Let’s get vertical! Whether you need more space to grow, one of your plants requires support, or you just want to add depth and dimension to your garden adding garden trellises to create a vertical garden is the way to go. Garden trellises come in all shapes and sizes. If you are short on time you can buy a pre-made trellis, if you are short on budget or you just want to get creative you can make a trellis.
DIY garden projects add character to your garden, save money in your budget, and allow you to flex those creativity muscles. And while this is a fun year-round project, making garden trellises in the cold months keeps your hands busy and your brain occupied.
Gone are the days when your only trellis option was the ubiquitous lattice panel. Lattice panels are great for very traditional or cottage-y gardens, but what if you want something different and unique? Well, you make it yourself.
Traditional Garden Trellis Designs
- Wooden Lattice Panel:
- Tepee Trellis
- Foldable Trellis
- Arched Trellis
Best Garden Trellis Materials
In my experience, wood and metal/iron make the best and most sturdy trellises, and they’re also easy to work with. Wood will eventually rot, of course, but you’ll get a number of years out of a wooden trellis before you need to consider replacing it. Metal or iron trellises are much more long-lived, but can often be more expensive. However, if you’re open to repurposing some common objects, you can create your own garden trellis while keeping an eye on your budget.
Yes, you can literally make your own trellis if you have access to and knowledge of power tools and basic carpentry skills, but how about take something that, with just a few adjustments (or none at all), can be made into a fun and functional vertical structure? Here are our favorite ways and materials to use to create a vertical garden!
Ladder. An old ladder you have lying around, or one you find at a garage sale, is a great candidate for new life in the garden. Leave it as is or paint it a funky color, then place it in the garden and allow your vines to grow upwards.
Ranch panel. We use ranch panel a lot on our farm. While it makes ideal fencing for our farm animals, it’s also a ready-made material for creating trellises. Our favorite way to use it is to buy a 20’L x 4’W piece of welded ranch panel (available at fence supply stores), then wire the ends to rebar stakes, forming an overhead curved arbor/trellis. We grow all sorts of climbing veggies and flowering vines on these trellises.
Window frame. Buy an old window frame at a garage sale and back it with chicken wire, then hang it overhead for vines to cling to. Or, attach simple wooden stakes at the bottom and stand it up inside a planter or in the ground for an easy plant support.
Crib rail. What’s easier than taking the railing from an old crib, attaching stakes to the bottom (again, rebar is my favorite material for this), and popping it into the garden? Instant trellis!
Mattress springs. A couple of years ago, my husband came home with an old mattress spring. Don’t ask me why — this is just my life. He thought I could use it in the garden somehow, and he was right! We drove two rebar pieces into the ground and wired the mattress spring to it so it was standing on end. Vines will grow up and around the form, but you can also use the individual springs to create little pocket gardens. I did this by pushing a handful of moss into the circular spring, then adding a tillandsia (air plant) into it. So easy and inexpensive!