Trellises

A trellis for vines or roses

Trellises have a wide variety of uses in the garden — they can be an elegant backdrop or barrier, for example — but the main use of a garden trellis is to support vines and growing plants like wisteria, ivy and even roses. Trellises can also accent walls, hedges and other wide backgrounds since they can easily and cheaply be spread over long distances.

Trellis Design

A trellis can be a series of panels used to encompass an entire yard or just a single diamond design on the side of the house. From a patio trellis used as a privacy screen to a single pole trellis, you can achieve the look you want. Vines on a latticework structure across the side of a building can even provide shade, thus cooling the building naturally.

When choosing a trellis made of metal, consider only plants that can stand heat. Metal may provide a more antique and ornate look, but it also captures heat from the sun, which creates a poor growing environment for a variety of plants.

Installing a trellis is typically an extremely easy job. Most trellises can be secured just by driving the pointed end into the ground. Do not sharpen the point; artificial sharpening of the points can lead to deterioration of the post.

Garden Trellis Selection

While you may want your trellis mainly as an attractive way to grow vines and growing plants, a trellis should look good in any season, so choose a material, color and style that suits the exterior of your home and your other outdoor decor.

When choosing an arbor trellis to grow vines and plants on, figure out how much room you need for the plants to develop fully. Vines can range in height from 4 feet to 10 feet, depending on what varieties you get. A rose trellis should support the main canes of the rose bush in a horizontal position, allowing the smaller shoots to do the actual climbing up the trellis.

Trellis Care

Many trellises will hold annuals, so it's best to remove the dead growth in autumn to prepare your trellis for new growth the next year. Vines can occasionally dislodge or move pieces of your trellis, especially a wooden one, so take this opportunity to make any necessary repairs.

A hose and nozzle can rinse dirt off your trellis to keep it clean all year long. Rust can develop on a wrought iron trellis, but it can usually be removed with a commercial rust remover. You can also help prevent the development of rust by applying a primer and rust proofer to the trellis.

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