Magazine article Sunset

A Spiral Fence for Peas

Magazine article Sunset

A Spiral Fence for Peas

Article excerpt


It makes growing and harvesting a snap

Climbing crops like snow peas require a fence or trellis for support. The trellis doesn't have to be ruler-straight to be effective; it just needs wide mesh to weave the vines through, with a little help from you.

The fence pictured above coils into a sinuous spiral. Besides throwing a curve into the usually angular vegetable garden, it saves space and is less likely to topple in wind. In addition to snow peas, you can use it to support bush cucumbers, bush squash, some nasturtiums, and sweet peas.

We borrowed the idea from Gary Nigro, a vegetable gardener in Reno, Nevada. Nigro wanted to use leftover cattle fencing to make trellises in his vegetable garden, but he found that keeping it from coiling was a challenge. He decided to work with that tendency rather than fight it.

We used fiberglass rebar poles, but you can substitute bamboo or wood poles.

COST: About $25

TOOLS: Hammer or mallet and wire cutters


* 7 poles, each 5 feet long

* 21 feet of 3-foot-wide, 2-inch-mesh plastic-coated fencing

* 21 or more plastic-coated twist ties

* Soaker hose

* 1 packet snow pea seeds (we used 'Oregon Giant')


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