Vines in the garden provide fruit, vegetables, flowers or foliage for shade. Often, these vines require adequate support to grow properly. Although you can sometimes use a simple stake, trellises provide support for heavy vines and train the growth of decorative vines. In some cases, trellises allow vines to grow to ease harvesting fruit or vegetables.
Wooden Stake Trellis
Wooden stakes can easily form a trellis shaped like a tent. This type of trellis is well suited for vining garden vegetables, because the vegetables tend to hang from the inside of the trellis, making harvesting easy.
Larger diameter stakes of at least 1 inch form a frame for the trellis. Two stakes should be place in the ground 3 to 6 feet apart. Secure the tops of these two stakes together to form the end of the frame. The opposite end of the frame should be formed in the same manner. Secure a longer stake to the tops of the ends of the frame to finish the frame. Smaller diameter stakes are used in between to support the plants. Assemble the smaller stakes in the same way as the larger stakes and secure the tops to the top of the frame. Each pair of stakes should be 6 to 12 inches apart. All stakes should be put at least 1 foot into the ground to keep them from tipping over in the wind. Secure the smaller stakes to the frame using twine or wire. Plant the vines at the base of the smaller stakes. If the vines need additional support, wire can be stretched between the stakes to provide support.
A wire trellis is well suited to support fruit vines, such as grapes or raspberries. Most wire trellises consist of wooden or metal posts with wires secured between them in one or more rows. Use pressure treated to avoid rotting. The wires can be attached to the posts using galvanized staples or specialized hardware designed for wire tensioning. The configuration of the wire trellis depends on the type of vine. Raspberries and blackberries require at least two rows, one at the top and one at the bottom. Grapes require a single row at the top.
Decorative trellises are often used for flowering plants in the garden. A variety of materials can be used to build a decorative trellis. These range from wood to metal to plastic. In addition, parts of existing structures or found objects can be used as trellises. Anchor the trellis firmly into the ground if it is freestanding, so it does not fall over from the weight of the vines or the wind.
Wood trellises can be as simple as two posts with pre-assembled trellis panels between. Reclaimed items, such as porch and staircase railings or bed frames make excellent trellises, as well. Metal trellises can be constructed out of copper pipes. You can make any number of designs using pipes and pipe from a hardware store. Or, use PVC to make plastic trellises.