Maximize Space with a Square Trellis Maximize Space with a Square Trellis

What You'll Need
5 1 by 6 pieces of untreated lumber
2 2 by 12 pieces of untreated lumber
4 4 by 4 pieces of untreated lumber
Laser or bubble level
Box of 3-inch galvanized screws
Miter Saw or circular saw
Box of 2-inch galvanized screws
Box of 2 1/2 inch nails
Measuring tape

Not everyone has a large backyard to grow a flower or vegetable garden. A square trellis can maximize the space you have, allowing you to create a refuge with beautiful greenery or a food source on the smallest balcony or patio. Building a square trellis isn't difficult. Follow these directions to learn how to make one cheaply. Be sure to use untreated wood to reduce the chance of chemicals from treated wood leaking into the soil and the plants.

Step 1: Cut the Wood

Measure the 2 by 12 pieces of wood into 4-foot lengths. Use your choice of saw to cut the wood. Make sure the cuts are square. Use a square if necessary. If it's cheaper, you can buy four pieces of 2 by 4 untreated lumber and skip this step. Or you can buy the 2 by 12 pieces of wood at the home hardware store and take advantage of their cutting service so you don't have to do any cutting yourself. The first few cuts are usually free especially if they're straightforward cuts.

Step 2: Build the Base

Create a square using the 2 by 4 pieces of wood. This will be the base of your square trellis where you'll put the soil to allow the plants to grow. Screw the wood together using the three-inch galvanized screws. Reinforce the base, if you wish. This step isn't always necessary, but it reduces the chance of the base warping over time. Position one 4 by 4 in one corner at a 90-degree angle. Secure it with three nails on each side. Continue positioning the blocks on the remaining corners, alternating them in a diagonal pattern as you install them.

Step 3: Create the Lattice

Position one piece of 1 by 2 lumber in one corner of the base. Make sure it's even with the bottom of the base so it doesn't cause the base to rise off the ground when the unit is placed on the ground or patio. Secure the 1 by 2 to the base with two 3-inch galvanized screws. Do the same to two other corners until you have posts of wood rising above the base on three corners.

Cut the remaining two pieces of 1 by 6 so the length is four feet. Level one piece along the top to create a cross pieces. Mark with a pencil so you know where to attach it. Do the same for the other side. Lay the unit on it's side so you can attach the cross pieces to the posts with screws. Measure and make pencil marks 6 to 12 inches apart, depending on the desired size of your lattice, along the posts, the cross piece and the base. Partially drill a 2-inch screw into every pencil mark.

Tie the twine in a lattice pattern around the screws, starting with the vertical lines and then working on the horizontal lines from the bottom up. To make the lattice of the square trellis stronger, weave the twine through the vertical lines before tying it to the other side of the lattice.

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