Build an A-Frame Tomato Trellis
This freestanding structure can be taken apart and stored over the winter
I designed this A-frame trellis to be a freestanding, stable structure that could be taken apart and stored over the winter. If treated with a wood preservative and stored in a dry place, the trellis will last 5 to 10 years. I grow five tomato plants on each 10-ft.-long trellis. With any luck, and good weather, the plants will reach the top bar by August.
Download the trellis project plan (pdf).
1. Don’t forget to cut and place those right-angle blocks. They provide structural stability that keeps the trellis from racking.
2. Drill pilot holes in the braces of the A-frame; put the screws in later.
3. If you want to use wood preservative, do so before assembly. If you don’t want to treat the wood, you can use redwood, cedar, white oak, or locust, all woods that will hold up under the elements.
4. Steel pins are durable and strong, but if you don’t want to cut steel rod, use 1/4-in. wooden dowels. Bevel the edges so the dowels will fit in with a few taps of a hammer.
5. It’s easiest to assemble the A-frames on a flat surface. Then when you’re ready to put the whole trellis together, have someone hold up the A-frames while you line up the holes in the ends of the trellis bars with the pins.
• 1 8-ft. 2×4
• 1 10-ft. 2×4
• 2 12-ft. 2x3s
• 1 10-ft. 2×3
• 3/8-in steel rod (sold in 36-in. lengths), or 1/4-in. wooden dowels about 1 ft. long.
• 26 2-1/2-in. galvanized drywall screws, about 1/4 lb.
• 2 4-in. galvanized drywall screws
• Nylon mason’s twine or durable string.
• Tablesaw with a miter gauge, a compound miter saw, or a protractor and handsaw
• Drill with 3/16-in. and 3/8-in. drill bits
• Phillips screwdriver
• Hacksaw and file, if using steel rod
This article originally appeared in Kitchen Gardener #9.