Garden Reuse: Old Wooden Ladder as a Trellis

Photo Credit: Beth Py-Lieberman.

I don't know how many rickety old wooden ladders I've seen on the curb over the years. Too wobbly to safely stand on, traded in for some slick aluminum model, these wooden stepladders seem destined for the dump.

They may not be sturdy enough for us to stand on, but they're perfect for supporting vining crops in your garden!My friend Beth (who blogs over at Garden Putter) shared this photo of her ladder trellis on Facebook, and I fell in love instantly. She took an old wooden step ladder, gave it a coat of vibrant purple paint, and placed it in her garden, where it now supports cucumbers. It also provides a fantastic focal point.

You could use a ladder like this in a variety of ways. You can allow cucumbers and other squashes to climb its rungs. You can use some twine to create additional places for plants to cling to. You can widen each step by nailing a 2 by 4 board to each step, and use them to place small pots of herbs or flowers.

What can you grow up a ladder trellis like this?

  • Beans

  • Cucumbers

  • Gourds

  • Melons

  • Peas

  • Pumpkins

  • Winter Squash

If you're using the ladder to trellis something that will form heavy fruit, such as pumpkins or certain winter squashes, you'll want to make slings out of netting or old panty hose (another great garden reuse!) which you can tie on to the ladder to support the fruit.

Next time I see one of these old ladders on the curb, I will definitely grab it to use in my garden!

More Garden Reuse Ideas:
Turn an Old Clawfoot Bathtub into a Potato Planter
Make a Garden Planter Wall from Discarded Cinder Blocks
Wire Hangers as Garden Staples

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