Some of your plants will like to climb. This is one way to make a trellis, almost for free. A most helpful climbing trellis is that made with bamboo, wire and spacers.

Photo byLaura Fitch.

I cut some light hose into short segments; each as long as the space between bean plants (250mm). Then I threaded them onto the support wire. Tie each bamboo stake with a rag strip between the spacers. When the wind blows your trellis will not slide along the wire.

Above: The short hose segments on the support wire will keep the bamboo stakes equidistant. They will not slide on the wire in the wind.

Below: How I made the trellis before I learned that spacers were an improvement.

Levi and I cut a few bamboo stakes. Using pruning secateurs we trimmed them in the sun. Cut off the leaves. Then bent the stakes while still fresh to make a structure to support bird-netting. Then we used more for the climbing bean structure. More to support tomatoes. All at no cost!

A trellis is a structure made of wooden strips upon which plants are trained to use for support. Above: The bamboo supports bird netting. Bend it while freshly cut.

Use rag strips to tie the bamboo to a guide wire. A warratah is at each end of the wire.

We use bamboo to support tomatoes and beans.

Note the two steel warratahs at each end.

This tepee structure will support beans, peas and capucijners – the Dutch pea-beans I grow.

This bean is being trained to grow up the bamboo. They always wind the same way around the bamboo, from east to west in New Zealand.

See how it is attached.

Rags strips are used to tie it off.

Bamboo is perhaps the most versatile resource you can use for garden structures in NZ. It is strong and light.

Flexible enough to bend as hoops for bird-netting or a cloche.

Tall enough to build a structure to support all your climbing beans and tomatoes.

Learn how to use bamboo to support your plants, where to get bamboo for free and resourceful ideas of how to lash bamboo.

This is what you can do …

I tore a rag into strips. Then tied off the bamboo using rag strips.

Rags are good for two years and cost nothing.

The tepee form is what I put up for peas and some beans. I use this tepee structure where space is limited.

Bamboo costs nothing if you find someone who has a stand. Bamboo grows fast and with ease. Learn to rely on bamboo as the best way you will support your plants. Below: We planted a stand of bamboo a few years ago.

I recommend you study the different varieties before growing any. I have never regretted growing bamboo for the vege garden.

This is our stand of bamboo. There are varieties ideal for growing in town.

For free bamboo, ask your local council if there are any gullies in your town with bamboo you could cut for stakes.