A garden trellis will help you grow upwards making a great use of garden space.
There are numerous ways you can trellis your fruits or vegetables, and you can either buy a trellis or make your own. Above you can see some great trellis designs from the Backyard Homestead book.
Different plants require different types of trellises.
Your trellis choice will depend on what you’re planting, and how that plant grows.
Beans like to climb up a central post. Other vines create ‘side hooks’ such as peas and benefit from horizontal support as well as height. We’ve made many trellis mistakes (you can see them collapsing here!) so always think about how large the plant will become. Some vines stop growing at a certain height, but many continue to grow past the trellis height reaching for the sky. Tomatoes that are determinate (grow to a certain height then stop) can be grown in tomato cages, but indeterminate tomatoes (ones that continue to grow in height) need a taller tomato trellis. Certain vining flowers are lighter and down’t weigh down a trellis, heavier plants like melon vines, need stronger support.
You can even use taller plants as a trellis!
If you want to trellis larger plants such as squash you will need stronger support.
Because we get elk and deer, our garden needs a strong tall fence. This makes a perfect trellis for plants that need it. We’ve grown lighter plants like sweet peas, to large squash vines.
You can see our elk fence offers great support for stronger vines such as pumpkins or our grapes.
I love the trellis for squash from Seed to Scrumptious.
Garden trellises make beautiful archways and central themes in a kitchen garden.
A French trellis, also called French Tuteurs, look very elegant in the garden.
She Holds Dearly shows you how to make a DIY Tuteur Trellis
Lovely trellis archway from Savvy Gardening
Cheap + Re-purposed trellis ideas
This summer we’re trying to use an old swing set and using it for two garden trellises. The seat part will become a trellis for the cucumbers, spinach and arugula underneath appreciating the shade. The frame will be a trellis for French filet pole beans which create shade for summer broccoli and cauliflower. Excited to share the progress with you! It’s too early to plant warm season crops until May, but I’m getting things set up. I look forward to sharing the progress with you! We’ve also used old branches from pruning our plum tree into a wooden woven garden trellis.
Certain plants can be maintained better with pruning to keep growth in check.
They will still need the support of your trellis, but rather than taking over the whole thing, you can prune back plants like blackberries or grapevines. There is an entire art of pruning tomatoes to one central stem so that it doesn’t bush out as much. In general, most plants that we’ve used a garden trellis for, we haven’t pruned back.
Do you have a fav garden trellis?
My name is Isis Loran, creator of the Family Food Garden. I’ve been gardening for over 10 years now and push the limits of our zone 5 climates. I love growing heirlooms & experimenting with hundreds of varieties, season extending, crunchy homesteading and permaculture.