideas: Stone for Borders

Here's an easy idea to outline your garden borders and make them look simple and rustic but full of class: natural stone borders! Just gather up as much stone as you can, clear out your border area, lay the stones and your borders are done. They do require a little edging maintenance - grass likes to grow between the stones. A weed control fabric underneath the stones - or thick newspaper - may help to reduce the weeds. I prefer the newspaper since it will degrade and feed the soil. The weed control fabric will gather weed seeds and roots will grow right through the top of it which makes it difficult to weed. More photos of the stone border can be seen at my main blog by clicking on the picture below or the link provided above!

Plantings: Dusty Miller, Persian Shield, Sweet Potato Vine, Coleus