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What are the Different Types of Vegetable Trellis?

Susan Grindstaff
Susan Grindstaff

Many different types of trellis systems have been designed for growing vegetables, but most tend to fall into three main categories. A flat vegetable trellis is usually flat on the surface and can extend upward as high as is needed, depending on the type of vegetable being grown. Caged trellises are usually multi-sided, most commonly in the shape of a pyramid or a cone. Pole trellising is also commonly used for a wide variety of vegetables, and is probably the most easy to install.

A flat vegetable trellis is commonly used for peas, squash, and cucumbers. It is ideal for heavier vegetables because these trellises can be made in various widths and heights, and can be installed against walls to help give them more support. This type of trellis is usually constructed of overlapping wood, which adds to their ability to bear extra weight. Most gardeners recommend burying the trellis to a depth that will best offset its height. Ideally, the trellis should be buried at least 24 inches (61 cm) into the garden bed.

Vegetables, including some that grow on trellises.
Vegetables, including some that grow on trellises.

Tomatoes and peppers are commonly grown using a caged vegetable trellis. Cages are sometimes constructed entirely of wire mesh, but can also be made from wood. Mesh cages are usually circular or cone shaped, and are installed around each individual plant. Most gardeners claim that vine type plants that are trellised usually produce more yield than plants allowed to grow along the ground. In addition, trellising the plants helps protect them from rot and some types of insect infestation.

Cucumbers often grow well on a trellis.
Cucumbers often grow well on a trellis.

Many types of beans benefit from being staked. This type of trellising encourages the bean plant to wrap around a stake or pole as it grows. Beans that grow along a pole are considered much easier to harvest compared to beans allowed to form a bush or beans that grow along the ground. Bean plants often produce a great many leaves, which can make it difficult to spot the bean itself. Having them staked makes the beans more visible, and eliminates the need for constant bending while harvesting.

A trellis can be used to support growing peas.
A trellis can be used to support growing peas.

Adding a vegetable trellis to a garden is not considered difficult. The extra time it takes is usually offset by the amount of time the trellis may save in tending and harvesting. In addition, trellising often produces larger, more uniform vegetables. Trellises specifically designed for different types of plants can usually be purchased at nurseries or home improvement retailers, though some gardeners prefer to build their own.

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Discussion Comments


@fBoyle-- A type of lattice trellis can be used as well, but that will be more expensive.

My father uses rods. He attaches two rods together at the two sides of the plants. A third rod sits on top of those rods and small rods or ropes go from the plants to the rods allowing each plan to grow up from there. There are many other similar ideas out there for vine crops. I think people should be creative and try to make their own with different materials. The basic idea is that there needs to be something that the plants can climb across.


@fBoyle-- I think that the simplest and most useful vegetable trellis is a flat trellis. You can make it yourself with two poles or conduits on each side. Any metal, sturdy pipe or tube will work really. You also need a piece of wood for the top. And then using string and go across the pipe and the wood vertically and horizontally to make a net. Then simply guide the vegetables through the nets as they grow. These nets are strong enough to support the vegetables without collapsing.

Some people use individual stakes with string for each plant. That works too but when there are lots of plants, the type of trellis I described is more useful. And it doesn't cost much to make at all. I had fun making mine.


I have several different types of plants in my garden right now like cucumbers, tomatoes and green beans. Is there a type of trellis that accommodate all of them? I want to use one large trellis for all if possible. Any recommendations?

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    • Vegetables, including some that grow on trellises.
      By: Ovidiu Iordachi
      Vegetables, including some that grow on trellises.
    • Cucumbers often grow well on a trellis.
      By: Natalya Korolevskaya
      Cucumbers often grow well on a trellis.
    • A trellis can be used to support growing peas.
      By: sevenk
      A trellis can be used to support growing peas.