Why Build a Trellis – 7 Easy & Affordable DIY Trellis Ideas

By   | Last Updated :   July 17, 2021 | Filed In :   Garden Landscaping Ideas

If you’ve been shopping for a trellis lately, you may have felt the same way as many budget gardeners—that trellises are overpriced.

A simple 1.8 x 1.2 m wooden trellis can cost £50 or more. Large ornamental trellises such as arched ones can cost ten times as much. Meanwhile, the materials from which these are made are often available in the same stores for significantly less.

Read on to find out more about this common problem and how to build a trellis for less.

Why Is a Trellis So Expensive?

Factors driving up trellis prices include material, shape, style, location, and installation. Let’s take a closer look at these.

Material

Wooden trellises pressure-treated to withstand rot are the most expensive, with vinyl, PVC, composite, and plastic trellises following close behind. These can last 10 years or more and require little maintenance. They’re also lightweight, making them easy to install.

At the other end of the scale are metal trellises, with iron and stainless-steel ones being somewhat cheaper. They’re also heavier, and lower-end varieties may be prone to rust.

Shape

Trellis arches, ovals, trees, hearts, and other ornamental shapes cost more than simple square, rectangular, column, or triangular trellises. They do catch the eye, though.

Garden trellis entrance

An arch trellis costs more, but it catches the eye though; credit: Shutterstock

Wooden trellises in the classic diamond pattern often fall somewhere in between in terms of price. Even so, their cost can add up to hundreds of pounds in a small garden.

Style

Modern, abstract, or farmhouse-style trellises can become a centre point in any garden. But as you’ve guessed, they come with a higher price tag. The combination of creative design and higher-end materials that characterize them drives the price.

Location & Installation

Installation can further add to the cost of the trellis. This can vary a lot depending on the provider and where you want the trellis installed, assuming you want to pay a gardening service to do that. Often, you can install it yourself.

Installing downspout, vegetable garden, or garden bed trellis is more affordable than trellis for fencing, patio, walkway, or deck. But it may still feel pricey.

Does all this mean that you should give up on getting a trellis if you’re a budget gardener? Of course not. Few things can enhance a garden better than a trellis.

You could build your own instead. Building a trellis will save you at least half the money you’d normally spend on buying one, and often much more. You can also forget about shipping costs.

It’s not just a question of saving money.

Why Build a Trellis?

More than making your outdoor space look nicer, a trellis increases your gardening space, helps plants develop better, and enables you to create a privacy partition.

Let’s take a closer look at the best reasons to build a DIY trellis.

Increase Your Vertical Gardening Space

Whether you garden indoors or outdoors, a trellis helps you tap into the benefits of vertical gardening to grow more flowers and vegetables. It can transform inaccessible areas of your garden into green corners.

Create a Garden Partition

Thinking about creating a green nook where you can sip some tea and unwind? Trellises can provide privacy without the hassle of building a fence. They also let in air, creating better air circulation for the neighboring plants.

Help Climbing Plants Grow

Climbing plants like honeysuckle, hydrangea, and wisteria will often grow faster with the support of a trellis. What’s more, vertical support increases your plant’s exposure to sunlight and reduces the risk of rot.

Grow Healthy Vegetables

Some vegetables need trellises even more. Cucumbers, peas, vining tomatoes, or pole beans need support to fully develop and grow straight. Some gardeners also use a trellis to grow squash or melons, which otherwise would take a lot of ground space.

Beans in the garden

Some plants need a trellis to grow properly; credit: Shutterstock

Harvest Crops More Easily

You don’t need to suffer from chronic back pain to appreciate the convenience of harvesting cucumbers or peas from a trellis. If you plan to grow a lot of crops, supporting your plants will save you time—and back pain.

Prune and Fertilize More Quickly

You can prune and fertilize trellised plants with less effort. What’s more, a trellis makes it easier to keep an eye on your plants since it’s always there before your eyes. This can make inconveniences like pests easier to spot before they become problems.

7 Simple and Affordable Trellises You Can Build Yourself

Don’t let your plants pine for support. While saving money for your dream trellis or hunting for best buys, you can build a trellis from readily available materials such as bamboo, rods, or PVC pipes.

Here are some of our favourite ideas to get you started.

1. Bamboo and Twigs Trellis

Got some spare bamboo stakes and/or some twigs gathered from the trees in the yard? Get some strong rope or polyester-free string and tie them together in a lattice.

Bamboo and twigs trellis

Bamboo and twigs trellis; credit: Shutterstock

Stake the larger bamboo first and build your trellis around it. If you plan to grow heavy vegetables on it, try to lean it against a wall or fence for extra support.

2. Vertical Rods Trellis

For this one, you’ll need wooden stakes, iron rods, or any other similar materials plus some stretch tape. Gather three stakes or rods and tie them with stretch tape 4/5 of the way.

vertical rods trellis

Vertical rods trellis; credit: Shutterstock

Stretch them out and you’ll get a simple and durable triangular trellis for peas, beans, and small simple ornamentals.

3. PVC Pipes Trellis

You’ll need PVC pipes, corners, and T-connectors. Assemble the pipes into an A-shape, making the structure as long and as tall as needed. Tie strings from the top section on to small twigs and insert these into the ground next to your plants. Done!

PVC pipes trellis

PVC pipes trellis; credit: DIY network

4. String Trellis Via Posts, Walls, and Fences

Add stainless steel hooks and wire to any existing wooden structure such as wooden posts, the wall of a shed, or an old fence. Then simply string the wire horizontally.

Close up of peas growing up on a trellis

Simple string trellis; credit: Shutterstock

For extra support, you can add vertical wire as well to create a mesh. Opt for a weatherproof, eco-friendly wire.

5. Standing Wooden Garden Trellis

Wooden DIY trellises require a bit more work. But you can save four times or more the cost compared to buying a similar one in a store.

You can build them out of 1x2s and 2x2s. Choose pressure-treated wood for it to last. You’ll also need nuts, bolts, a nail gun, and a drill.

Standing wooden trellis

Standing wooden trellis; credit: Crazy Laura

Cut the wood according to the desired size and nail the horizontal bars to the longer vertical ones. Building a waist-high, A-shaped trellis this way takes less than an hour.

6. Repurposed Window Frame Trellis

Any wooden frame will do. You can also use an old door you no longer need. Staple some chicken wire to it and place it against a wall or in a corner where plants can climb on it. Use this approach to create a DIY partition for a patio or porch.

Repurposed Window Frame Trellis

Repurposed Window Frame Trellis; credit: Pinterest

7. Arched Trellis

You can build a simple arch trellis that can last many years in just half an hour. You’ll need two T-posts, stainless steel wire mesh, and zip ties. The arched wire mesh goes between the T-posts. For a longer arch, increase the number of T-posts.

diy arched trellis-wire mesh

Image Source: Moolton. Arched wire trellises can be simple to make and look fantastic once plants start to fill it out.

Start by driving the T-posts into the ground and then place the arched wire mesh between them. Tie the mesh to each T-post with the zip ties.

It’s that simple. Over time, you may need to add new zip ties. But other than that, you won’t have to do any maintenance. This arch is strong enough to support cucumbers and squash.

Trellis Up Your Garden

Trellises add flair to your garden while helping you grow more plants vertically. They may be expensive in most garden stores, but you can always build your own for less from readily available materials.

In the end, remember that trellises are not just a way to style your garden. They’re simply useful to have. Just look at those beans or peas climbing on them, and you’ll understand perfectly what we mean.

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