In today's article we are going to break down how to build your own trellis for maximum returns and how we designed our trellis to give you the freedom to interchange into different trellises. Did you know that there are only two main ways you can trellis plants? They can be trellised in a horizontal fashion parallel to the ground or vertical fashion growing up away from the ground. Within the two main ways there are a variety of styles you can choose from to test your skills or to test what works best with your growing style. All of this will be discussed in this post, but before we get into how to build our trellis, lets talk about the three question you need to be asking yourself.
What type of plants you are growing, what type of space do you have, and what areas in your garden get the best sunlight? Lets start first with what type of space do you have? By this we mean do you have a lot of gardening space, are you growing in raised beds or in the ground, are you limited in space? If you have a limited amount of space we would most definitely recommend growing vertically, growing vertical will maximize the amount of area you can grow plants by freeing up soil space for other plants while you train and grow others up. If you do have a lot of growing space try your hand at growing horizontally in a row type fashion, growing horizontal is less labor intensive and looks great when you have all your plants organized neatly in rows. Again, all of this is a matter of preference on how you what your garden to look or how productive you want your garden to be. You can always change things around every season is a chance to experiment until you dial in what works best for you and your style. Next question, what are you going to be growing? Lets say you want to grow tomatoes as most do, it is an awesome plant, but what type indeterminate, determinate, cherry, beef steak, so many choices. For simplicity lets focus on indeterminate and determinate. You might see these terms thrown around and might not know what they mean, but simply a determinate tomato plant has a determine size and a indeterminate tomato plant does not. A determinate tomato plant has a set size and harvest limit and an indeterminate does not and will continue to grow and be fruitful as long as you support it. Both can be grown either way horizontally or vertically. However, we would recommend that indeterminate varieties be grown vertical as they will grow tall and determine grown horizontal as they will be 3- 4 ft tall perfect for that method. Moral of the story before planting a variety or species of plant take the time to understand how it will grow and choose the trellis that will best match its growing behavior. Now lets answer the last question. Every gardening space will be different so take the time to understand the amount of sun it will get. Does it get a few hours of direct sunlight? Does it get more? Does it get good air circulation? How much sun does the plant need or how much shade does it need? Again, before you build your trellis take the time to do your research about the crops you want to grow, what they need, how they grow, and then build your trellis to meet your plants needs. It will save you a lot of time later on. Trust us, we do not want you to build a trellis that is not compatible to the plants you want to grow that can result in a poor harvest or no harvest at the end of the season. Remember anyone can garden its super easy, but with any endeavor you need to educate yourself. We want to help you succeed!
Ok so now that we have taken the time to understand the crops we want to grow and the area where will be growing them, lets discuss the types of materials we can use to build our trellis. There are three materials we can use wood, metal, and plastic. We recommend our high grade PVC pipe, which is made free of any dioxins, phalleytes, heavy metals, and lead. It is 100% recyclable and meets the same standards and quality as medical grade plastic. It is UV and weather resistance to withstand outside elements for long lasting use. It can come in a variety of colors including clear that you can customize in your garden. We also like it because you can choose colors to encourage certain pollinators into your garden as they can only see certain colors (e.g flowers) that will attracted them to the plant. A huge win for us, we want as many beneficial organisms in our garden as possible! But honestly, the reason we recommend and prefer plastic is the versatility of it. Its cost effective, long lasting, light weight, easy to build with, and has a variety of fittings to construct whatever trellis you might want. Its the only material that can be used to reconfigure into different trellises in your garden. The reason we don't recommend wood or metal is because it will require continual maintenance, limited in scope, and more labor intensive. Wood will eventually rot after a few seasons, requiring specialize knowledge and proper tools to construct. Metal is no different than plastic just stronger, but is limited in fittings to have the freedom to build different trellises and will continually need to be maintained to not rust or oxidize. We want you to be able to build a trellis that will last a long time, but give you the freedom to interchange and have fun with that can only be done with plastic.
Building our trellis system
When using plastic pipe there is two ways you can construct the support pillars either by screwing them to the outside of your raised bed with plastic clamps or hammer into the ground. Use rebar 4 feet or more and hammer into the ground then slide the pipe over and hammer the pipe into the ground 6 or more inches. This will give you a secure foundation to not be blown over from the wind and hold the weight of the plants. Next, slide over our specialty fittings to the desired level and secure by tightening the fastener, thus creating the frame or half frame. Attached pipe to the fittings as you see best fit to create a side frame or square frame. These frame can them be used to hold trellis netting, twine, or cattle panel in a vertical or horizontal fashion. Attach your trellis support material with zip ties or twine and you’re ready to go. Simply, un-connect or re-connect the pipe into the fittings to interchange into various trellises and slide up or down our fittings to the height you want. Have fun with it, try trellising in different ways to see what you like best. With this method you can grow your skill set, use it to grow tomatoes vertically one season then change it to grow cucumbers with A-frame the next. As you crop rotate simply reconfigure our trellis to meet the needs of the next crop. Our system was design to give you this freedom of choice and freedom to have fun with your trellis. We want to be your best friend and support system in your garden. You should not be limited in choice when it comes to trellising so have fun with it, try different trellises, be creative and start gardening!