Building A-Frames

Martha Stewart
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This structure lets you grow more than one variety of tomato side by side, but its compact design doesn’t take up much space in the garden. These supports even fold for storage.

MSL-a-frame-560x684

Tools and Materials

  • Saw or belt sander
  • Four 6-foot pieces of 2-by-2-inch wood, for legs
  • Drill
  • Four pieces of 2-by-2-inch wood, for rails, allowing at least 18 inches per plant
  • 8 threaded bolts
  • 8 wing nuts
  • 16 screw-eye hooks
  • Two 8-inch lengths of sash chain (size 8)
  • Four 1/4-inch stainless steel wood screws
  • Three 2-inch surface-mount plastic hinges
  • Nylon twine

How-To

  1. With a saw or belt sander, taper 4 inches at bottom of each leg to a point.
  2. Drill holes in legs and rails where legs will intersect with top rails and bottom rails (about 7 inches from pointed ends).  Join with bolts and nuts.
  3. Insert screw eye hooks to top and bottom rails every 6 inches.
  4. Attach a length of sash chain to each pair of adjacent legs, 10 inches from the top, using 1/4-inch screws.
  5. Connect top rails with hinges. Sink legs 6 inches into soil.
  6. Thread a length of twine through each hook until taut; knot.
  7. Guide stems around twine.

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