A couple of recent emails requested information on building a homemade garden trellis. Growing vertically is such a great way to save space and even increase yields for crops such as cucumbers, squash, pole beans, and other climbing vegetables.
Today I’ll share one of my favorite methods to construct a simple trellis in the home garden, but first here are the questions that were submitted inquiring about making a homemade garden trellis:
Seeking a Quick Fix for Trellising Garden Vegetables
Hi Kenny! I stumbled onto one of your videos when looking for tips on trellises for the garden. You were building a rabbit proof fence. I went to your website and saw your email address for contact. — BTW nice website!
I needed a quick fix in my organic raised bed garden and wanted to use a few trellises to help support squash, cucumbers, melons, tomatoes and beans. Yes, I am ambitious for a novice with raised beds.
I found some trellises at the local Home Depot and Lowe’s, but nothing on any of the packaging could tell me if they were untreated and safe for an organic garden. I called around to one company and found that the wooden trellises are stained with color, but no varnish had been applied. I am not sure that they are okay for a true “organic” garden. I would appreciate any help. Thanks, Prana
Complying with Organic Certification Regulations
Thanks Prana, I never gave much thought to whether the material used to support climbing crops needed to be untreated or not in order to comply with organic certification requirements. Like most organic backyard gardeners I follow organic practices but don’t go through the expense and formal regulatory process of organic certification that organic farmers must comply with.
After a little research it appears that the national organic certification regulations do spell out the types of building materials that can be used and do prohibit the use of treated wood in instances where the organic crop comes in contact with the treated wood or the soil that comes in contact with the treated wood. That rule applies to garden trellises, fences, and even greenhouses if you are seeking organic certification.
Here’s one more email and then I’ll share the simple solution that I use to build a simple garden trellises that’s great for supporting climbing fruits and vegetables in the backyard garden:
Dear Mr. Point: I enjoyed your various article on gardening. I am a retired Army Infantry Officer who truly enjoys gardening. Sir, do you have an example of a trellis for my summer squash. I have limited space. Your assistance is greatly appreciated Respectfully, L. Hampton
Thanks Mr. Hampton, and yes I do have an example of a homemade garden trellis that I use which may be helpful to you and Prana. The trellis is inexpensive, easy to set up, durable, and can be adapted to fit your particular needs, crops, and situations.
Using Fencing Wire to Construct a Homemade Garden Trellis
This garden trellis is made with the rolls of vinyl-clad fencing wire that you can purchase from home and garden centers. The wire makes an excellent trellis for plants such as pole beans, squash, melons, and cucumbers to climb.
It doesn’t work as good for tomatoes, but check out my tomato trellising video for a great solution to support tomatoes. I attach the wire to the top of an out building that I have in the garden and then anchor it to the ground. That gives me a trellis over 15 feet tall for plants to climb up on.
Another option would be to use tall metal fence posts and attach the wire fencing to that or even fashion some type of A-Frame where the plants can climb up one side and down the other for support. Use your imagination to create similar trellis applications around your own home and garden.
Nylon netting material can be used instead of the wire fencing but I like the wire fencing much better and think that it is sturdier and more durable. I set my wire fencing trellis up about four years ago and have been using it ever since.
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