A bamboo trellis is very useful if you grow climbing vegetables like peas and beans. Cheap and versatile, bamboo is also one of the most beautiful trellis materials available. Here's how to set one up.
Step 1 - Designing the Bamboo Trellis
Decide how large you want your trellis to be, based on the size of the area it will inhabit when it's finished.
It's a good idea to sketch out the design of the trellis you want to build. The style is only limited by your imagination, and the need to support climbing plants. A classic trellis, one that resembles a tall checkerboard, is easy to build, but you can vary the design by changing the length of the poles.
For this walkthrough, we'll be describing a trellis in the shape of a fan, so if you want to follow along, you can start by drawing a peacock/shell shape. The height of this trellis will be 6-feet, the width will be determined by how far apart you want the poles spaced.
Step 2 - Laying Out the Trellis
With the design in front of you, start laying out the bamboo for the trellis.
Put the five longest pieces of bamboo together, making sure they're even at the top and bottom. Begin by moving the end poles out but making sure the bottom of the poles stay connected. This will determine the final width of the bamboo trellis.
When the two end poles have been moved as far apart as you want them to be, you can continue spreading apart the inner poles.
The poles may move around a bit so be careful to not get too far off your design plans. You can tape the bamboo poles down to the work area to make it easier on you.
Measure the distance across at the widest point of the bamboo trellis. You can start at either end and use the tops of the outer bamboo poles as your starting point. This first measurement will be the length of the first horizontal pole. Decide how far apart you want each horizontal pole and measure to suit.
Step 3 - Cutting the Bamboo
Cut the 1/2-inch diameter bamboo poles to the measurements that you took in Step 2.
Step 4 - Assembling the Bamboo Trellis
Place each horizontal pole in place on the spread-out bamboo fan. Make a pencil line at each cross-section of the trellis.
Cut a length of cord for each cross section. Starting from the bottom, begin lashing each cross-section together. Wrap the cord under the bottom bamboo pole and around the front. Then bring the cord over, crossing the bamboo pole. Bring the cord back around and tie it off. Continue until each cross section is lashed together.
Stand the trellis up and place it in your garden.