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Sapling Trellis

May 7th, 2015

On Monday there were a few questions about how I connected my sapling trellis together, ropes, nails, etc. The truth is I didn’t use much of anything. When building this type of trellis you weave the saplings through the upright posts and this creates a very strong trellis. You can see blow how the saplings are woven in this fashion. I try to alternate thick ends with small ends so that there aren’t spots with lots of the smaller tops coming together in one section of the trellis.
sapling trellis 2
I like to use saplings that are decently sized, nothing too tiny or it wouldn’t be as strong. I don’t tie the horizontal pieces to the vertical pieces. The strength of the saplings is enough to that by themselves. When possible I try to leave the saplings as long as possible so I can use the very thin tops to connect them together if necessary.
sapling trellis 3
On occasion if I have two sides meet and there’s not enough space to weave the ends around each other I will tie the small saplings together. I only used two pieces of twine on this pea trellis.
sapling trellis 1
pea trellis 2
Hopefully that gives you an idea of how this is built. It’s quite an easy process, the harvest part is cutting all the saplings. There’s quite a stand of them out back, I could build fences all around my garden if I wanted to, which I might if I get some extra time.
wattle fence
I took this idea a step further and built a small wattle fence around my 5×5 Challenge garden. I’ll try to get better photos of it someday, I just snapped a quick picture with my phone the day I built it. There is no rope on this little sapling fence, it’s quite amazing how they stay together and are quite strong.

What do you use for building trellises and plant supports?

Gearing Up

May 5th, 2015

We’re gearing up for the busy garden chore season. Mr Chiots has been out tuning up all the small engines in the household. It’s amazing how many you need to have to keep things mowed, trimmed, cut, chipped, and generally tidy. A few of the engines needed some work, luckily the vintage riding mower fired right up.
vintage cub cadet garden tractor
You can read more about this great little tractor in this post. It won’t be long until it will be mowing a few acres every week.

Do have many engines to maintain for garden maintenance?

Making Do

May 4th, 2015

All of my bamboo stakes are getting old and breaking. Last year was pretty much the last year they were going to be able to hold up pea vines. I debated on buying some metal pea fences, my mom has been using the same ones for many years. But then I decided I’d rather use up what I already had on hand. I thinned saplings in the woodlot, something that needs done anyways.
pea trellis 2
As a result I ended up with a nice trellis built of saplings. It’s really a win/win. Two chores completely at once and I think it looks quite nice as well. One of these days I’ll build a fence from saplings, I love how natural they look. They really do settle right into the garden.

Do you build your own trellises?

Quote of the Day: Leo Tolstoy

May 3rd, 2015

“Meanwhile spring came on, beautiful and kindly, without the delays and trattorias of spring, – one of those rare springs in which plants, beasts, and man rejoice alike.”

Leo Tolstoy in Anna Karanina

chickens and clarington forge
potager 1
The last couple days have been perfect, simply perfect. I’ve been working outside trying to get as much done as I can. Soon enough the mosquitoes and the black flies will be out making it a little less enjoyable to work in the garden. Even though it was long in coming, this spring has been heavenly so far.

Friday Favorite: Rehash

May 1st, 2015

Last Friday I talked about homemade pizza and how I make it and freeze it. There were lots of questions in the comments so I decided to answer a few of them here. First off, I bake the pizzas before freezing, though not fully. I undertake them by a minute or two. The key is to get the crust fully cooked but not browned. Then I cut the pizzas in quarters and freeze them in ziploc bags. If I want to freeze them whole or in halves I use the 2 gallon ziploc bags.
File Apr 23, 8 12 47 PM
frozen pizza
When I want to reheat the pizza is usually pull it out and thaw it on the counter for 15 minutes or so. Then I warm it in a cast iron skillet – crazy I know. Pizza reheats much better in a skillet than it does in the oven, I think it doesn’t dry out as much and the crust gets much crispier.

So if you have any more questions about freezing and reheating homemade pizza let me know, I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but just recently moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine.