How to Create a Trellis

Overview

Gardeners and homeowners use trellises in the backyard and in various garden spaces to provide a supporting structure for vine plants, such as Virginia creepers and pole beans. Without a trellis for support and training, tall trailing plants will travel where they want. Not only does this leave your gardening area more cluttered but it also makes produce harvesting much more difficult. Jim Long, author of "Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences," suggests that you stick with the basic rectangle trellis shape to create a simple but sturdy trellis that will support your plants for years.

Step 1

Lay two 9-foot-long 1-inch-by-2-inch boards flat on the ground, about 4 feet apart, to form the side supports on your trellis structure. Orient the two boards so they lie parallel to one another with their 2-inch sides touching the ground.

Step 2

Rotate one of the 4-foot-long 1-inch-by-2-inch boards so that it is perpendicular to the side supports. Lay this 4-foot-long board at the tops of the two side supports, checking to ensure that its ends are flush with the outside edges of the side support boards.

Step 3

Nail both ends of this top support to the side supports with 1 1/2-inch galvanized nails. Repeat this same process with the single remaining 4-foot-long 1-inch-by-2-inch board, positioning it 2 feet from the opposite ends of the side supports before nailing it into place.

Step 4

Position one of the 4-foot-long, 1-inch-by-1-inch boards parallel to the top and bottom trellis supports. Locate it 6 inches below the top support. Check the ends to ensure that they are flush with the outside edges of the side supports.

Step 5

Nail the 1-inch-by-1-inch board to the side supports with 1 1/2-inch galvanized nails. Repeat this same process with each of the 12 remaining 4-foot-long 1-inch-by-1-inch boards, locating each one 6 inches below the previous one to create the horizontal bars on your trellis.

Step 6

Flip the entire trellis structure over on its face.

Step 7

Lay one of the 7-foot-long 1-inch-by-1-inch boards parallel to the side trellis supports, positioning it 6 inches inside one of the side supports. Slide the board until its ends are flush with the outside edges of the top and bottom trellis supports.

Step 8

Nail the 1-inch-by-1-inch board to the top and bottom supports with 1 1/2-inch galvanized nails. Nail the six remaining 1-inch-by-1-inch boards to the top and bottom supports in the same way; position them in 6-inch increments along the length of the top and bottom supports to create your vertical trellis bars.

Step 9

Pound the ends of the side supports into the ground to secure your trellis in an upright position. Hammer the first side 2 inches into the ground, then hammer the second side 2 inches into the ground to keep the trellis frame from warping. Repeat hammering one side, then the other until the side supports are sunk approximately 12 inches into the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 1-inch-by-2-inch boards, 9 feet long
  • 2 1-inch-by-2-inch boards, 4 feet long
  • Galvanized nails, 1 1/2 inches
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • 13 1-inch-by-1-inch boards, 4 feet long
  • 7 1-inch-by-1-inch boards, 7 feet long

References

  • "Making Bentwood Trellises, Arbors, Gates and Fences"; Jim Long; 1998
Keywords: create a trellis, make a trellis, wood trellis

About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.