Updated September 24, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

The 10 Best Garden Trellises

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This wiki has been updated 19 times since it was first published in June of 2016. Perfect for flowers, fruit and vegetable plants, and decorative vegetation, such as creeping vines, our selection of garden trellises will add a pleasant finishing touch to your outdoor display. They provide critical support for young and delicate growths, and can be used freestanding, against a wall, or in a planter, depending on your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best garden trellise on Amazon.

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Take Your Plants To A Higher Level

Harvesting fruits and vegetables also tends to be a much simpler task.

It’s ironic: as the modern workforce increasingly finds itself strapped to a computer and confined to indoor office spaces, study after scientific study reveals that exposure to nature and plant life plays an important role in our overall health and emotional wellbeing.

While suburbanites and small-town folks often enjoy access to greenery in the form of a backyard garden, many city dwellers simply write off their inability to cultivate plants as one of the sacrifices of urban life — though this needn’t be the case.

Thanks to the garden trellis, plant lovers of all types can maximize their available space by planting vegetables and flowers in a vertical fashion. As a structure that’s both decorative and functional, a trellis not only adds elegance to your outdoor space, it can provide extra security for your property as well as plant-growing benefits that go above and beyond what a traditional horizontal garden can offer.

A trellis is a solid vertical support structure that characteristically rests against a wall or a fence, serving as a backbone for vines, fruits, vegetables, and flowers, allowing them to flourish organically across its surface. As attractive as a row of flowerbeds or a well-manicured lawn garden may look, a decked-out trellis and some quality lighting will surround you in illuminated greenery, creating a truly special atmosphere.

Taking a vertical approach to growing plants has benefits outside of aesthetics — it helps many crops avoid diseases and insects that stem from the ground. In certain environments, your plants will enjoy greater access to sunlight, as well. All of this can lead to higher quality produce and less damage to fruits and vegetables.

If you’re concerned that maintaining shrubbery on a trellis will require more time and effort than a traditional garden, put those worries to bed. The watering process is actually more efficient, as you can simply target the base of the plant instead of spraying across a sprawling landscape. This helps you avoid overwatering, too.

Harvesting fruits and vegetables also tends to be a much simpler task. Rather than digging through a mishmash of vines, leaves, and limbs, you can easily identify individual pieces to pluck directly off the trellis without bending over or descending to your knees.

Outfitting Your Outdoor Sanctuary

Your personal style, existing décor, and the type of vegetation you plan to cultivate will all play a role in the type of trellis you choose. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of designs from which you might select.

You’re probably familiar with the arch trellis, a Victorian-style structure with two flat sides and a rounded top. A fan trellis is essentially a carbon copy of the arch, except that its top flares out instead of creating a dome. This is a popular choice for Japanese gardens.

These won’t fade, even when exposed continuously to intense sunlight, and frigid temperatures and moisture have little impact on this material.

The tripod trellis, while not quite as elegant as arches and fans, is just as practical, with a teepee-like construction that adds an element of natural beauty to your space once it’s covered in blossoming plant life. Urbanites who want to truly maximize the space on their deck or patio may prefer the planter box trellis, which is anchored by a traditional pot at the base for housing additional greenery.

A grid trellis can serve as a garden fence itself, or you can use it to decorate an existing fence. Either way, it’s a reliable option for growing vegetables that like to grab onto something, such as cucumbers or squash. A more complex type that resembles a pyramid, the obelisk trellis is a tall structure that will dominate your space, prominently displaying whatever you’ve chosen to grow.

As you’ll be setting up the trellis outdoors, it’s important to consider its material and how it will fare long-term in the environment in which you live. Wood is a classic option, as it’s tailor-made for rustic outdoor spaces and charming in a way other materials simply can’t match.

If extreme weather is one of your primary concerns, check out some vinyl models. These won’t fade, even when exposed continuously to intense sunlight, and frigid temperatures and moisture have little impact on this material. Metal trellises are nearly indestructible and require virtually no maintenance, and if you’re willing to make a solid investment, they can look quite elegant, as well.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all trellis materials and designs are suitable for all plants or gardening strategies. For example, plants with tendrils prefer a gridded support system to achieve a secure attachment, whereas you can easily bind plants without tendrils to different types of trellises with clips or zip ties. Plants that crawl and sprawl extensively may necessitate a sturdier framework than less aggressive species.

Preparing To Plant The Seeds

Trellises come in a wide range of sizes and heights, so make sure you’re comfortable setting up and managing the model you select. You must situate your trellis on a site you know is compatible with the specific plants you’re attempting to cultivate.

Trellises come in a wide range of sizes and heights, so make sure you’re comfortable setting up and managing the model you select.

Once you select a location, consider the sunlight it will receive — both the angle and the average daily duration. To get the most out of the sunlight available, assemble the trellis with a north-south orientation, and consider tilting it in one direction or another to give the plants more direct exposure.

Try to leave about a foot of open space between the ground and the bottom of your vegetation, as this will help prevent pests or diseases on the ground from becoming a nuisance. When considering shade, you should try to locate the trellis a substantial distance from buildings, structures, and other trellises that may prevent sunlight from reaching your plants.

It may seem apparent, but it’s worth mentioning that you need to ensure your trellis is strong and stable enough to support any fruits and vegetables you plan to grow on it. Most plants consist mainly of water weight — after a heavy rainstorm, those cute little tomatoes may resemble something closer to bulbous red baseballs, and their weight will reflect that.

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Taber Koeghan
Last updated on September 24, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer from Santa Monica, CA, with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California, San Diego. After completing her degree, she began writing and editing copy for a host of high-traffic e-commerce websites. Her areas of expertise include the beauty, style, pet, and home products categories, and she has plenty of experience covering literature and art, too. Her personal interests in crafting and decorating inform her writing and -- she hopes -- add a good bit of insight to her work. Outside of copywriting, she is a reporter and columnist at a Los Angeles community newspaper and is currently pursuing a master of fine arts in creative writing.

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