Make a DIY trellis
Matthew “Woody” Woodyard, Interpretive Naturalist
After seeing the prices for a few large trellises at the local hardware store, I decided to build my own! I had a vision to use them for my garden to grow beans, peas and cucumbers vertically to save space for other veggies. Instead of paying $20 to $45 a piece, all together I invested about $45 total to build three 7-foot-tall by almost 3-foot-wide trellises! I took the time to paint them to match our house and increase their lifespan, but that is step is not necessary.
Author’s note: This specific design is meant to lean against something like a house or shed, but you could easily modify the design to make the legs longer, sticking them further into the ground.
1 x 2 x 8’ boards (3)
36” wide galvanized wire mesh w/ 1” holes
Step 1: Take one board and using your saw, cut it into three 32” pieces. It should work out perfectly! These will be the support pieces that run in between your trellis.
Step 2: Now, pre-drill holes. Take a full-length board and measure .75” from one end and draw a line. Then drill two holes that are .25” from your line on both sides, as shown in the photo. This is where we will be attaching our first support. Repeat this step on the other long board.
Step 3: For our second support, measure 42” from the end of the board that we just drilled and draw another line. Again, drill two holes .25” on both sides of your line like shown in the photo. This will be where our middle support is attached.
Repeat this step on the other long board.
Step 4: For our final support, measure 12.75” from the un-drilled end and draw your line. Just like before, drill two holes .25” on both sides of your line like shown in the photo. This is where our bottom support will go. NOTE: There will be 1 ft “legs” remaining that will be buried in the soil.
Step 5: Now its time to build! Take a long board and attach a 32” piece using the holes we drilled previously. NOTE: It might help to have someone give you a hand holding a piece when attaching the cross supports.
Repeat step 5 attaching the other two 32” pieces to your long board. Be sure to attach these pieces to one side at a time.
Step 6: The structure may seem flimsy right now, so we are going to attach the other long board. After putting it all together, go back around an tighten everything up. NOTE: Be sure not to drill too hard to avoid splitting the wood)
Step 7: Time to attach our mesh! Lay your trellis down and roll out your wire mesh next to it. Compare the length of the trellis to the wire mesh, use your wire snips to cut the piece off. It should be roughly 7’ long. Wire mesh can be difficult to work with sometimes. I have found flipping it over and walking on it as you unroll it will help straighten it out.
Step 8: Using your staple gun, begin attaching the mesh at the top of your trellis. Don’t worry if some hangs over, we will take care of that a little later. Be sure to try and keep your wire straight by picking a row where the wire is twisted and use that as a guide to staple.
Step 9: Continue stapling the mesh wire evenly to your trellis. Pull the wire tight as you move down the trellis. The mesh is likely to stretch and that is okay. Just be sure to keep your wire mesh as tight and even as possible while you staple.
Step 10: Now that your mesh is attached, you might notice there is some overhang along the top and bottom and even the edges. There are two solutions here. You can either fold the excess over and hide it behind the trellis or take your wire snips and go along the edges of your trellis trimming excess wire.
You did it! Now, it’s time to dig a couple of holes to support your trellis and enjoy as your plants grow tall.