There are many ways to provide support to your climbers. In this video, you’ll learn how to replicate a very cool and imaginative trellis idea found in the article “8 Cool Trellising Ideas” (Issue #184). Follow along with Fine Gardening‘s editor, Steve Aitken, who was inspired by the split bamboo cane trellis shown below. We did an article on how to build a trellis from whole bamboo before, but split bamboo, arranged in this way, was a new thing to the Fine Gardening team. Steve decided to investigate the process for turning a stalk of bamboo into a trellis such as the one in the article. He found that even though it looked complicated, making the trellis wasn’t hard at all—but he needed the right tool, namely, a bamboo splitter. These are available for only $40 to $50 on Amazon.com.
The below trellis can be found at Longwood Gardens, a great place to visit for inspiration if you happen to be on the east coast, and wish to see it in person!
How to Split Bamboo
- Bamboo splitter
- Mallet or hammer
- Protective eyewear
- Chair (to prop your bamboo stalk against)
- Prop your bamboo against a hard surface, and lean it against a chair or other knee-high sturdy item to keep it in place. This will free up your hands to hold the bamboo splitter and mallet.
- Put on your protective gear—eyewear and gloves—before you begin.
- Situate the bamboo splitter on the end of the bamboo stalk, making sure to center it as much as possible.
- Hold the bamboo splitter in place with one hand. With the other hand, use your mallet to strike the splitter a few times until it cuts into the end of the bamboo.
- Once the splitter has cut into the stalk, you can get rid of your mallet. From there, you can easily slide the bamboo splitter through the stalk until you get to a node.
- To work your way through the node, simply apply a bit more force as demonstrated in the video. Steve likes to pull the bamboo away from the hard surface and use his body weight and some momentum to strike the bamboo against the surface.
- Depending on your intended use, you can either stop about 3/4 of the way through or split your bamboo entirely.
See the video for an idea how to use your split bamboo in the garden, and make sure to send us your own creations via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other trellising ideas
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