Panel Trellises Are a Beautiful and Easy-to-Install Garden Feature
Garden trellises increase airflow to your plants, maximize your growing space, and keep your vining plants happy and healthy. As vertical hardscaping pieces, they also add visual appeal to your garden, even in the winter when the rest of your garden is dead or buried under a pile of snow.
Between panel, obelisk, and arch trellises, panel trellises are the easiest to add to your garden space.
Pan means flat; a panel trellis is a flat structure that allows vines to climb it. As you might have guessed, assembling and installing a panel trellis is really easy. They often come in one piece and only need to be secured in place.
This flatness also contributes to the one disadvantage of a panel trellis over other types: they can be flimsy. They might need extra support by being pushed deeper into the bed or attached to the surface that you’re growing against (such as a wall or a fence). Fortunately, many panel trellis kits come with hardware for securing them.
Panel trellises can accommodate vining flowers and edible plants like pole beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and fava beans—really anything that wants to climb. The height your plants can achieve while growing on a panel will be limited by the height of the structure itself, so look for the tallest option that works for you.
Panel Trellises Work in Every Garden Space
Panel trellises are ideal for doubling your growing space in narrow beds or border gardens that run along a fence, garage, or home, where you might not have space for the wider bases of an obelisk or arch. You could also use a panel trellis in the middle of a wide bed that you can access from both sides.
You could even add a panel trellis to the side of a wall, shed, fence, or garage that you want to cover up, add dimension to, or increase privacy. Training a climbing plant up your trellis turns your space into a little green sanctuary. If this is how you want to use your panel trellis, look for options that come with brackets for mounting them to the wall.
Panel Trellises Work for All Budgets
If you've decided that a panel trellis is right for you and your garden, you have three options for adding one into your outdoor space: you can make one yourself, buy a done-for-you kit, or commission a custom piece.
I'll link to supplies and products below to give you ideas of the many options available to you if you're adding a panel trellis to your space.
DIY Panel Trellises
The Most Budget-Friendly Panel Trellis Option
The least expensive panel trellis option is a DIY one made with cattle panel. Hold the cattle panel upright with heavy duty T-posts or secure it against a wall or fence, like the trellises pictured above and below. You'll need to measure your space carefully and use a pair of bolt cutters to cut the panel to size.
Done-for-You Panel Trellis Kits
There are plenty of options to purchase panel trellises that come either already assembled or in a couple easy-to-assemble pieces. If you plan to install your panel in your raised bed, bury the legs of the trellis about one foot down so that the soil will hold it in place. Most kits also include ground spikes to safely anchor your trellis if you’re placing it in your landscaping. Otherwise, look for a kit with mounting brackets if you plan to hang your trellis on a wall or fence.
Most kits cost between $150 and $200, so this is still an accessible option when you consider how many years this will bring structure and aesthetic appeal your outdoor space.
Shop some of our curated panel trellises on Amazon here.
Popular materials for panel trellises include wood, vinyl, and metal. I've tried to collect a variety of trellises that would appeal to all styles of home and garden so you can find an option that suits your space.
Wooden Panel Trellises
If you're going for that charming cottage vibe to your garden, you can't go wrong with lattice woodwork in rich tones. Here are some wooden panel trellises I've found available online but have not tested:
Vinyl Panel Trellises
Vinyl is a low-maintenance and durable material that will not crack, fade, peel, or become discolored. Look for BPA- and phthalate-free vinyl, which is eco-friendly and food-safe.
Metal Panel Trellises
While they're oftentimes more expensive, steel trellises will resist rust and discoloration and grace your garden with beauty for way longer than wooden trellises. The most durable trellises are made of powder coated steel. Budget for the best, most weather-resistant material possible when buying your trellis, and you won't regret it.
To me, there's nothing quite like a metal trellis covered in vines to instantly elevate a garden space.
Here are two powder coated metal panel trellises available on Amazon that fit any budget:
- Sunnydaze Contemporary Garden Trellis (set of two)
- Gardman Trellis
The contemporary trellis has an art deco flair, while the other is reminiscent of vaulted cathedrals.
These three metal trellises come with the option to mount them to a wall with brackets or secure inside your raised bed with stakes:
- H Potter Outdoor Metal Art Garden Panel
- Panacea Giant Trellis (108 inches tall)
- H Potter Garden Trellis
These panels are considered wall art even when there's nothing growing on them, which just shows how much beauty a simple trellis can bring to your garden space.
Shop Gardenary's Favorite Panel Trellis
The symmetrical pattern on the unit brings a modern flair to your kitchen garden.
Dimensions: 23"W x 78"H
Here are some more beautiful options I found
Zenith Trellis from Gardeners Supply
This trellis is a fun combination of two obelisk trellises with a panel in the center. You could grow your heavier fruiting plants like tomatoes and eggplants on either side and save the middle for lighter vines like beans and peas.
Iron Wall Trellis from Shop Terrain
This trellis is made from iron with a weathered paint finish. It can be mounted to a wall or secured inside a raised bed.
Vertex Wall Trellis from Gardeners Supply
This trellis is giving serious retro vibes. It's made of rustproof aluminum and designed so that you can extend it however far you want from a wall or fence.
Custom Panel Trellises
If your budget and timeline allow for it, there's nothing like a custom-made trellis, a piece crafted to perfectly suit your garden space. Plus, you can support a local business and craftsman.
You'll end up with a beautiful hardscaping piece that you can enjoy for years to come in your garden.
Tips to Select the Perfect Trellis
Tip #1: Measure the Height and Width of Your Space
When selecting a trellis, keep two measurements in mind.
The first is the height. Be aware how high you're capable of reaching when tending and harvesting from your garden. Unless you're over six feet tall, you probably don't want your trellises to be much taller than eight feet. Make sure to also calculate the height of your raised bed and how deeply the trellis will be buried.
The lowest recommended height for a panel trellis would be four to five feet above the soil line. That's enough to support peppers, eggplants, tomatillos, and bush tomatoes. You'll need something taller for vining plants.
The second measurement to consider is how wide you need the panel to be. You don't want something so narrow that it doesn't fill the wall space between two windows and looks insignificant, for instance.
These two measurements will give you a better idea of what will fit in your space and whether you should purchase a pre-fabricated trellis kit, build your own, or order a custom trellis for your space.
Tip #2: Match Your Trellis to Your Home
Look at the distinctive features of your home, including the windows, doors, columns, gates, light fixtures, and roof lines. Notice the type of metals, woods, brick, and/or stones that are on the exterior of your home and be mindful of the finishes of those materials. Match the style of a new trellis to the style of your home to make your garden feel as though it's always been there.
Look for Trellises That Are Easy for Your Plants to Hold Onto
Small wires are great for pea and cucumber tendrils to easily grab onto. When you're shopping for a trellis, look for small breaks from one section to the next; most plants will only grow a few inches from week to week and will need the next rung to be close by to cling to. If you fall in love with a trellis that doesn't have these small breaks, you can always run your own twine or wire between the larger supports, or use plant clips (with great care).
Just as a beautiful panel trellis can lend support to your plants, Gardenary is here for you as you grow yourself and your garden. We want you to have all the support you need to grow to your best selves!
I can’t wait to see what you grow on your own panel trellises this year!
Some of the links in this article are Amazon affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you click on the link and purchase the item. The links to stores outside of Amazon are not affiliated—they're just products I really like. All opinions remain my own.
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