Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tutorial: How To Build A Squash (Or Melon Or Bean) House Out Of Wood Pallets

 This is what I fondly call my squash house.

Actually, I was calling it a squash melon structure.  Which has absolutely zero ring to it.  I sent a pic to my friend Michele (and everyone else I know because I was so sure they would be just as excited as I was to see my creation) and she referred to it a as a squash house.  A far cuter name.  So it stuck!

The idea is that it will save ground space in your garden.  Which is at a premium for me in my teeny tiny community garden allotment.  Small to medium sized squash and melons (or possibly larger ones too if you take care to fashion them a harness of some sort) can grow vertically up the structure instead of all over the ground.  In addition to saving you ground space, it should also help protect your fruit from rotting, which happen when sitting on wet ground, and being eaten by pests.  Though it's not at all fool proof, the good idea is worth a try!

It is also incredibly cheap and easy to make.

I found my wood pallets in various alleys for free (I live in a city with alleys between homes and buildings- that's typically where you park/enter your home.).  They are not heat treated- you will need to purchase those if that's a concern.  But as I am not growing anything IN the pallets and rather just using them as a sturdy structure, that was not at all a concern for me.  So mine were FREE!

You will also need two hinges.  I re-used mine from something else (a project that I no longer used) so they were FREE for me too.  But they are very inexpensive in any hardware store.  And two scrap pieces of wood.  Which my dad had around so they were also FREE.

Even if you had to pay for everything though, I can't imagine this project running you more than $10-15.  No fancy materials were used.

First you need to decide which sides of the pallets you want facing out and up.  Then lay them on the ground, right sides down, with up ends together.  So the sides that you want facing out will be touching the ground and the sides facing in will be looking up at the sky.  And the ends you want facing up- so the top of the A that will be hinged together- will be touching.

Now you can attach your hinges.  Just line them up and screw them in place.  I didn't bother worrying about the screws sticking out but you can certainly do this much nicer than me.  I just did it quick and dirty with what I had on hand!

Next (and this part helps if you have two people), carefully fold over one side and set your structure upright and in place.  Carefully adjust it to the desired opening (I wanted mine to be rather skinny as to take up as little space as possible).  Then nail in the two scrap pieces of wood as side bars to help stabilize the structure.  This will ensure that the A doesn't fall down and become ___ on the ground.

Now all you have left to do is plant your squash, melons or beans and let them go to town this summer!

1 comment:

Crafter USA said...

Like the idea will try it myself thanks


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