Whether it is for garden beautification or to increase privacy, taking a weekend to build a garden trellis can be a fun and visually rewarding project. You can easily build a garden trellis in a weekend with minimal help or supplies. A great project for a first do-it-yourself project, a garden trellis requires little skill and few supplies.
What is a Garden Trellis?
A Garden Trellis is a structure constructed to aid in the climbing of various plants. Many homeowners build a garden trellis to give their ivy or other vines the ability to climb, and use the wall of greenery for increased privacy. Others opt for a more traditional use; an aid in their gardens for vegetable and other garden plants.
Step One: Collect Your Supplies
Chances are, you will be able to build a garden trellis in one day, and will not need the entire weekend. Allow yourself at least half of a day, and do not rush your project. Before you begin building your trellis, be sure you have the following supplies:
- Two 8-foot 2x4s
- Six 8-foot 1x2s
- One pound of 11/4-inch deck screws
- Small bag of gravel
Make sure you have your tools handy. You will need a drill, a circular or hand saw, (circular will obviously make your life easier, but is not necessary!). You will also need something to dig out your post-holes. While a narrow shovel will do the trick, consider investing in a post-hole digger if you do not own one. You wont regret it. You will also need three tools that every homeowner should have on hand: A tape measure, a framing square, and your trusty level.
Step Two: Review Your Needs
Before you build your garden trellis, consider what you will need it for. The size of the open spaces in the trellis should depend on what type of plant (or plants) you are constructing it for.
Consider the following: If you are growing a traditional climbing plant or vine, any size of trellis will probably do. For shrubs or bushes, consider making the spaces in the trellis smaller, as the shrub will likely need to be tied to the trellis. If you are using your trellis with a more delicate plant, small spaces will be necessary as well.
Step Three: Begin Construction
1.) To construct your garden trellis, first cut three of the 1x2s into four foot pieces. Position the two 2x4s on a table, or other sturdy, flat surface, 42 inches apart from each other.
Lay your three 1x2s horizontally on the 2x4s, and measure 26 inches between them. Use your framing square to ensure it is square, and after double-checking your measurements with your tape measure, drill two deck screws into each joint, one inch from each other.
2.) Flip your trellis over, so your structure is face down on your work surface. Cut a 1×2 into three pieces: one at 84 inches, and two at 72 inches. Position the 84 inch piece in the center, approximately 2 inches longer than the bottom 1×2. Center the remaining 1×2 vertical pieces between the existing joints and the center (84 inch) piece. Secure with deck screws at each joint once again.
3.) Flip your structure once again, keeping it flat. Cut another series of 1x2s; this time, three 30 inch pieces and one 8 inch piece. Center the three 30 inch pieces horizontally, between the existing horizontal grid, with the 8 inch piece at the very top, creating a triangular effect. Secure with deck screws at the joints.
4.) Youa re almost there! Recruit an extra set of hands, and position the completed trellis in its permanent spot. Once you have the location selected, mark the dirt and dig two holes with your post-hole-digger. Once you have dug out holes that are two feet deep, place the trellis in the holes to double check the depth.
5.) Use your level to test for equal depth on each side. When your desired depth is achieved, insure proper rain-water drainage by shoveling 2-3 inches of gravel into each hole. Have your recruited helper assist you by holding a level on the top of each post while you position each post in its hole. When plumb, shovel the dirt back into the hole, tamping it with a remaining piece of 1×2, repeating the fill and tamp procedure several times until desired firmness is achieved.
6.) Be sure to create a bit of a mound around the post. This is to allow proper rain-water drainage away from the post. Repeat this process with the opposite post.
Build a garden trellis in a matter of hours, and admire your finished product with pride. Take pleasure in watching your plants thrive and grow as they climb the ladder of your new creation.