DIY Vegetable Trellis

How to Build A Simple Sturdy Vegetable Garden Trellis

Cucumbers grow on simple to make DIY trellis in small vegetable garden

Want to grow more delicious vegetables in less garden space? Grow your cucumbers and other vine-growing veggie plants on a sturdy home made garden trellis. This spring I built a 3 ft x 5 ft garden trellis to support the cucumbers in our vegetable garden.

I made the DIY cucumber trellis from leftover wire garden fence and two saplings cut from the woods in my back yard. This strong and simple vegetable trellis took me about an hour to build using simple hand tools (saw and hammer).

I try to use natural materials and supplies I have already to create my garden walls, trellises and pathways. I have a pile of sapling poles made from cutting and trimming down young trees we thinned from our woods. I've been using these 2- and 3-inch diameter poles to make natural fencing, trellises and plant stakes for my Vermont gardens and raised beds.  

Total cost of my garden cucumber trellis: about $2.00 for some nylon twine and a couple dozen galvanized fence staples.

Here's how you can make your own low-cost veggie trellis from scrap lumber or sapling poles and inexpensive wire garden fence.

Organic Cucumber Needs a Trellis

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Step 1: Measure and cut saplings for vegetable trellis frame

How to Build a Vegetable Trellis

You'll need only a measuring tape, hand saw and a hammer.

  • Measure and Cut Your Poles

    I had 36-inch wide wire fence on hand, so I decided to build a 3ft x 5ft cucumber trellis. First I measured and cut the side poles from saplings about 2 inches in diameter. I decided to add an extra 6 inches to the finished length of the side poles so I would have legs at the bottom, so I cut my 2 side poles at 66 inches. The sides needed to be 36 inches apart from outer edge to outer edge, so I cut the two horizontal poles 38 inches long to leave a slight extra overlap for lashing.

  • Lay out the poles and check measurements.

    Lay the side poles (longer poles) to roughly the width of your trellis, then place the horizontal poles across. Lay your fencing or netting on top to check fit; the fencing edges should be aligned with the outside edges of the long poles. The top of your fencing needs to overlap the top horizontal bar by a few inches. You'll need to also overlap the bottom - keep this in mind when you cut your fencing material. Check that your side poles are even at the bottom.

Squash and pumpkin plants climb a veggie trellis

Gardener's Pruning Saw

Handy Saw for Trimming Branches and Garden Stakes

Corona RS 7395 Razor Tooth Pruning Saw, 14" Curved Blade 

Sturdy and compact razor tooth saw with a curved blade is just the right size for trimming branches and garden cleanup. Chrome plated replaceable 14-inch blade has 3-sided teeth for fast, efficient cutting; limited lifetime warranty from this well-established manufactuer.

Steps 2-3: Lay out sapling poles then lash garden trellis frame together

Fasten trellis frame poles together

Wrap garden twine in lashing pattern to join corners together

  • Lash the frame together.

    Position the bottom horizontal pole on top of the side poles, roughly aligning its end with the outer edge of the side pole. Loop and wind your garden twine tightly around both poles, then lash them together by wrapping in an X pattern over and under both poles, as shown in the photos below. Repeat for both sides on the bottom, then check with your fencing that the frame is straight.

  • Repeat the placement for the top horizontal pole, and lash the sapling poles together.

    Check that your side poles are even at the bottom, then using the fence fabric as your guide for width, place the top horizontal pole across the side poles and lash together. After frame is securely tied together, you're ready to cut the fence material and staple it to the sapling poles

Lash frame poles together at corners, using an X pattern.

Strong, lightweight garden twine

Lightweight wire, sisal, nylon or fiber twine for garden use will all serve the purpose of lashing together your saplings, but I like to use rot-resistant nylon seine twine in black for my garden trellis connections. this 100lb test weight line has a tarred coating, too.

Catahoula Manufacturing #12 Tarred Twisted Nylon Twine (Bank Line) 472' Spool, 100lb Test

Trellis corner lashing detail

Steps 4 - 6: Measure and cut fence fabric, then nail it to frame

Wire Cutter Tool

Heavy Duty Side Cutters for Wire and Fence Cutting

A good wire cutter is a standard tool in any homeowner's or electrician's tool box.

Heavy gauge drop forged and heat treated steel side cutter, sometimes called a lineman's cutter. Cuts through fence fabric easily and quickly.

I have a wire cutting pliers like this one that's available at Amazon:

Workshop Yellow Handle Diagonal Pliers Side Cutter Cutting Tool 

Cover Trellis Frame with Fence Fabric

Attach fencing to all poles; vertical poles are "right" side of frame

  • Prepare your frame for fence fabric.

    Flip the frame over so that the side poles are on the top. Lay your fence fabric on the frame and cut it to fit the frame, leaving a few inches to wrap at the top and bottom.

  • Attach fencing to frame.

    Using galvanized fencing staples, nail the fence fabric to the frame, starting at the top and working down the sides. Keep the fence material straight as you work. You don't need to put a staple across the wire in every square - alternate blocks will be strong enough. When you reach the bottom you may need to cut a few wire strands in the fence to fit it around the poles. (See how I did this in the photo above, lower left corner near lashing.)

Finished vegetable trellis, propped in garden with a tree branch

Fence Wire Trellis Fabric

PVC Coated Wire is Kind to Veggies and Hands

Dark green PVC coating over 16-gauge welded, galvanized fence wire with 2-inch x 3-inch openings. This roll is 24 inches tall, slightly smaller than what I used. The fabric comes in different sizes ranging from 24 inches to 60 inches tall. I wouldn't recommend making a vegetable trellis wider than 48 inches, but you could make a narrower trellis with 24-inch fencing like this.

G & B 308350B 24-Inch x 25-Foot YardGard PVC Coated Welded Wire

Place your finished veggie trellis in the garden

Prop up with a branchy sapling, scrap 2x3 or lashed garden stakes

  • Place your trellis in the garden, propped up at a 45-degree angle.

    I used a strong sapling with a few trimmed branches left on the trunk to prop up my rustic trellis. If you don't have another sapling you can use lengths of scrap lumber to support the trellis, or lean it against a fence if you have one that's strong enough.

Plant peas, lettuce or kale under the trellis - they like cooler temperatures

Photo Tutorial: How to Build a Vegetable Trellis

How to build a simple rustic cucumber trellis for your vegetable garden

Small Space Gardening: Grow Veggies on a Vegetable Trellis

Peas growing below cucumbers on vegetable trellis in my garden.

If your home garden space is small and you're looking for a way to get more produce from a tiny vegetable patch, try growing veggies on a trellis... Read more

Will you try your hand at building a simple vegetable trellis this year?

What do you grow on your home made garden trellis?

I try to use what I have on hand to create my garden walls, trellises and pathways. I have a pile of poles made from sapling trees we trimmed from our woods that I've been using to make fencing, trellises and garden stakes.

Comments

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28 leaves
1103 forum posts
Bonita on said:
I hope to have a square foot garden again next year so I'll keep this veggie trellis in mind. Anything frugal is a winner with me!
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17 leaves
7 forum posts
orange3 on said:
Great way to make your own trellises!
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54 leaves
313 forum posts
beckyf on said:
Let's hope the weather is better for gardening next year. Our garden is a mess this year. I enjoyed this page!
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33 leaves
41 forum posts
Pastiche on said:
Hi Becky, our vegetable garden this year was a bit disappointing. Not sure if it was the location, the soil or the weather but the harvest didn't come anywhere close to last year. Let's hope for better Vermont weather next summer!
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7 leaves
36 forum posts
Butterfly on said:
You make this seem so easy! We will have to try this next spring.
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50 leaves
162 forum posts
belinda342 on said:
Funny, I never thought about building my own trellis! I'm pretty handy with small tools, so come Spring, I think I'll give this a shot. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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