Build an Inexpensive Trellis for your Small Garden

Growing vertically is a great way to make the most of a small garden space. Learn to build an inexpensive garden trellis from materials you might already have on hand with these DIY trellis ideas.

Guest post by Cris from The Homestead Garden

Sometimes, gardening can become unexpectedly expensive. By the time you purchase your garden tools, good-quality seeds, good compost and garden soil, raised bed materials, garden tiller, etc., you may be cringing a bit at the costs.

vertical trellis made of branches and twine


This is my first garden at my new homestead. I’ve been struggling a bit with staying in the garden budget for the year, and I’m always looking for ways to re-use materials or get things done as inexpensively as possible.

One way to keep within the garden budget, stay frugal, and/or become more self-reliant is to use materials that you have available around your home in order to make your garden trellises. These DIY trellis ideas are a great way to make the most of a small garden space by growing vertically.

The first thing you should do before starting to build a trellis is to look around your home and yard for potential trellis materials.

Garden trellis made from small limbs and twine


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DIY trellis ideas:

  • Tree Branches
  • Leftover lumber, fences, wooden ladders, pallets, etc.
  • Bits and bobs of twine, string, netting, zip ties, etc.
  • Leftover rebar, stakes, etc.

Use the excess materials that you have lying around to make your garden trellises for free. Since I live on two mostly wooded acres, I had plenty of tree branches to use. (I used branches that had already fallen on the ground.) Some random wooden stakes were great for additional support. Small branches with a natural ‘v’ in them became garden stakes at the bottom of the trellis.

I used some leftover twine to help tie the trellis net to the branches. Two garden trellis nets (each one 5×15, and I cut in half) were my big expenditure, costing a grand total of $15.00 for four garden trellises (each one measuring 7′-8′ long).

Growing vertically is a great way to make the most of a small garden space. Learn to build inexpensive trellises from some creative materials.

Related: How to Build a Bamboo Trellis

I also made one garden trellis out of only twine, which I used to create vertical lines for the trellis. I’ll use this trellis to grow my peas. I had leftover twine from other projects, so this garden trellis was essentially free. However, I had to go out to the garden twice a day to train the peas to go up the vertical twine, making it one of my less successful DIY trellis ideas. My peas seemed to want to go up AND out, and they constantly got confused.

I got tired of training the peas to only go up, so I ended up buying some garden trellis netting. Feel free to experiment with both vertical lines and netting with your plants to see what you like best!

Most of the people who visited my garden really liked the twine-only trellis design. Remember, the plants don’t care WHAT the trellis looks like, so long as it helps them grow tall and healthy. However, I do care a bit about the aesthetic appeal of  gardens, and I am sure you do too.

I have walked through my garden with many friends and family members lately, and they have all commented on how “beautifully natural” my garden trellises look. I love them too, and I’m always thinking about new DIY trellis ideas.

Related: Make This DIY Vertical Grow Tower for Lots of Greens in a Small Space

budget trellis in a small garden of CMU blocks

Build a DIY garden trellis for your small plot


  • Tree branches (1″-2″ thick, over 5′ tall, preferably with some branches coming off for horizontal support)
  • Twine and/or garden trellis net and/or zip ties
  • rebar OR leftover wooden stakes
  • garden stakes OR small branches with a ‘v’ in them


  1. Search your local forest or wild areas for suitable tree branches. Trim off the excess little branches.
  2. Stake the tree branches into the ground in the appropriate place in your garden. Since I have raised beds, they fit snugly in between the cinder blocks with just some leftover wooden stakes as additional support. However, you might need to use rebar, depending on what your garden looks like. Secure the tree branches to the rebar/stakes with leftover string or twine. Connect the branches together with the horizontal offshoots. Tie the horizontal offshoots to the branches with twine or leftover zip ties.
  3. Cover the tree branches with the garden trellis net. Use the horizontal branches to secure the trellis netting. Make it as tight as you can. Stake it into the ground with either garden stakes or small ‘v’-shaped branches.
  4. Plant your seeds and enjoy!

What type of DIY frugal trellis ideas have you used in your garden? Share your DIY trellis ideas with 

budget trellis in a small garden of CMU blocks

Cris is one of the most obsessed gardeners you will ever meet. She writes at The Homestead Garden about gardening, her goals toward self-sufficiency, her new homesteading adventures, herbal remedies, DIY projects, real food recipes, and much more. She’s always coming up with new fruits, veggies, herbs, etc. to both research and raise and would love for you to join her in her latest adventures in natural living.


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About the author: Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle. She’s a certified Master Food Preserver and longtime gardener who loves to turn the harvest into pantry staples.

9 comments… add one
  • Howard Apr 3, 2017 @ 19:28

    Hello, my name is Howard and I’ve recently moved into a home in Charlotte, NC. We moved here from Des Moines, IA where I maintained a modest garden. Of course our soil was amazing. Getting ready to start a garden here and would like to do it resourcefully and ideally, on the cheap. Like the look and ideas you have and was wondering about what you did as far as soil? I’ve got the same red clay base. Interested in any tips and recs. you have.


  • susan Dec 17, 2016 @ 17:40

    The crepe myrtles leave lots of long, strait branches to prune in spring. Ready made for trellis or wattle bed edging . Waste not, want not.

  • Tessa May 25, 2016 @ 5:06

    I just use whatever I can scrounge up,from old bed frames to street signs or lumber. Reuse and recycle.

  • Melody C. Feb 23, 2016 @ 7:24

    I have a friend who just used fence stakes and twine, and it worked really well for her.

    I do like your granite blocks around your bed. I’m definitely going to do that this year. What do you have planted in the blocks? I was planning on doing herbs or maybe strawberry plants, but that’s a great place to plant peas or beans.

  • Bill Splaine Aug 28, 2015 @ 3:39

    Where do you find the trellis netting? I’ve not seen it at the big box stores and I haven’t located it on Amazon either. Maybe just using wrong search words?

  • Karen Coghlan Aug 2, 2015 @ 11:53

    I love this, if I could afford cattle panels, maybe that would be a different story, but getting them home would be an even larger problem since we only have a Toyota Corolla… Thank you for sharing… I will give it a try next year…

  • Candi Jul 3, 2015 @ 7:56

    WOW! That’s a lot of work.

    I use cattle panels – $19.95 at our farm store.

    Easy & work great.

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