I love to garden. I love the thrill of bitting into food that I grew myself. What I don't like is the expense you have to pay to start up a garden. It starts adding up quickly. I moved recently, so I am kind of starting over this year. You can be sure I will be looking for ways to save some money. That is what got me thinking about searching out cheap options to use as a trellis for growing peas. There are plenty of things that are easy to run out to Home Depot to pick up. I would rather find a cheaper alternatives. Here are some that I have come up with. I would love to hear if any of you pea growers have tried these before.
At some garden stores you can buy pea sticks. Why buy what you can find around your yard. Search your yard after the next storm or windy day for sticks that you can use. The trouble is getting them the right size. The differences can provide a rustic charm. You have to make sure your stick is going to stand up and not break after the peas have made their way up them. Also you must be concerned with height. Check to see how high your peas grow. Finding sticks that are really tall might be a problem. You can consider going with
shorter varieties of peas.
Using Tomato Cages
A good way to get multiple uses out of something. Peas can grow on tomato cages just find. The best part is peas are a spring crop. You can grow them on the cages, harvest them, and still have time to put them on the tomatoes before they collapse. I tried this one year. It did well. Althought my peas eventually got too tall for the cages, so you have to watch the height of your cage versus the height your peas are suppose to grow.
Just yesterday I read on a seed website the idea of growing oats next to the peas. The oats provide support as the peas grow. I have done a similar concept with growing beans on corn stalks (part of a Three Sisters garden). I am really intrigued by this idea. I don't know how the timing would work out. Plus corn stalks are stronger than wheat or oats. Has anyone else given this a try before? I have done some research but haven't specifically found someone who employs this method. It's a great idea as long as you can time it right.
I will be on the look out for more cheap alternatives. Don't let expensive trellis stop you from growing peas. They are one of my favorite crops of the year. Nothing beats the sweetness of a shelling and eating a pea right out in the garden. They are candy to my kids!
I took to tom cages and attached the tops together with zip ties, put one in the ground and the pointed end high in the air. needless to say, it was not tall enough, I have another 6 ft of peas still growing. that is the area I don't know what to do with.
I have way more experience now then when I first made this post. The tomato cage only work for varieties that don't get super tall. I used really tall sticks now to support my taller varieties.