Tuesday, May 27, 2008

How to build a removable vegetable garden trellis for Beans, Cucumbers, Melons, Peas

Material List (this is what you will need, quantity will vary by project size)

  • 2x2x8 lumber
  • 1x2x8 lumber
  • trellis netting
  • staples
  • 3" screws
  • 1 1/4" screws
  • 3.5" bolts w/ nuts
  • 3" corner braces

Start off by deciding how you want to build your trellis, weather it is a single trellis or multiple trellises combined like mine. If you were to build a long single trellis I would place a 2x2 every four to five feet depending on the width of your netting. Doing this will determine the quantity of materials that you will need.

Once everything is ready to go make a little sketch of the trellis you are building and include measurements for your width and height.

Then cut your 2x2 to form the three sides of your trellis. I found the best place to assemble the trellis was on the laneway so you are working on a hard surface and not compacting your gardens soil. Using the 3" screws to attach the frame together and follow that with the 3" corner braces with the 1 1/4" screws. This will make a very strong corner that will not separate over time.

Now you are ready to start stretching your nylon trellis netting over your fame.

Start by stapling the netting to the top rail forming an X over the string and use a hammer to make sure the staples are very tight. Once the top is stapled on cut your 1x2 to the width of your trellis and pre-drill a hole on either end. Then take the 1x2 and weave it through the netting two squares up from the bottom.

Then pull the 1x2 down to stretch the netting. Once it is pulled tight drive one 1 1/4" screw into the pre-drilled hole to hold it in place and then use a square on the other side to square up the frame and then add a screw to the other side. This 1x2 will add rigidity to your trellis and will keep your netting from sagging.

With the netting secured to the top and bottom rails all that is left to do is stretch and staple the netting to the two side rails, one at a time. When it is all in place cut off the excess and like in the photo below trim the bottom so a single strand is hanging just above the ground making it easier for the vine to take hold.

Now that your frame is built and your netting is all in place it is time to decide how you are going to install this trellis.

If you are installing this in a raised bed you can screw a cleat inside or outside of your raised bed frame and then bolt your trellis to the cleat.

If you are installing this trellis in a vegetable garden that does not have raised beds your best bet would be to dig a hole 2 feet deep x 6" wide and cement your cleat in, not a lot maybe 12" of cement in the bottom. You can then bolt your trellis to the cleat once the cement has set.

In both cases your cleat should be as long as your raised bed frame or hole plus 9" to accommodate your bolts and it should have a 45 degree cut on the top to shed water. So if your raised bed frame was 6" high you would need a cleat that is 15". You should use two bolts per cleat and the bolts should be on the thicker side so they stand up well in the weather.

With all this done, you will now have a trellis that is removable and with the main parts above the ground so it should never rot. Your only maintenance will be to change out your cleats if they deteriorate and this could be avoided if you use cedar or plastic composite material for your cleats.


  1. You did a great job on the trellis, Dan. The beans will be very happy :)

  2. I LOVE this trellis. I would really like to try this.

  3. I wish I could do stuff like that. I am so bad at growing stuff. We just got some flowers and planted them, but the dirt was full of roots and it was like clay.

    Will they die because of bad soil?

    You did an amazing job on the trellis!

  4. hendria (aka mom) - yes the beans will love the trellis

    Kathy - Thanks for your comment, good luck with your trellis!

    Leighann - Your flowers should do alright in clay. Clay has a lot of nutrients in it and if you mix some potting soil in with it, it should break it up a bit.

  5. Excellent idea. I haven't grown any climbing veggies for some time, but I might start again.

  6. Hey! Great post! :-) I'm working on a similar garden in Washington, D.C. and am blogging the whole process at http://mtpleasantgarden.wordpress.com/. Thanks for the tips - and keep them coming!


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  8. Nice! I've been considering ways to go more "vertical" in my raised beds this season. This is a pretty easy design.