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Garden Trellis Tips for Successful Vertical Gardening

Updated on March 31, 2010

Trellis gardening is ideal when you have little space for growing a garden.  There are many types of vegetable plants that grow very well with the help of a trellis.  The concept behind trellis gardening is simple, plants that climb attach to nearby structures for support.  Some plants may need a little help getting started but once they attach they know what to do.  Trellis structures work great because they can also provide the plants with some much needed shade on those hot summer days.  Trellises also eliminate the need to use stakes and ties to secure your plants so they don’t lean or break when loaded down with the weight of vegetables.  A trellis is also a great way to cover areas of your garden that are not as pretty to see like for instance a trashcan, water hose, compost heap, gardening tools, and other objects that are eyesores.

Photo by pandorea  @
Photo by pandorea @

Use Trellis Plans to Build Your Own Structure

When using trellises to help grow vegetables in a garden you don’t have to go out and purchase fancy structures.  Instead, you can even build your own structures with a few pieces of lumber and some nails.  If you are going to be using trellis structures to help support plants in a flower garden then you may want to build or purchase a more architecturally beautiful structure.  Vinyl, cedar, bamboo, and copper are the most popular materials for this type of structure.  Keep in mind that the material itself is going to make its own statement so look for a material and design that will add additional beauty to your landscape.

Measure To Ensure the Trellis Design Will Fit

The most important to remember when purchasing a trellis or any kind of structure for your garden is to always measure first. This will prevent the need to have to adjust the height of the structure later. Once you know the height and width you have available then shopping and choosing a structure should be simple. Your toughest decision will be material, color, and design. Kits usually include everything you will need to construct the structure. Plans leave the purchasing of parts and supplies entirely up to you. Regardless of which one you choose, building and installing a trellis to your garden design is simple and fairly inexpensive.

Types of Plants That Grow Well With Garden Trellises

Once your structure is fully assembled and in place, you can start planting your vegetables or flowers. When planting vegetables, always take into account that some plants will not only grow up but sometimes they also grow sideways. Always leave enough space for each plant to have room to grow without having to compete for space, water, and nutrients. Choose vegetables like tomatoes, beans, and peppers. With a little guidance from you at the beginning they should do very well with the help of the trellis. The structure will also enable you to plant other ground growing plants beneath without a major crowding problem.

A garden design that involves growing flowers or ivy on the trellis will yield a beautiful focal point. Plants and flowers will need a little help from you in finding the trellis but once that is accomplished they will thrive and fill in on their own. With flowers and plants you don’t have to worry about crowding. There is plenty of room and they can spread out and grow over each other if necessary without any major problems. You will of course have to water and feed your plants regularly in order for them to fill in and cover any structure. Use good starter soil in the beginning for best results and cover the area with mulch so you won’t have to do too much weeding in the future.

If you have any questions about which plants, vegetables, and flowers grow well vertically with the help of a trellis in your region, check with a local greenery or garden center. Most suppliers carry only plants that will do well in your region. You can also consult the internet for more resources and answers to many of your trellis gardening questions.

Garden Structures


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    • profile image

      container vegetable gardening 7 years ago

      Thanks for all the information. Using trellis' is my next frontier. I made the mistake of not using them for my tomatoes and aubergines last year!

    • profile image

      Dawn Clarke 7 years ago

      thank you madison for such an awesome hub, this will keep hubby and me busy for some time

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Thanks for an interesting Hub. I have considered whether to have a pergola in my garden, but it can get very windy here, so as yet am undecided.