By Bea 1549
I'm attempting once again to grow birdhouse gourds. They work well in hills with a lot of area to spread, but I don't have a large area to spare. They also will climb, so I'm trying it this way this year. I needed a trellis, and made my own from items I already had in the house.
I have three plants in an oblong plastic planter, like a window box. I screwed in 5 eyebolts on the rim of the plastic, evenly spaced.
I wanted my trellis to stretch to the upper part of my back porch, which is sided in rough-sawn cedar. I centered a cup hook over where the center of the planter will be placed. I measured one foot and inserted another cup hook, placing two more to the left and two more to the right of the center hook. This makes a span of 4 feet, giving my trellis a gentle fan shape. You can use any measurement you want.
I used crochet cotton which I already had. I'm sorry that I don't know the yardage I used, but it wouldn't take a lot. You can use sturdy yarn or twine, maybe even ribbon. First, I threaded the string through all five of the eyebolts on the plastic planter , ending with the far right, and tied a knot. Then I strung the string up to the cup hook in the cedar and back down again to the same eyebolt. I held the string under the eyebolt, pulled it to the next eyebolt to the left, then up to the cuphook and down again.
When all 5 vertical strings are done, bring the string up against the end string about six inches, or to the vertical measurement you want. I didn't measure this part. Tie a half-hitch knot in the string, then again. Bring the string to the second vertical stringer, tie a double half-hitch again to anchor it.
Repeat across until you reach the 5th stringer. Step back and see if the horizontal string looks level to you, if not the knots slide up and down the string a bit for adjustment. Take your string vertically along the end stringer to the distance you want and tie double half-hitch again, then go across the stringers.
Keep going in this pattern until you come to the top of the stringers, cut string after the final knot. I didn't worry about sagging horizontal strings, I was making mine for utility, not beauty. The funny thing is, before I was finished, the middle plant had already grabbed ahold of the string to climb.
Here's the finished trellis: