You can provide support for vining vegetables such as squash or cucumbers, while at the same time providing shade for lettuce, which likes cooler temperatures, with a simple trellis.
I saw three different examples built by clever gardeners earlier this summer at the community garden at Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg.
Anyone can rent a parcel in the community garden, which is a wonderfully sunny area. Parcels are $85 for 4 feet by 50 feet (200 square feet) and $50 for 4 feet by 23 feet (92 square feet). For more information, contact Lockwood’s at (716) 649-4684.
I strolled through Lockwood’s community garden with my friend David Clark, horticulturist, teacher and entertaining speaker, who pointed out the different trellises to me.
The first structure is created with a piece of lightweight lattice. A board is nailed to two upright boards to create the support. The lattice is nailed to the support. It looks simple to make.
As the vining plant in front grows up the lattice, its leaves will shade the lettuce underneath.
The second trellis is a pallet nailed to a couple scraps of wood taken from the pallet. Notice how much shade the pallet provides even before the vine grows. When choosing a pallet, select one that has been heat treated. Find some tips on working with pallets here.
The final trellis can open and close. The supports aren’t nailed to the main part of the trellis; the trellis just rests in notches in the supports, which allows the gardener to lift the trellis to better reach the lettuce for harvesting. Clever!
Bonus tip: Check out the perennial of the week at Lockwood’s: Through Saturday, Aug. 9, all perennial grasses are 20 percent off. They have tall, short, blue, red, variegated and just plain green.
Mark your calendars for the Fall Garden Fair to be held Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 6 and 7 at Lockwood’s. Details to come.