My backyard has a great little raised garden. I plant broccoli and carrots with the kids, and they snack on lettuce and spinach when they're playing outside. It's the whole reason they love vegetables. If you can grow it, and pick it, it tastes better when you eat it. We really started getting into it, and I realized that a trellis would enable us to grow more of our favorite things, like sugar snap peas, pole beans, and watermelons. Yes, watermelons. We don't have much space for watermelons in our little garden, but I love them so much, I decided to make space. 

    Since my ultimate goal was to trellis watermelons, I knew I was going to need a trellis that would support some weight. My local hardware store sells decorative wood and plastic trellises, but they weren't strong enough, and to build a custom wooden trellis would be pretty expensive. Instead, I opted to build my own trellis from random, inexpensive things found in almost any hardware store: 1/2 inch EMT conduit from the electrical aisle, 1/2 inch galvanized pipe elbows from the plumbing aisle, and a standard garden trellis net from the garden department. 

    First, I cut the EMT to the size I needed, with a hack saw. Make sure that you don't bend the edges of the EMT too far when you cut them, because you'll need them to fit into the plumbing elbows. The trellis in this picture is 5'x5', so I cut two 5' sides, and one 5' top. Next, I wove one piece of EMT through the  side of the net, to hold the net to the side of the trellis, and stuck the bottom of the EMT into the ground to hold it in place. Then I did the same on the other side of the net, to form the other side, and stuck that piece of EMT into the ground about 5' away.     

    After I stuck both sides in the ground, I wove the remaining piece of EMT through the top of the net, and attached the top of the trellis to the sides with galvanized elbows. It was a little bit of a juggling act keeping all of the pieces together while I put the elbows in place, since I only have two arms, but if you have the patience to wait until someone else is around to hold things in place for you before you start a project, it will be really simple.

    I also made two more trellises so that I could pretty much grow anything anywhere in my garden. These are each 10' wide, by 5' tall. Since these are so wide, I supported them in the middle with an additional piece of EMT, and I held it in place with a 3/4 inch galvanized T in the middle of the 10' top of the trellis.

    These trellises cost about $10 each, so they fit my budget perfectly. I haven't had much success with watermelons yet, but they have been perfect for sugar snap peas and pole beans.

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