How To Build A Trellis

by HDME Staff

Want to know how to build a trellis? A trellis is a wonderful addition to any garden that features climbing vines. They are used quite often with roses and other flowering climbers as well as with grapevines and other fruit bearing vines.

When it comes to how to build a trellis, the design can be as simple as possible or a very ornate piece that adds its own aesthetic beauty to the garden as well as providing a place for climbing plants to cling. Yet, many people have no idea how to build a trellis.

Essentially, a trellis is just a gridwork of wood or metal that is placed adjacent to the plants it is to support. For small delicate vines, it can be a very small grid made of thin wooden strips. For heavier, heartier plants, it needs to be built of thicker, stronger materials to be able to support the weight.

For a simple trellis, one should determine about how wide it needs to be and acquire some two by two inch strips to build the outside frame out of. So the next step on how to build a trellis is that you will also need some thin 1 or 2 inch by 1/4 inch strips for delicate vines. Thicker strips will be needed for heavier vines, so it is wise to consider what type of plant will be placed to climb the trellis.

Once the lumber is gathered, on should build the square or rectangular frame out of the heaviest strips. This can be done by cutting the pieces to the desired lengths and gluing, nailing, or screwing them together at the corners.

Once the frame is put together, one should begin measuring and cutting strips of the thinner material to be attached to the frame in parallel diagonal lines across the entire frame. After the first group of strips has been attached, repeat the procedure with the next group of strips placed at right angles to the first. When finished, one should have a gridwork pattern of strips that can be stood upright next to the vines that will be trained to grow along it.

For more elaborate trellis work, one can built three rectangular trellises as outlined above and arrange them to form an entry way leading into the garden or assemble the trellis in the shape of a fan, and archway, or any other shape that would accent the garden and add beauty with the plants climbing along it.

Care should be exercised when choosing the lumber to be used in wooden trellises when it comes to how to build a trellis. Treated lumber can be used as long as it does not contain chemicals that will kill the plants. Cedar is good if the trellis will be left outdoors year round. Other woods are available and will work, but will require routine maintenance and painting to avoid rot.

Hopefully, these tips on how to build a trellis will guide your project to success.

The Big Question for YOU!
What's the biggest challenge you're having with building a trellis and how do you plan to use it? And if you've built a trellis before, tell us about your experience, how you're using it, and any lessons learned.

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How to build a trellis - Great privacy screen
by: Maya

Most trellises are pretty simple to build. I would attach it to an adjoining wall though if you live in an area that gets any high winds. They also make a great privacy screen.

green things
by: taynaM

I am trying to reuse as many things as I can to give my landscaping a unique look and to show that I am green friendly. What are some alternative things that could be used as a trellis?

Be sure to treat the wood
by: OneTwin

I did ours last year for our climbing roses and it's very attractive. I left it a plain wood colour but treated the wood with a preparation that stops it rotting in the wet weather and also leaves the wood stained a nice dark brown.

How to build a trellis
by: Anonymous

The biggest obstacle for me would be deciding what color to paint it. It would be on my front porch with climbing roses to make the porch more private.Excellent article by the way.

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