Homemade Trellises for Beans & Peas


Vining peas and pole beans begin reaching for support at about 1 foot of height. A good trellis gives these vigorous plants the growing room they need and prevents many common fungal diseases. Gardeners gain easy access to the vines for picking. Short spans of trellis -- enough for 25 to 50 feet of row -- are relatively easy to build and only need to last for a season. Save the parts for the next season and build trellises in new locations when crops rotate to fresh ground.

Step 1

Drive posts 10 feet apart down the center of the row, after cultivating but before planting. Aim for a post height between 5 and 6 feet.

Step 2

Drive wooden support stakes deeply into the ground 4 feet from the end posts in the row. Angle stakes about 45 degrees away from the line of posts. Drive 4-foot posts 3 feet deep if possible since these stakes support much of the trellis load.

Step 3

Attach two wire clips to each metal post, using the fencing tool or pliers. Fix one clip 6 inches above ground level and the other close to the top of the post.

Step 4

Run a strand of 11-gauge fence wire through the bottom row of fence clips. Wrap the free end around a support stake and over itself. Pass the wire end around the post in the reverse direction and again over itself. Wrap the wire end in a tight spiral around the main strand -- enough to cover 3 inches of the wire -- and clip off any excess.

Step 5

Pull enough of the trellis wire from the spool -- at the other end of the row -- for 3 feet of extra length when pulled taut around the support stake. Pull the wire tight. Pass the free end over itself and double it back around the post. Pass the end over itself again and wrap another 3-inch tight spiral around the main strand.

Step 6

Pass fencing wire through the top row of clips. Attach the free end to a support post using the previous method. Pull the wire tight and attach the other end to the other support post.

Step 7

Tie garden twine to the bottom wire, looping around the first post to anchor the twine in place. Pass the roll of twine over the top wire and under the bottom wire. Don't pull the twine tight. Continue down the row, spacing the vertical loops of twine about a foot apart. Tie off the twine at the last post.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal fence posts
  • Sledgehammer
  • 11- to 11.5-gauge electric fence wire
  • Wire fence clips
  • Fencing tool or lineman's pliers
  • 2-inch-by 2-inch-by-4-foot wooden stakes
  • Garden twine


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Who Can Help

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Keywords: pole beans and peas, trellis beans, trellis peas

About this Author

James Young began writing as a military journalist in Alaska and combat correspondent in Vietnam. His lifetime fascination with technical and manual arts yields decades of experience in electronics, turnery, blacksmithing, outdoor sports, woodcarving, joinery and sailing. Young's articles have been published in Tai Chi Magazine, Sonar 4 Ezine, The Marked Tree, Stars & Stripes, the SkinWalker Files and Fine Woodworking.