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How to Build a Triangle Trellis

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How to Build a Triangle Trellis

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Building one or more triangle trellises enables you to add vining plants to your garden without using large amounts of space for their growth. Temporary trellises support pole beans, cucumbers and annual flowering vines. Permanent triangle trellises can make it possible to add melons and perennials vines, like clematis, wisteria and trumpet vine, to your landscaping. Building principles for both kinds of triangle trellises are essentially the same--only the materials change.

Temporary Trellis

Step 1

Dig holes for four poles, 6 inches deep, in a 2-foot square. Insert poles in holes, slanting them so that the tips of the poles meet roughly 6 to 8 inches from the ends.

Step 2

Grasp poles with one hand and wrap string tightly where they join. Wrap string at least 10 turns, to make a solid connection.

Step 3

Beginning at the top, wrap string around poles and circle the trellis at 6-inch intervals. This will make the horizontal and slanted supports that vines need to climb the trellis.

Step 4

Plant seeds or seedlings in line with the bottoms of the poles. Bean or cucumber seeds can be planted in lines or in hills. Guide growing plants up the trellis by hand, weaving branches and tendrils through the trellis.

Step 5

Remove the string at the end of the season and store poles for next year. Expect to use your temporary trellis for several years.

Permanent Trellis

Step 1

Dig holes for a temporary trellis. For a heavy vine, such as wisteria, you may wish to fill the holes with ready-mix concrete before proceeding with building.

Step 2

Bind poles together with numerous twists of wire. Again, 10 or more rounds of wire around the gathered poles will keep them stable.

Step 3

Cut lathe strips with the saw in varying sizes needed to put strips horizontally at 6-inch intervals on all four sides of the trellis. Attach strips with headed nails and hammer or with a heavy-duty staple gun.

Step 4

Paint or stain your trellis to increase its weather-resistant qualities.

Step 5

Plant your vine in the center of the finished trellis. As it grows, you can move sprouts and tendrils by hand to climb up the trellis. Melon plants are the one exception to this strategy. Plant seeds in lines between the four major supports, one hill of seeds or one plants to each side. Guide tendrils by hand to the top.

Tips and Warnings

  • Inspect your permanent trellis in the early spring. If you need to make repairs or reinforcements, they are most easily made when your vine is not in full leaf. This is also the best season in which to repaint.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 bamboo poles or wood or metal tomato stakes, 6 to 8 feet of string
  • Trowel or spade
  • 4 sturdy wood stakes, 2 feet by 2 feet by 6 to 8 feet
  • Lathe strips, about 30 feet total
  • saw
  • Hammer
  • Short, headed nails or heavy-duty staple gun
  • Trowel or spade
  • Paint or weather-resistant stain and brush
  • Small sack of ready-mix concrete (optional)


  • American Woodworker: Vine Trellis plans
  • Orchid Charm: Trellis Building
Keywords: triangle trellises, temporary or permanent, how to build

About this Author

Janet Beal holds a Harvard B.A. in English and a College of New Rochelle M.S in early childhood education. She has worked as a college textbook editor, HUD employee, caterer, and teacher. She is pleased to be part of Demand Studios' exciting community of writers and readers.