If you are looking for inexpensive ways to make a trellis for your raised garden bed, consider using wire fencing and bamboo plant stakes. These make attractive and functional trellises for both flowers and lightweight veggies like beans, peas and cucumbers. While nearly any wire fencing can be used to make a trellis, gardeners frequently choose chicken wire because it is relatively inexpensive and provides the support small vining plants need. You can find chicken wire, typically sold on rolls, in the fencing supplies of your local hardware or home improvement store. It may be referred to as chicken fencing, poultry fencing, poultry netting or just plain chicken wire and is available in varying lengths and heights.
Supplies You Will Need
Bamboo Plant Stakes (4 foot)
Building the Trellis
- Measure the inside width of your raised bed to determine the size of the trellis you will need.
- Add 2 inches to this distance.
- Cut your chicken wire to this width, using wear cutters. You will need protective gloves, as the ends of the wire are sharp and can puncture your hands easily.
- Weave a bamboo plant stake through the openings in the chicken wire on one side of the cut section. Work the stake in and out the holes until you reach the bottom of the wire. Push the stake through the holes until it extends approximately 12 inches below the bottom of the wire.
- Measure the width of the wire again to determine where you will need to thread the stake for the opposite side of the trellis. You may need to trim any excess wire from the trellis when you are finished.
- Follow the same procedure for threading the bamboo stake along the opposite end of the trellis.
- Repeat the steps to add one or more bamboo stakes in the middle of the trellis for support. While a 3-foot trellis only requires one stake in the middle for support, a larger trellis will require one every 18 to 24 inches.
- Cut 2 bamboo stakes 4 inches longer than the desired width of the trellis.
- Thread one cut bamboo stake through the top row of holes on the trellis so that it forms the top horizontal of the trellis. The ends will protrude approximately 2 inches beyond the bamboo stakes at the sides of the trellis. Position them so they are centered and the two ends are equal in length.
- Use heavy wire to secure the top bamboo stake to the side stakes, by twisting the wire in a figure 8 pattern around the end of the top stake to anchor it to the side stake.
- Repeat with a second cut stake along the bottom row of the chicken wire.
- Secure it in place with wire.
Your chicken wire trellis is now ready to be installed in your garden. Here's what you will need to do.
Erecting the Trellis
- Mark the desired position of the trellis. Measure the raised bed and mark the center point on both sides of the bed. Lay garden twine or string across the bed to use as a guide when placing the trellis stakes. This ensures your trellis is positioned properly across the center of the bed.
- Position the ends of the trellis stakes in the desired location. You may need a helper for this as the wire fencing tends to flip and curl. You will need someone to hold the ends as you work.
- Hammer the stakes into the ground.
Plant your vining plants approximately two inches from the trellis. These trellises will support the weight of climbing flowers, such as morning glories, sweet peas and climbing nasturtiums and small veggies, such as peas and beans. For larger vegetables, such as pumpkin, squash and melons, use heavy-weight wire fencing with metal fence stakes to provide them with adequate support. Get more information about fencing supplies from professionals.