How to Build a Vegetable Trellis

Overview

A trellis is an easy and effective way to make the most out of a smaller garden space by training vine vegetables to grow up instead of out. Vegetables like peas, beans, cucumbers, squash, and tomatoes are just a few of the plants that can be grown vertically with just a little help. By trellising vegetables, you save space and protect your veggies from pests and diseases by keeping them off the ground. Building your own trellis is an easy alternative to purchasing one. Depending on your plant's sturdiness needs, trellises can be built out of just about any supports.

Step 1

Cross two poles in an X shape with the bottom section of your X larger. Secure the tops by weaving twine where the two poles form the X, going over and around and up and down the four sections made by the poles. Weave until it feels secure to you when you push or tug on it. Expect to use up to a foot of twine to secure each X.

Step 2

Bury your poles firmly in the garden.

Step 3

Repeat steps 1 and 2, spacing your Xs a foot apart for as long as you'd like your trellis to be.

Step 4

Combine all your Xs, using your last pole, into one structure by running it the length of your Xs. Place it in flat on the crook of your Xs and, using the same weaving pattern, secure it to each X.

Step 5

Run the chicken wire mesh along one side only of your support system from the ground up. This is important so you can reach crops growing on either side of the wire mesh. Staple taut in place.

Step 6

Plant your seeds per the instructions on the packaging at the base of your trellis.

Tips and Warnings

  • Pole beans are natural climbers, but many other sprawling plants will need training to grow up your trellis. Use garden tape or strips of old pantyhose to tie vines to the trellis. Train shoots to grow through the chicken wire by helping it wind itself through.

Things You'll Need

  • 7 6-foot wooden garden poles or stakes
  • Twine
  • Chicken wire roll
  • Staple gun
  • Shovel

References

  • Growing Vertical Gardens
  • Trellises and Cages to Support Vegetable Gardening

Who Can Help

  • Urban Veggie Blog: How to Build a Removable Trellis
Keywords: trellis, teepee, vertical gardening

About this Author

Bobbi Keffer attended Kent State University, studying education but soon found her true love to be in the garden. She prides herself on her frugal skills, re-using, recycling, and re-inventing her whimsical style in her home and garden.