Low-cost DIY Trellis Ideas

Make the most of your available sunlight and garden space with vertical gardening. Get hands-on with these ideas for making your own trellis.

Wooden Trellis

wooden trellis

This picture shows a passion fruit trellis I created using Eucalyptus logs and fencing wire. I used 3x 4m lengths for the horizontal poles, 3 x 2.5m lengths for the vertical poles, and 3x 1.5m lengths for the supports.

The horizontal poles are spaced at 1m, so that leaves 50cm on the verticals to drop into the ground. Use a machete to cut notches into the poles and nail together. I reinforced the joins with fencing wire, and I also used fencing wire for the mesh.

Since passion fruit vines are productive for 3 years, I did not bother treating the wood. Without treatment, the wood was very rotten after 2 years, so consider applying linseed oil.

Electrical Conduit Trellis

Another type of trellis I am using is a lot easier to put together. I am using these for pumpkins, tomatos and snake beans.

electrical conduit trellis

The outer frame is half inch electrical conduit, which comes in 3m (10 ft) lengths. If you look in the same aisle of the hardware store, you will find metal elbow joints.

I bought 6 lengths of conduit and had the hardware store cut them into 6ft/4ft lengths. This (plus 6 elbow joints) gave me 3x 6 foot trellises that fit perfectly against 3 of my square foot garden beds. (Remember to put trellises at northern end of garden beds in the northern hemisphere so they don’t cast a shadow on the bed).

Get some half-inch rebar and cut to 4 foot lengths (I went to a building site and asked someone to cut for me). Hammer 2 of these half way into the ground (remember eye protection, sunglasses will do) – the electrical conduit will fit snugly over the rebar. See this video for more detailed instructions, including how to tie the mesh

I originally used nylon string as shown in the video, but found that it melted on days where the temperature was over 38° Celsius (100° Fahrenheit), or decayed after 6 months exposure to sunlights. I am now using 0.7mm nylon (i.e. single filament like fishing line) – it is a little hard to tie so I would like to try a lighter gauge next time, but it is definitely lasting – plus I don’t need a cigarette lighter to singe the ends.

Recycled Trellis

recycled trellis

Could it get any easier than that? Well, yes – if you can recycle an unused metal frame. I simply borrowed an unused clothes rack from Mrs VegeFuture, and tied on the nylon string meshing. The meshing is on the 2 sides that catch the most sun. I am hoping the cucumbers grow quickly before my wife asks me to return this!