Easy and Beautiful DIY Garden Trellis

Easy Garden Trellis

August in Wisconsin is the peak of beauty in the vegetable garden. All of the flowers are bursting with color, the harvest is starting in earnest and my basket fills up with all the colors of the rainbow each morning. The plants themselves are big and lush, bursting with growth and tumbling every which way. My garden feels a bit like a living, breathing beast that’s going to take over my entire yard. It’s a jungle out there!

I’m currently reading the book, Growing Beautiful Food: A Gardener’s Guide to Cultivating Extraordinary Vegetables and Fruit. It explores a topic close to my heart – growing food not only to feed your body, but to feed your soul as well. I loved this quote,

“If you begin to imagine growing food as an art form, where you move beyond the supply and demand of feeding yourself and others and into the realm of aesthetics, then you begin to cultivate beauty as well. And beauty is a fundamental human need, as essential as breath.”

At this time of year I soak in the aesthetic beauty of my garden and embrace the extra joy in brings to my life. And I’m re-convinced that having a gorgeous vegetable garden is just as important as having a productive one.

Every season I try to pay close attention to which parts I feel drawn to visually, so I can make mental notes about especially striking flower combinations, stand out vegetable varieties, and anything else that elicits a feeling of happiness in my heart.

One element of my garden that’s consistently been a favorite are the “temporary” trellises I created last year. When we bought our house there was very little landscaping around it. We’re slowly adding trees, shrubs and perennials, but it’s still pretty bare. My vegetable gardens sit nicely in front of and on the side of my house, but they can sometimes feel flat and boring in the early and late parts of the season.

Last spring I decided that I needed to add some temporary height around the house to make the gardens more visually interesting. I wanted something quick, easy, and inexpensive to start with while I work out my plans for future structures. After some scheming and dreaming, I decided to try a livestock panel trellis.

First, I’ll show you some shots of the trellises from this season. Then, I’ll tell you how we made them.

Squash Trellis

Vegetable Garden Trellis

Easy Garden Trellis


  1. Purchase cattle panels at a farm supply store like Fleet Farm or Farm and Fleet. They should be about $30 each. (Note: They’re long, so if you don’t have a truck you might want to bring bolt cutters and cut them into smaller pieces for transport.)
  2. We also bought four light duty u-posts for each trellis, at $2 each, and some zip ties.
  3. Decide on your trellis design. We chose to have them go over the pathways to make archways. One livestock panel we kept whole and bent over into an arch and the other one we cut in half to make a more triangular trellis. Make sure you leave some room for planting on both sides of the panel.
  4. Pound the u-posts into the ground by using a hammer or (easier) a post pounder.
  5. Attach your livestock panels to the u-posts using zip ties.
  6. You’re ready to plant!

Simple Garden Trellis

The u-post with trellis attached.

woman picking tomatoes under trellis in garden

The triangular version.

Vegetable Trellis Simple

The arched version.

woman in garden under trellis

I’m continuing to experiment with planting all kinds of different vegetables and flowers on my trellises. My favorites so far: Sun Gold tomatoes, Delicata Squash, tomatillos, cucumbers, and peas. I’d love to hear what you grow on trellises in your garden. Share in the comments below!


Want to read more about creating beauty in your garden?

Adding Beauty to Your Garden with Flowers

How to Grow a Colorful Vegetable Garden

A Tour of My July Garden




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  • Megan, these are lovely!

    What are you growing on yours? They look so lush, yet not overwhelming.

    I used a triangle-style arch for tomatoes one year. I’m a notorious too-close planter, and the panels bowed under the tomato bounty. Ha, we practically had to crawl inside to pick! Kids loved it though. 🙂

    • Hi Amy – I was thinking about writing another post about what I’ve grown on them. On the rounded one I have clematis, delicata squash, Mandevilla vine and tomatillos. On the triangular one I have Sungold tomatoes, Red Kuri squash and cucumbers. Livestock panels are very strong, so I find they don’t really buckle under the weight like other wire. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Great idea! I have had trouble finding a strong enough trellis. I love this idea! Thank you Megan for such wonderful blogs. I am anxious to read about all that you planted for your trellis to be so lush. I have some old trellis roses that were neglected when we moved to the homestead that I have been loving back to life with compost. I will use this idea to have them climb the side of my porch! Thank you!

  • […] .Read more about adding beauty to your vegetable garden:How to Grow a Colorful Garden5 Ways to Create an Artistic GardenEasy & Beautiful DIY Garden Trellis […]

  • Thank you so much for sharing! This is EXACTLY what Have been looking for and was literally days away from dropping $300 on an archway trellis. Now I can spend my savings on more plants. 🙂

  • Another hint – Get the black (UV protected) zip ties. The standard white ones often get brittle and break within a season but the black ones last for years.

  • Love this idea. I saw these on your site and wondered what you used to make them. It would be great for pole beans. I think I would love to try this idea in my garden this year. We have a farm & fleet right down the road from us. Thank you for sharing.

  • your trellises are really beautiful! I am using an old rotary clothes airer as a trellis to grow malabar spinach on this summer. I’m trying it for the first time. I have heard it is very heat tolerant, and as I grow in south east Spain (zone 10) our lettuce and regular spinach season is December through to March or April. I’m looking forward to trying the malabar spinach in salads, smoothies and sautéed with lots of home grown garlic and tomatoes.

    • You’re on a very different time schedule than I am here in Wisconsin! Thanks for sharing what’s happening in your garden, Elaine.

  • Sandi Galion Hodge

    I Always plant Peas, Beans, and Cukes.
    They work Great Every Year.

  • Hi Megan:

    Enjoy your articles.

    Have used the cattle fences for the school gardens the past few years and haven’t had any success with finding a vegetable that clings to the fencing and climbs. Tried pole beans, cukes and small pumpkins. I even tie the tendrils to the fencing and it still doesn’t want to grab. I’ve used the arch and pyramid method. Any suggestions?

    Thanks…Bill B.

    • Bill – I’m not sure why they’re not climbing up your fencing. Sometimes I have to help mine get started, but then they take over. Delicata squash is one of the most vigorous I grow on my trellises. Try that?

  • […] it remains one of my most favorite things I’ve ever built in my garden (along with these easy DIY trellises) and it was so easy! You don’t need any special tools, talent, or know-how to build one in […]

  • I bought two cattle panels last summer. First time for me. We learned that you do need a truck to haul or a trailer. I have a van, but they will not fit. The panels are heavy wire and will not bend easily which also makes them so nice for holding up lots of vines. I planted pickling cukes on one and a variety of gourds on the other. Both worked well, although the gourds clung better than the cukes. This year I will use them again, and I will watch the cukes closer and help them along, if needed. Last summer I did not thin out my cukes enough and had a massive amount of vines/leaves to find cukes in. The gourds worked great. I had a lot of birdhouse gourds, and they hung straight down while growing. They had nice straight necks on them when harvested. I did use black zip ties and didn’t realize they were better than white ones, as another comment suggested. When we cleaned the garden out this fall, we did remove the cattle panel trellises for the winter. We’ll reinstall again for the coming planting season. I have also used metal futon frames and metal baby crib sides to make “v” shaped trellises. I find them at auctions. I zip tie them at the top and have a nice “v” to have things climb. I used them for pole beans and Sungold cherry tomatoes last summer.

  • I’m concerned I won’t be able to reach produce growing at the top of the arches(I’m 5’4”). Is this a problem for you?

  • Katie Mulvaney

    Hey!! I’m getting ready to do this in my garden, love the idea…. But I’m trying to figure out how much space I need. Do you know the length from end to end? Thanks!

    • Great question, Katie! The length of the livestock panel is 16′. How much space it takes in your garden really depends on how you position it. If you cut it in half as I did, each side will the 8′ long. You can make them as narrow or as wide at the bottom as you’d like. There’s lots of room for play to make them fit your garden situation. Good luck!

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