How to Build an A-Frame Trellis

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How can you instantly add space to your garden without having to expand it? Install a trellis! Trellises free up a lot of real estate by allowing you to grow crops up into in your garden's vertical space. Use this easy-to-build A-frame trellis to support cucumbers, small melons, gourds and sugar snap peas. Then, plant crops that prefer cooler temperatures, including cilantro, lettuce and spinach in the space underneath the A-Frame.

Things You'll Need

  • (6) 42-inch long two-by-two boards (we used naturally rot-resistant cedar)
  • (4) 36-inch long two-by-two boards
  • (12) 3-inch long wood screws
  • (2) 2 1/2 inch galvanized utility hinges (they typically come with screws)
  • 1/2 inch staples and a staple gun
  • Wire mesh (either 1/2 inch hardware cloth, chicken wire or 2-inch mesh metal fencing)
  • Electric drill
  • Select two 42-inch long two-by-two boards and two 36-inch long two-by-twos to form the first panel of the frame. Build the first half of the panel by screwing one short piece of wood to one long piece to form an L-shape (when forming the L, place the short piece of wood on top of the long piece, rather than on the inside). Repeat with the two remaining wood pieces.

  • Create the panel by placing the two L-shaped halves together to form a rectangle. Screw three of the corners together.

  • Mark the center point on each 36-inch board (18 inches). Add in a center support by placing a 42-inch two-by-two in the center of the panel and screwing it in place. Finish the panel frame by screwing together the final corner.

  • Measure a piece of hardware cloth, chicken wire or metal fencing to fit the panel and staple it into place. Then, build the second panel.

  • Create the A-Frame by laying the first panel hardware cloth side down on a level surface. For a 42-inch tall, 3-foot wide A-Frame, lay the second panel (hardware cloth side down) end to end with the first, butting the short sides up against each other. For a 3-foot tall, 42-inch wide A-Frame, lay the second panel (hardware cloth side down) end to end with the first, butting the long sides up against each other.

  • Open the hinges. Then position them on either edge of the abutting panels and screw them into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make your life easier by drilling lead holes before you screw in the screws.
  • Increase the longevity of the trellis by preserving the wood with a non-toxic wood preservative and storing the trellis indoors during the winter.
  • Try this succession plan: in the spring, plant sugar snap peas on the trellis and spinach below. When the peas and spinach are done, pull them out and plant cucumbers on the trellis and bolt-resistant lettuces below.
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