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veggie trellis

Frost Resistant Veggie Trellis

veggie trellis

In the cold, frosty parts of the country, winter can wreak havoc on your vegetables and garden plants. Many are damaged and set back severely, while others may even be killed by frost and cold winds.

As the seasons change, cover tender plants with a veggie trellis that has a special fabric that gives them protection. Building a temporary framework covered with frost-guard fabric is the perfect solution in the vegetable garden (see our easy DIY below). The fabric then doesn’t need to be removed every day – the sides or edges can be rolled up to let additional light and air into the plants, while water can be applied under or through the frost cover.

Remove the covering on the veggie trellis every 7-10 days to inspect the plants and make sure that no pests and diseases are also making use of the shelter. Remove the covering completely when all likelihood of frost is over.

Larger plants can literally be draped with the cloth each evening before the temperature starts to drop. This traps warm air around the plant and considerably reduces the likelihood of frost damage. Take the covering off on warm days to allow light and air to get to the plants.

During extended periods of cold and freezing winds, leave the plants wrapped in their blankets. Secure the frost cover with ropes or place bricks on any edges that reach the ground. Remember that the worst damage is often caused by early or late frosts when plants are not conditioned to the cold temperatures.

If they are subjected to a gradual reduction in temperatures, they adapt far more effectively to the winter weather. Have your frost cover at the ready and follow the weather forecast on a daily basis – it could save your plants, and a small fortune in the long run.

What you Need for your Veggie Trellis

  • CCA-treated droppers cut to the following lengths:
  • 4 x 1100mm
  • 2 x 465mm
  • 2 x 440mm
  • 2 x 320mm
  • 2 x 270mm
  • 2 x 170mm
  • 2 x 135mm
  • Frost-guard fabric
  • Full-thread cut screws (4 x 40mm)

Tools Needed

Cordless drill, 3mm wood drill bit, driver bit, staple gun, scissors

Steps

1. Mark and cut the droppers as per the cutting list.

2. Place two 1100mm droppers on a flat surface and secure the supports to make a triangle. Starting at the top, use 170mm, then 320mm, and then the 465mm droppers at the base. Secure the horizontal supports with screws, leaving approximately 15mm on each side to overhang. Repeat with the other two 1100mm droppers.

3. Stand the two frames upright and secure the other supports. Starting at the top use 135mm, then 270mm, then the 440mm droppers at the base. Repeat on the other side.

4. Wrap the structure with frost protection fabric and secure with a staple gun.

5. Place the structure over the veggies and dig a small trench around the base. Allow the frost protection fabric to hang into the trench and weigh it down with soil.