DIY A-Frame Veggie Trellis

comments (21) March 10th, 2010

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yourownvictorygarden Greg Holdsworth, contributor
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With some plywood, hardware cloth, fasteners, basic tools, and a little time, you can fashion a hinged A-frame trellis to support peas, beans, tomatoes, or other vining plants.
Download the plan for this trellis, and build it soon. Youll be glad you did. Illustration by Greg Holdsworth; © 2010 Your Own Victory Garden
The frame of two 3-foot and two 6-foot pieces
With some plywood, hardware cloth, fasteners, basic tools, and a little time, you can fashion a hinged A-frame trellis to support peas, beans, tomatoes, or other vining plants.Click To Enlarge

With some plywood, hardware cloth, fasteners, basic tools, and a little time, you can fashion a hinged A-frame trellis to support peas, beans, tomatoes, or other vining plants.

I would guess you've probably already swept up the sawdust from the last project I gave you, the DIY soil sifter. If so, don't put away those wire cutters just yet. I've got another reason for you to head back over to the hardware store - the DIY trellis.

  DIY Trellis
The four "frame" pieces, laid out 

DIY Trellis
The hinge assembly connecting the
two sides at the top

DIY Trellis
The adjustable and replaceable feet

DIY Trellis
How wide you make your "A"
shape is up to you. The wider it
is, the more stable it is

DIY Trellis
Your veggies can start from
both sides of the frame

DIY Trellis
The finished product
This design represents one of the many different ways you can employ what Square Foot Gardening's Mel Bartholomew calls "vertical growing". I've used this design for years, so it's a "once you build it, you have it" kinda thing.

If you use raw plywood as I do, it will take at least 3-4 years for the wood to weather to the point of needing replacement. If you use higher quality wood or weather stain it, it will go even more.

My design has a unique feature that I haven't seen anywhere else. It actually came out of necessity due to some termite damage and rot the trellis sustained one year. It builds in replaceable "feet" that you know in time will deteriorate.

That way you're not having to replace the main lengths of wood. This design will produce one trellis approximately 6 feet tall by 3 feet wide. Moving along...

The list of things you'll need:

• 7 Pieces of 1" x 4" x 6' plywood, treated or untreated (you only really need 6 - one's for backup)
• Box of wood screws (#8 - 1 1/2" will do nicely)
• 36" x 25' roll of Hardware cloth
• Saw - manual or power electric
• Screwdriver - manual or electric
• Staple gun - manual or electric
• Wire cutters
• Pencil and tape measure

• Square edge
• Wood sealer or varnish


1. Cut 2 of the 6-foot pieces in half to get 4 3-foot pieces.

2. Put two of these 3-foot pieces, along with two of the 6-foot pieces together at the edges, forming a "picture frame" shape.

3. Connect these four pieces with wood screws. Then repeat with the other 3-foot and 6-foot pieces. So now you have the two "sides" of the trellis.

4. Roll out enough hardware/fencing material to cover one side. Using your staple gun, staple it to the frame. Tip: Pull the hardware cloth tight as you are stapling it to the frame, otherwise it will sag in the middle.

5. Repeat for the other side/frame.

6. Screw in the two hinges at the top of the frame to connect the two frames. Tip: Do this while the two frames are laying open on the ground.

7. Make the "feet" pieces by first cutting another 6-foot piece into two 3-foot pieces.

8. Then, cut diagonally across the 3-foot piece to create two "feet" pieces. The pointed side will point downward and stick into the ground.

9. Repeat for the other two feet pieces

10. Screw the four feet pieces to the frames

The warmer weather is just around the corner... get 'er done!

Get the plan
I've uploaded a schematic/instruction sheet on my blog to assist you. You can download it here. Hi-resolution photos are available on request.


After you try it, show it off to other members in the
gardener's gallery.
Post your photos

posted in: Projects, trellis

Comments (21)

royrice21 writes: nice way to represent this.
Posted: 4:09 am on August 20th
SisterswithaSystem writes: I have been using a trellis made with your plans for the past six years and absolutely love it! It is the best thing I have ever found for my cucumbers and has held up, even with untreated wood. I recently made a short video of my kids making a new one (it's that easy to make!) to post on my blog: Thanks so much for sharing this!!
Posted: 1:47 pm on April 3rd
CelindaTeal writes: Nice efforts
Posted: 2:56 am on January 26th
MacieMadison writes: Graeat efforts for easy trellis
Posted: 4:52 am on January 22nd
silaswren writes: This is great..
Posted: 12:28 am on October 10th
Ms_Mae writes: Thanks so much for posting this. I made three of these for my front yard (and one for the back). I posted a photo, but don't know how to share it.
Posted: 6:49 pm on April 6th
VE1FSM writes: Great idea for simple trellis. I will instead of buying the wood , will use recycled wood from shipping crates (1 x 4) and the 50 foot roll of snow fence I picked up in a yard sale for $2.00.

Thank you,
Posted: 3:22 pm on February 22nd
spudcohabitat writes: This trellis will last about a minute in a thunderstorm. It will blow over. These must be anchored better and more durable construction.
Posted: 9:58 am on February 17th
wxforecaster writes: This is great except the poster can't count material correctly (hence two trips to the store).

For each trellis you need 8 pieces of 1x, not 6 (with a an extra for backup):

You use 4 for the 6' sections, another 2 for the 3' cross sections, and another 2 for the diagonal feet. Total is EIGHT 6' sections. If your lumber store sells 12' sections, you will need 4 of them per trellis.
Posted: 11:21 am on July 7th
katiethon writes: This is exactly the design I was looking for. We made 4 of them this weekend and cant wait to see all my vine-ing veggies growing up them. Thanks for such a wonderful idea! :)
Posted: 1:27 pm on May 20th
MikeTheGardener writes: Looks very sturdy .... I would use this more for cucumbers than peas.
Posted: 2:13 pm on April 16th
Downsizing writes: I recently retired, sold my house & moved into a bachelor unit ... I MISS my garden & all hints, advice and "small space" designs are a blessing. I live on the coast & have become a "beachcomber"; timber reclaimed from the sea will be used as a climbing frame for my peas on the balcony, but the hinges will certainly help for the supporting pieces. Thanks!
Posted: 2:03 am on June 5th
diystudio writes: Thanks so much for this wonderful project. I tweaked mine a bit...added twine rather than the wire, and also added lots of color and a growth chart. You can see our kid fun and friendly version here:…veggie-trellis/

Thanks so much for the inspiration and instruction and happy gardening!
Posted: 3:28 pm on March 28th
Lyonsy writes: Thanks for the post. Very nice design. One quibble though. People should never use treated wood in soil. The toxins are awful and get into the soil.
Posted: 12:53 pm on September 16th
draiodoirmna writes: I just made this trellis today. Thanks for the helpful instructions. This was only my second "woodworking" project ever so I'm glad it was simple enough for a novice to make. I now have my Early Hanover Melon vines creeping up the trellis. I wish I could post a picture of my success. Thanks again.
Posted: 5:25 pm on July 3rd
link_larken writes: I found the hardware cloth or chicken wire was pretty expensive for the the roll. I ended up using 2x3x8's for my lumber and used the oragne contruction fencing. The roll was exactly 4ft wide which allowed me to staple it up top and roll out to the bottom. It also cost half the price. Tomatos are taking to it well. Next season I'll build more for my other veggies and the rest of my 'maters.
Posted: 1:35 pm on June 22nd
MKenyon2 writes: We just found Square Foot Gardening at a local Goodwill store! I grow cucumbers, and have tried a similar idea with the mesh, just putting it between two posts. This seems more stable. I'll have to try it. Thanks!
Posted: 11:34 am on April 25th
plumstone writes: Replaceable feet - a great idea! In the UK we call the mesh "chicken wire".
Posted: 2:58 pm on April 23rd
gardennewbie writes: What is in the background? Are those floating row material type cages? I don't see a link to those when searching contributions.... I had a heck of a time with bugs last year...broccoli just fell over one day.
Posted: 11:11 am on March 26th
Jillberto writes: I have two similar trellises in my garden now. One is made with lumber from wood scavenged from election signs.
I like the replaceable feet idea. Not sure about the chicken wire - I use twine that I can easily cut down and compost each year. I would hate to have to pull out all the little vine pieces at the end of the season!
Posted: 8:29 pm on March 11th
Creative_Concepts writes: Mr. Holdsworth, this design rocks and the replaceable feet idea is pretty innovative. Again, thank you for another great project. Once I get my outdoor food grow going I'll post pics and give props. This is definitely a very informative site.
Posted: 9:45 am on March 11th
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