Vine tee-pees are a fun way to encourage children to spend more time in the garden. They will add a whimsical touch that even the adults will appreciate and are not only fun to look at but are extremely functional. Because they save space in the garden by using vertical gardening techniques, you'll be able to grow more food in less space, and who doesn't love that?
You can construct your own vine tee-pee on a weekend with minimal materials, often ones that are free or you may already have on hand. This is a great project to get the kids involved with because they'll enjoy creating a fun space for them to read, play and make-believe in.
Step 1: Start by selecting your building site.
Depending on what you'd like to grow on your tee-pee, make sure to position the structure in the appropriate, full sun or partial shade location.
Step 2: Choose the material you'll use to construct your tee-pee.
These tee-pees can be made using free materials such as old branches from a nearby tree, which makes them even more desirable! Free garden projects are always a bonus. You can also use bamboo or other wooden stakes that you may have access too. In the picture above, you can see how even an un-used swing set can be transformed into a vine tee-pee.
Step 3: Build the tee-pee and secure to ground.
You'll probably need an extra set of hands for this part, as you stand all of the pieces upward creating the tee-pee's shape. Once you have them all in place, secure the top of the tee-pee together using strong twine or rope. Then secure the bottom of the tee-pee to the ground using garden stakes. You can drive metal stakes into the ground and drill the wooden branches or poles to them so it will be more secure. You don't want this to fall over or be blown over especially if children will be playing in or around it.
Step 4: Wrap your tee-pee in twine.
Using garden twine or yarn, wrap the sides of the tee-pee so that the vines will have more to grab onto. This will help the tee-pee fill in faster and more evenly.
Step 5: Choose what to plant at the base of the tee-pee poles.
You can grow a mix of perennials and annuals, vining fruit, or spring and summer vegetables on your tee-pee.
Peas, Pole Beans, Nasturtiums, Squash (vining), Cucumbers, & Melons are all wonderful varieties to plant around your tee-pee and will thrive on a structure like this.