I don’t like trellising plants.  It’s just another example of me being hard-headed about gardening.  When I was a boy we didn’t even stake our tomatoes.  The terrapins got some of them but I as recall there was always an abundance left for us.

Now, of course, I do stake and tie the tomatoes.  But I’ve still resisted trellising.

I tried growing sugar snap peas on trellises many years ago and it was a fail.  The garden we used was still dead and poisoned.  So they just didn’t produce.

But I used their failure as an excuse not to try again.  I went right on planting large gardens of bush English peas, but never tried the sugar snaps again.  But I’m finally going to give it another shot.

This year, in addition to our Alaskas, I’m going to plant Sugar Anns, a bush sugar snap.  But I’m also going to break down and trellis some vining sugar snaps as well. Maybe I’ll even trellis some cucumbers.

I love the thought of picking peas without bending over.

11 comments on “Trellising

  1. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, I’ve always used trellises in my gardening. Mainly because I didn’t have the space to let them grow normally. Mom never trellised anything but then she had 80 acres to expand her garden into. When I was a kid her garden seemed huge but then everything was huge when growing up. It turns out that those things were not so huge and the memories were only from a kid’s perspective.

    Now that I have much more space with Terra Nova Gardens, I still use trellising because it’s just the way I have always done it. Old habits die hard, don’t you think? The only plants that I trellis are tomatoes, well I use cages, and cucumbers. Peas are not something I grow. Many years ago I tried growing peas. The time spent growing, picking, shelling, and canning the peas took way more time than I could spend in the garden and besides the eight pints of peas could have been purchased for less than $5 at the store. Then I find no one in the family other than me liked peas. So it kind of put a damper on pea growing that I haven’t recovered from.

    Have a great trellis building day.


    • Bill says:

      The peas are a lot of work but they’re an important part of our garden rotations. I always plant a big garden of English peas and follow them with purple hull peas. Delicious, but definitely a lot of work to pick and shell. At a seminar I attended recently a speaker was promoting sugar snaps. They evidently sell well. Makes sense. They’re sweet, can be eaten as snacks and don’t have to be shelled. Going to try it and see how they do.

      I recently asked my mother why we didn’t stake or cage tomatoes when I was growing up. She said that we grew the kind that didn’t need it (probably Marglobes) and that in the summer there just wasn’t a lot of time for the gardens, since tobacco took up most of our time.

      I switched from cages to the Florida Weave method a couple of years ago. Much better way to do it in my opinion. Here’s a post I did on it:


  2. shoreacres says:

    I hope the trellising works well. There’s a particular part of my work (varnishing the underside of hand rails) that requires bending down and twisting. Believe me, my back lets me know about it. As an orthopedist who specializes in sports injuries told me, there’s tennis elbow, and then there’s varnishers’ back. I suppose there could be sugar snap back, too. Repetitive stress injuries aren’t just for athletes any more!

    I picked up some sugar snaps at the farmers” market yesterday, along with some heirloom tomatoes and lemon cucumbers. Aren’t they pretty?


  3. Leslie McConachie Miami, Fl says:

    Can you explain the comment about “dead and poisoned” garden? Curious. I don’t know about trellising except with vines. Hmmm. Something to think about.


    • Bill says:

      When we first tried to grow in a garden in a field that had been conventionally farmed for decades the soil was just dead. It had been destroyed by chemicals. We couldn’t get anything to grow there. But after years of composting and cover cropping (healing the land) it is now one of our most productive gardens.


  4. Sometimes the old ways *are* worth the hassle! 😉


  5. Sugar snap peas are super delicious – a snack you can eat straight off of the vine. We love them in salads, stir fries, and of course snacking. I recently came across someone that was trellising pumpkins – you need a pretty stout trellis for that I would guess!
    I trellis peas and cukes – anything that saves on some of the bending over.


    • Bill says:

      I’m excited about growing sugar snaps this year. Will be a first for us.

      We’ve got so much room here that I’ve never needed to trellis to save space. But now I’m seeing the many other advantages. Looking forward to seeing how it works out for us.


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