One of the first plants that we put out this year were our sugar snap peas. We started a few plants from seed indoors and then when they were tall enough (probably around three inches) I planted them in our raised bed. I also planted some successive rows of seeds to keep them producing at different intervals throughout the season.
Now that the peas are growing strong and tall it is time to start thinking about a support system for them. There are many options available for garden support. You can use anything from trellises to nets, poles to tuteurs… really the options are endless. The most important thing is that you need to know your plant and how it tends to grow. Once you know that, you can determine the right kind of support for your plant. This is a good website to help you make those decisions for your garden.
For our snap peas we decided to use a netting structure. Now, if you don’t already know, I am one of the cheapest people you will ever meet. I HATE spending money when I don’t have to so this project was especially attractive to me as it wound up costing us around $3.00 to complete.
Step One: Gather your Supplies
We used some upcycled (ie. cruddy, old “found” wood) posts, nails, and twine. You are also going to need a drill and hammer.
Step Two: Prepare and Install Posts and Horizontal Twine
To begin, drill holes every six inches or so going up the length of each post. As we have a wooden framed raised bed, we then took our posts and nailed them directly into the side of the bed. If you are working in an environment where that is not possible, I would dig a small hole for each of your posts, insert the base of the wood, and then fill back in the hole with the excavated dirt for support. Next, take a length of twine and start at one of the bottom pre-drilled holes and weave the twine back and forth between the posts until you reach the top and are left with several horizontal rows. Make sure that the twine is securely tied off at the top and bottom of your posts.
Step Three: Add Vertical Twine
This next step is the most daunting… but only because it is time consuming and not because it is difficult in any way. Measure out twine that is slightly longer than the height of the netting area that you are creating. Starting at the bottom of your structure, tie off one end of your twine and begin to weave it upwards to the top of the netting. You will most likely also want to tie your vertical twine to each of the horizontal lines of twine as you come across it. When you get to the top, tie the twine off once again. You will repeat this every four to six inches (depending on the spacing of your plants) until you have completed one entire net.
Step Four: DO IT AGAIN!
Repeat the steps above to create a separate net for each row of your climbing plants. One thing that I did wrong and that I would advise you against is starting at the end of the bed and working in. It would have been MUCH easier to start in the middle of the bed and work my way out. I felt like I was playing Twister trying to contort myself into the shapes necessary to reach in between each row to tie off my vertical twine.
In the end, you will wind up with a cheap, functional structure to help your plants to grow strong and happy.