Constructing a simple teepee in the garden is a very simple and fun way to work vertically. Living in the city, we are all space-challenged and I have found the teepee a welcome edition every year. You can use old tree branches or visit your nearest nursery for bamboo stalks.

Tie your teepee at the top with some twine to hold them together. I also go around at the middle, for further support. There is nothing more frustrating than running out to save the teepee on a windy night, trying desperately not to snap off vines from your plants.

My pea seeds were apparently bad this year, because I only have one or two lonely vines. Typically, peas are a great one to start with in early Spring. When they start to get too hot, the runner beans are close on their heels.

I arranged the teepee in a very hot corner of our yard this year – a place that gets full sun most of the day. The beans will love it here! I am considering trying to trellis some lemon cucumber up as well, which would also enjoy the heat. They are smaller in size and hopefully wouldn’t get heavy enough to break off the vine. You can also use pieces of old nylon hose as a little hammock support under heavier trellis vegetables, like melons or larger cucumbers.

The trellis will keep the ground open for more plantings and hopefully cool the house a little by adding shade. Although it looks pretty bare and sad now, everything is growing inches overnight here! We have had a great mix of sun and rain, so I am optimistic our trellis will be covered soon. I’ve included a picture from last season so you can see how pretty it will be in a few weeks!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson