Trellises can be expensive, preventing new gardeners from growing climbing plants. However, this easy and affordable DIY trellis is a great afternoon project. It is also to move around the garden for your crop rotation.
Why use a trellis?
Trellises are helpful for vertical gardening. Ambitious gardeners with limited growing space can increase their yield by growing vertical. In addition, many crops can use a support system and perform better than if left on the ground.
Trellising also protects some fruits from getting eaten by ground bugs. For example, pillbugs may chew on melons lying on the ground, and constant moisture may cause them to mold.
Vertical growing reduces diseases amongst plants, keeping airflow between the leaves and making their maintenance much more manageable.
What crops need a trellis?
Many crops would benefit from vertical growing. Some are natural climbers since they have little tendrils to hang on to the support system. Others need more help using clips to keep them attached to the trellis.
Here is a list of the plants that grow well in on a trellis:
- Green Beans
- Indeterminate tomatoes
- Tatume squash
- Blue butterfly peas (medicinal flower)
- Sweet peas (cut flower)
What do you need for this trellis?
This trellis is very simple and easy to put together. For a six feet tall and four feet wide frame, you will need:
- Two 10 feet long 3/4 inch PVC pipe
- Two L-shaped 3/4 inch PVC connectors
- Two T-shaped 3/4 inch PVC connectors
- Two 18 or 24 inches long Rebar
- Steel Remesh sheet or any wire sheet barrier. ( chicken wire is too flimsy)
- Safety gloves
Make the cuts
Cut each pipe into three pieces.
- One 1 foot long (*2)
- One 4 feet long (*2)
- One 5 feet long (*2)
Use a hand saw to cut the pieces, but you can also ask for help at the store. If you decide to do it yourself, wear protective gloves and secure the pipe on the cutting surface.
Put it together
Make the frame
- Insert each L-shaped fitter on one end of the five-foot-long part.
- Insert the T-shaped fitter on the other end.
- Connect each one-foot-long pipe to the L-shaped fitter.
- Connect the two long parts using the four-foot-long pipe.
- The result is a six by four feet frame with legs.
Attach the wire grid
- Lay the steel wire sheet flat.
- Carefully cut it into a six feet long by 50 inches wide rectangle.
- Lay it over the PVC frame, then use pliers to wrap it around the pipe on the long sides. You may also use heavy-duty zip ties to secure it.
- Hammer the rebars into the ground halfway.
- Slip the trellis into it. Push it as deep as you can to secure it.
Sometimes the vines get heavy when loaded with fruits, which may cause the trellis to tilt or lean over. You strengthen the support by screwing the sides to T-posts.
Make it pretty
Sometimes the white color of the PVC pipes is so striking in the garden and may disturb its aesthetics. Of course, you can fix that by spray painting it with the color of your choice. But black seems to be the most subtle color for garden structures.