Build an a-frame trellis for items such as summer melons, winter squash, pole beans, or cucumbers. This particular style of garden trellis is excellent for heavier items and is ideal for vertical gardening. Not to mention, this DIY a-frame trellis is extremely easy to construct.
Why Build an A-Frame Trellis
Small space gardening has its restrictions. And in truth, this is the reason why many struggle with growing food. Whether you are gardening on acreage or on the patio there are many options available for setting up a garden. Especially when growing vertically is an option.
A garden trellis can be made of out of anything, with recycled material being an excellent option.
Additionally, how tall to build an a-frame trellis will depend on the garden’s needs. There are a plethora of options for building trellises, however, a DIY a-frame trellis allows the gardener to grow heavier vining vegetation.
An a-frame trellis can be utilized as a stand alone structure or attached to raised beds to maximize the gardening space.
Growing on a Garden Trellis
Small space gardening requires creativity. Growing in containers allows you to move them as needed whereas, trellises allow the vegetable to grow upward verses on the ground.
As mentioned, vining vegetables and fruits are ideal for a garden trellis. Such items are:
- pole beans
- acorn squash
- butternut squash
- spaghetti squash
- smaller pumpkin
Hog panels which are wire-tied together create an arch trellis that is deal for growing lightweight items. Peas, pole beans, and cucumbers are examples of lightweight vegetables. However, gardeners should build an a-frame trellis for heavier fruits and vegetables such as, winter squash, smaller pumpkins, and melons.
DIY A-Frame Trellis
When you build an a-frame trellis you’re doing more than maximizing the garden space by growing vertically. You are growing an overall healthier plant, in turn, increasing the opportunity to grow a large amount of food.
Reduces Insect Damage
The opportunity to reduce insect damage caused by bugs such as, slugs, squash bugs, cucumber beetle and other pests As a matter of fact, a trellis will draw in birds by providing a spot for them to rest. The birds have easier access to consuming bugs and other pests when the vegetation is grown on a garden trellis.
Less Disease and Better Air Flow
By allowing vegetables to grow on a DIY a-frame trellis air circulation around the plant is improved. Garden trellises also keep the foliage off the ground, preventing issues such as soil-born diseases from spreading.
A garden trellis minimizes weeds around the plant. Why is this important? Weeds steal the nutrients found in the soil, hence, the need to weed often throughout the garden growing season.
Provides Shade and Easier to Harvest
Here are two more reasons why it is beneficial to trellis vining vegetables and fruit:
- Shade – place planters under the trellis which need protection from the sun. Kale, lettuce, spinach, cilantro, and chard are excellent candidates for growing under a trellis.
- Harvesting – harvesting as you are standing is much easier on the back.
Requires Minimal Watering
Because the base of the plant is much easier to find, the amount of water used is kept to a minimum. Simply water the base of the plant where the roosts are.
Build an A-Frame Trellis
The amount of material required will depend on both, the height of the a-frame trellis and the width between your garden beds.
Determining the angle of the end cuts, top and bottom, is based on the distance of the adjoining beds and the desired height of the the a-frame trellis. A compound miter saw is used to create the angle cuts.
To determine the plum cut (angle cut) required utilize this free construction master pro calculator.
The material and instructions provided are based on how we constructed our DIY a-frame trellises. Eight feet posts were used with the raised beds 6 1/2-feet apart from each other, making the end cuts at a 58 degree angle.
- 3 4-inch X 4-inch post, 8-feet long
- fence staples, 1 box
- 4-inch screws, 1 box
- sheet plywood, roughly 4-feet X 2-feet, for triangle support
- 1 2-inch X 1-inch board for the diagonal brace, or 2-inch X 4-inch
- 7-feet X 3 1/2-feet cement mesh panels, or hog panels
- compound miter saw
- Determine the angle of the end cuts based on the distance of the adjoining beds and the desired height of the a-frame trellis. The angle can be easily determined with the use of the construction calculator mentioned above.
- With the assistance of another individual attach the 4-inch X 4-inch posts to the raised bed using 3 4-inch screws. Next, secure the top together using 2 4-inch screws. Repeat this step to secure the opposite side.
- Attach a lateral brace using 4-inch X 4-inch post to strengthen the support of the a-frame.
- A diagonal brace is added to prevent the frame from swaying. Use
- Once the frames have been attached to the beds, apply the cement mesh panels or hog panels with the fence staples.
- The final step will be to brace the frames together using plywood to gusset it together (what I refer to as the triangle pieces). This will provide additional support preventing the a-frame trellis from moving.
A Beneficial and Attractive Garden Trellis
Overall, an a-frame trellis is ideal for a garden of any size, especially for those with a smaller garden space. There is no better space saver than being able to grow vertically.