trellis complete

Jenessa’s Trellis

By Jenessa Hilger

Over the past few years, I’ve been cultivating an increasingly larger vegetable garden. Last year was my first attempt at growing cucumbers but by mid-summer, they had climbed halfway up the screens on my sun-porch windows. That’s when I decided I needed a trellis.

Because my trellis would be located right in front of my sun-porch windows, I wanted something with a little more personality than the standard lattice pattern. It also needed to be low enough to allow light to shine through.

The trellis I designed had free floating zig-zag rails. This was a bit of an engineering challenge because the rails needed to be strong enough to support fruit- and veggie-laden plants while spanning a five-foot section unsupported. I knew fillets would be a necessity and hoped they would make it strong enough.

I cut the pieces and attached everything together with finishing nails to hold it in place. On the inside corner of all the joints, I created fillets with 105/205 thickened with 406 Colloidal Silica to a peanut butter consistency. The rounded end of an 808 Mixing Stick was the perfect radius for my fillets.

trellis unpainted

The trellis I designed had free-floating zig-zag rails.

After the initial application cured, I filled any remaining gaps with thickened epoxy for added strength and to make it more aesthetically pleasing. I wanted to minimize the visibility of the joints after the it was painted.

Pleased with how solid the fillets made the trellis, I applied a couple coats of neat epoxy to the entire thing. I paid close attention to the end grain of the posts that would be embedded in the soil, and areas that were likely to see standing water. After a couple coats of spray paint, the trellis was ready to be installed.

My cucumbers and pole beans seem to really be enjoying the trellis. As am I.