How to Build an Outdoor Trellis


A trellis is an important structure that provides a gardener and the trellised plants many advantages. It keeps the plants off the ground and encourages them to grow upward, thus freeing ground space for growing other flowers, vegetables or fruit. It increases the quality of the produce because it allows plants to receive maximum sunlight and air circulation. It protects them from scavengers like rodents, and fungal diseases that develop in moist soil conditions.

Step 1

Place both the 8-foot long 2-by-4 posts parallel to each other on the ground, spaced 5 1/2 feet apart. Measure 2 feet up from the base of each wooden post and mark the spot with a marker. Extend the point with a line around all four sides of a post. Each 2-foot portion serves as the 'legs' of the trellis that you will insert into the ground so it holds the trellis upright and securely.

Step 2

Lay a 6-foot long 2-by-4 horizontally over the tops of both the posts. Lay the second 6-foot long 2-by-4 horizontally over the bottom edges of both the posts, 2 inches above the demarcated line. Drill wood screws to join each overlapping horizontal and vertical edge, so you have a square trellis structure.

Step 3

Measure and mark 36 inches on the top horizontal board, starting from one corner. Measure and mark 36 inches on the bottom, starting from the same corner, so both marks correspond each other.

Step 4

Place a 6-foot long 1-by-2 over both the corresponding top and bottom marks. Secure it in place by drilling wood screws that penetrate the lower horizontal lumber and hold them together. This vertical post runs through the middle of your trellis.

Step 5

Assemble your lattice trellis. Measure and mark 1 foot down from the top edge of the first vertical post. Measure and mark four other points directly below the previous point, spacing them a foot apart. Correspond each point on the other vertical post so it also has five marks spaced a foot apart.

Step 6

Place a 6-foot long 1-by-2 board horizontally over the first marked point on both vertical posts, and drill it in place with two wood screws at each corner. Repeat the procedure to attach the remaining four boards horizontally over the marks on the vertical posts.

Step 7

Dig two 2-foot deep holes in the ground, spaced 5 1/2 feet apart. Fill 6-inches of each hole with gravel, and level the top with a hand trowel. Lower each vertical post into a hole, and backfill soil around it to hold it in place. Tamp it down to remove air bubbles.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 2-by-4s, 8 feet long
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker
  • 4 2-by-4s, 6 feet long
  • Drilling machine
  • Wood screws
  • 5 1-by-2s, 6 feet long
  • Post hole digger
  • Gravel
  • Hand trowel


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About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.