How to Build a DIY Garden Trellis

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Though an ostensibly simple feature, a garden trellis has a multitude of uses. As an entrance to a garden, it channels visitors and makes them aware that they are entering a distinct space. For the inhabitants of the garden – the plants – a trellis provides something for them to grow on and around.

Whether it’s used for growing vegetables or to brighten up an otherwise bare wall, trellises are adaptable to gardens of all sizes and purposes. The project detailed below is for an eight-foot-square trellis designed for a relatively large garden.


• Set square
• Measuring tape
• Four 6x6in pressure-treated posts
• Gravel
• Spirit level
• Concrete
• Saw
• Screws
• Two 8ft beams
• Twelve 2x4in trellis stock
• Paint, stain, or wood preservative


1. Mark the post locations using string and a set square. Each side should measure 94½ inches. Measure diagonally from corner to corner to check that the structure will be square.

2. Dig holes of an equal depth for the trellis footings. Place a post in each and use gravel to initially hold them in place.

3. Use a spirit level to check that each post is vertical and then pour concrete into the holes to secure the posts in place.

4. When the concrete has set, mark the top of each post at eight feet and two and a half inches. Use a hand saw to cut the top of each post where marked.

5. Cut the two eight-foot beams to length, shaping each end in a decorative flourish for added interest. To create a shape, first make a template then cut around it using a jigsaw or a similar Bosch power tool. Screw one beam horizontally across the front two posts, four inches from the top. Screw the other beam horizontally across the top of the rear two posts, four inches from the top.

6. Screw seven of the 2x4in trellis stock at 12-inch intervals so that they are at right angles to the two beams.

7. On top of these, screw the remaining five pieces of 2x4in trellis stock at 15½ inch intervals so that they form right angles with the seven previously secured pieces. The resulting cross-hatching effect can be seen when viewed from below.

8. Sand the trellis to remove any splinters. Apply wood preservative and wait until dry. Fill any screw holes before applying primer. As a final touch, use an air compressor to paint the entire structure.

Updated: July 22, 2013 — 10:47 pm

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