Easy raised bed trellis

Trellises are essential when growing vining plants like indeterminate tomatoes and pole beans. And they can help you maximize limited garden space. Here’s how to make an easy trellis for your raised beds.


For each eight-foot long raised bed you’ll need:

  • Three ten-foot lengths of 3/4-inch PVC
  • Two 3/4″ elbow connectors and one t connector
  • Three 18-inch lengths of 1/2-inch rebar
  • String
  • Screws or sticks (thin bamboo works great)

Note: You can use PVC or CPVC, but just make sure you don’t mix them, because they’re measured in different ways. CPVC couplings won’t fit on PVC and vice versa. PVC is also an endocrine disruptor, so if you’re worried about that, you can use metal electrical conduit instead.

You’ll also need a hammer or mallet to drive in the rebar.

You want to keep your trellises on the north side of your bed to keep from shading out other crops. Start by pounding in two pieces of rebar on each end of the north side of your bed. I drive in the rebar so it doesn’t stick out above the garden bed, so I can sit on the edge without getting poked.

Take the three lengths of PVC and cut off four-foot lengths from each one. You should end up with three six-foot lengths and three four-foot lengths. You can set one of the four-foot lengths aside.

Place two of the six-foot lengths over the rebar. They should stand upright. Put the elbow connectors on top, insert the four-foot lengths, and connect them with a t-connector. Then insert the third six-foot length in the bottom of the t-connector.


You need to drive in one last piece of rebar. Figure out where the middle posts sits, drive a piece of rebar there, and slip the piece of PVC over it.


Now you just need to tie some strings for plants to climb. If the bed is wood, put a screw in front of each plant to support, tie a string to it with a simple double knot, and then attach it to the top of the trellis with an adjustable hitch knot. Tighten it up to add some tension to the line. This is a good opportunity to practice your knot tying.


For metal beds, I just take foot-long lengths of bamboo, shove them into the ground by the plant, and tie to that. If the string slips off, I use the saw on my Leatherman to cut a notch in the bamboo to hold the string in place.

Pros: Cheap, quick to set up, you can reach between the strings for weeding and watering, nothing for the wind to catch

Cons: PVC is nasty, tying the knots can be time-consuming


  • Comments (26)

    • 4

      I like the cattle panel trellis that is on roots and refuge. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xuKHSUkHv6E

      We don’t have cattle panels per se but i am going to be using farm fencing. I got 30m for around NZD$250. The posts will be no more than NZD$10. The only downside is that I will need to dig to put the posts in as my ground is old riverbed and there are stones galore.

      • 6

        I love cattle panels, but they’re a pain to transport. And the problem with any sort of net trellis is that you can’t easily reach through the trellis like you can with the string system. For instance, you can easily fit a watering can between strings.

    • 4

      Nice system, Josh.  But you know, I see that long section of fence begging for pole beans or muscadines.  Muscadines would be easier, as you could spray a herbicide to keep the weeds out.  For those that don’t know, if you plant muscadines, you need to include some male varieties.  With them, the male can produce pollen & flowers where a female must have a male close to set fruit.  I always set males on my fencing.  In the orchard, where I have 3 trellises, I mix male & females.

      • 2

        Thanks. Way ahead of you on taking advantage of the fence. I planted a Lakemont grape in the center of one section and I just bought a Mars grape to plant in another. I may also plant some strawberries and raspberries. Definitely perennials, though, I don’t want to have to dig around barbed wire year after year.

      • 3

        You should be in a good area for muscadines, I would think.  Have you ever grown them?  You like the commercial varieties?  Are the grapes you mention native to your area?

      • 4

        Yeah, muscadines do pretty well here. We have some local vineyards that make muscadine wine. We eat a lot of grocery store grapes, my kids especially. The grapes I bought are native to Tractor Supply. 🙂

        I’d like to grow muscadines, but I don’t know where I would get the plants. Most of the nurseries around here only sell ornamentals. I might ask the local winery.

      • 3

        I get mine from Ison’s.  They are a really good company plus they have a wealth of videos on planting, fertilizing & pruning.


      • 4

        How do muscadines compare to the normal grapes you get at Walmart?

        From the pictures in the link you shared they look like they would have a richer taste than the water filled ones at the grocery store.

      • 5

        Sweet water filled describes most grapes you get today.  Muscadines just EXPLODE with flavor when you bite down on one.  Nothing in this world like it.  No flavor even close to it.  The commercial varieties are bred for sweetness & size.  Wild can be real good but the commercial varieties are just amazing.

      • 6

        Redneck – You need to open up a little shop called Redneck’s Garden and ship out some of these things for us to try. I don’t even know where I would find muscadines or try amaranth etc…

        You share all these amazing crops and seeds but I want to try them out before I invest in growing them myself. 

        Essie – You described the grocery store grapes perfectly, they are mostly water. 

      • 6

        I only wish I had the time to entertain those thoughts.  🙂

        I note Ison’s, which I gave the link above, sells the juice and jams & jellies.  I’m sure the juice isn’t like the fresh grapes but I bet the jams are good.  You should grow your own amaranth.  The seed packs are cheap.  Many varieties are very colorful and would fit in nicely in your home’s flower beds.  This is what I’m growing looks like.  It is called red striped.


        You can order fresh muscadine from Ison’s starting in June.  They ship in late August & september.



      • 3

        Those just sound so delightful! I’m going to keep an eye out for some. 

      • 4

        Sweet water filled describes many modern fruit. The problem is that many are not aware of what real fruit tastes like or the complexities of flavours. A friend of mine runs a nursery. She stocks modern cultivars because that is what people want to (mainly because that’s what they know and they don’t want to take a risk)  however those commercial varieties are not really suitable for home gardens, especially if you want to grow organic, as they are not disease resistant. That actually led to a local community event holding an apple tasting. It gave people the opportunity to try different varieties so they were able to make an educated choice. It was one of the most popular events we ever held (ran out of seats)

      • 2

        I would totally attend an apple tasting event! Next time I visit my family, I’m going to go to the grocery store and buy one or two of every kind of apple and then cut them up and have my own little apple tasting event with them. Should be pretty fun.

      • 5

        If you can ever manage it, attend Ciderdays up in Massachusetts.  You get to buy hundreds of different apples, try hundreds of ciders at a tasting & can visit many local orchards and purchase from them and watch them actually press the apples into juice.

      • 2

        <<Smacks hand on forehead>> My town has Ciderdays and I never paid attention to it, thinking it was just people sharing apple cider. Never thought this would be the spot for me to actually try out tons of raw apples! I feel stupid now.

        Going to attend this year now!

      • 3

        You smack your head.  I’m gonna kick your arse.  🙂

        That event is everything apple.  Yes, there are lots of events dealing with making cider and there is a huge tasting one night.  But there are all sorts of instruction going on… in the classroom, on orchard walks and at the nearby orchards.  Outside the main classroom area there were folks selling all sorts of apples.  Also, many of the orchards do the same.  

        At one orchard, they let me join in and help press some apples.  Lots of these orchards sell their own cider and sell those lovely doughnuts.   It was a bit cool & still remember at one orchard we set around a fire drinking hot apple cider & munching on doughnuts.  Hope to do it again!

      • 2

        Already gettin me in the autumn mood… 🙂

      • 5

        Exactly.  Most consumers today assume the food they eat is the same (or better) than the foods eaten say 200 years ago.  Boy are they wrong.

        It all changed with the steam locomotive… trains.  Before trains, all food was local and seasonal.  You didn’t eat asparagus or salad year round and fresh fruit was available only in its season.  Add trucking and ocean going freight and now you can have anything you want at anytime… and it looks beautiful.  You can purchase a perfect, shiny red apple any day of the week in any store in the country.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?

        Ah, but there is a drawback.  Most fresh produce can’t be picked ripe and survive such a long journey.  Two solutions to that.  First, pick the produce before it is ripe.  Problem with that is most produce picked early won’t taste nearly as well as fruit naturally ripened on the plant.  But then again, consumers are stupid & soon won’t know the difference.  Second is to breed new varieties that can hold up to the long, bumpy journey.  So as opposed to eating local varieties, selected for taste and to survive in that particular location, the growers selected varieties bred to not bruise or get harmed in shipment.  Now wouldn’t consumers revolt and want their good tasting food?  Oh well, consumers are stupid & soon won’t know the difference.

        Back to that shinny, beautiful apple you can purchase anywhere at any time.  You really think apples look like that naturally?  I’ll give you a hint.  Apples are naturally attacked by all sorts of insects, rusts, scabs, fungus, etc.  A naturally grown apple will have all sorts of imperfections on the skin.  Will have black specks (a fungus) and have raised lesions (apple scab).  Put a natural grown apple next to a modern, store bought apple & today, no consumer would even consider buying the natural grown one.  However, that ugly, natural apple will be sweet & have all sorts of complex flavors and more than likely will be exceedingly crisp.  So how do they make modern apples so pretty?  Simple.  Incredible amounts of pesticides, fungicides, etc.  A modern apple might be the most contaminated food you ever eat.  They drench them with chemical sprays.

        Luckily some folks have saved a lot of the old apple varieties and there is a market for them from small growers like me.  Also, some of the breeding programs now are developing modern, disease resistant varieties that have all sorts of complex, wonderful flavors. 

        Same with these muscadines we are talking about.  Consumers expect their perfect seedless grapes.  They don’t want to deal with a large grape with tougher skin & seeds inside.  But oh the difference in flavor!

      • 5

        Hi, a local group has been doing research on heritage food and it showed the nutritional content is also higher than modern cultivars. They look at a variety of foods.


      • 2

        That’s good to know. If you are going to be breaking your back to grow your own food, might as well make the most nutritious food you can so you don’t have to grow as much just to survive.

      • 2

        Conrad, I think it is a matter of mindset.  If you think growing your own food is going to be back breaking work, then you will fail.  Yes, I work my bootie off around the farm but I don’t have such a mindset.  Just this am, while watering the corn, my wife came out & said I was working too hard ( I spent all day yesterday outside).  That never crossed my mind.  What crossed my mind is how much I’m gonna enjoy these crops and how I need to finish up so I can spread some bermudagrass seed out front.

        It is just a way of life that I happen to enjoy.  I think it keeps me healthy mentally & physically.  If you do it, you can’t look at it as work.

      • 3

        I like this! It is important to have a good mindset and perspective. Enjoy your work and not just do it.

    • 5

      Back to trellises.  IMO, the cheapest & best trellis for annual plants, such as peas, pole beans, cucumbers, etc is the plastic mesh netting.  It comes in different sizes.  I have a bulk roll but you can purchase in all sorts of lengths & heights.  I wouldn’t use this for perennials such as grapes. 


      For me, I’ve set some T posts about 8′ apart in a raised bed & attach the netting with wire ties.  It is not important to get it tight.  If sagging bothers you some, just set more posts.  If you don’t have T posts, just cut some limbs & pound in the ground.  My T posts stay in that bed, even when I remove the netting to grow other things.  You could certainly keep it up, growing peas in the spring & fall and pole beans in the summer.

      As a prepper, I consider this netting a valuable resource to keep on hand in bulk quantities.  In an extended crisis, one would need to ramp up food production greatly.  Very few crops put out more food than cool weather peas & summer pole beans… especially the pole beans.  With just a hoe & some stakes, one could clear a narrow row & install long distances of this netting.  Wouldn’t need to clear the whole area… leave the grass between rows.  One could grow vast quantities of pole beans using such a system.

      Here is the netting currently used to support my English peas.

      english 1

      english 2

      english 3

      • 3

        I picked up some trellis net at the hardware store, but I decided against installing it this year because the string design doesn’t keep me from weeding and watering as the net would. I’m thinking about trying a cattle panel trellis for winter squash. I doubt net would be strong enough.

        I love t-posts, but you really need to have a pounder and puller, which are tools I highly recommend for anyone gardening or homesteading.

      • 4

        I don’t understand.  How does the net keep you from watering or weeding any differently than the strings?  

        IMO, cattle panels are heavy & expensive.  My metal trellis, which will hold anything, is made from metal conduit and is bolted together.  I attach metal fence wire using wire ties.  I stays outside & doesn’t rust.  The conduit is light & strong.  If you want to store, simply take the two panels apart.  It hinges at the top so is flexible in how wide the base can be.  If that interests you, I can take some closeup shots.  In the pic below, I have two trellises side by side.  I attach them to the raised bed using pipe straps & wood screws.

        Yes a pounder is very helpful for t-posts.  I don’t have a puller.  I just wrap a chain around it & use the front end loader on the tractor to pull.  But in the garden, I just leave the posts even when the netting is down.