We’ve been on a raised bed building kick for the past few weeks now, trying to make better use of some of the bare areas in our backyard. We realized with all these empty spaces we could be growing more of our own food to eat and also more flowering plants to help the pollinators out a bit.
But another great way to take advantage of even more empty space is to incorporate a trellis into these beds so we can grow plants vertically too. We have a pretty bad gopher problem in our yard so we can’t really plant plants in the ground. Raised beds solve this problem for us and adding a trellis to a raised bed just makes the growing space even more versatile and exciting to look at.
Materials we used:
- 2×6 Heart Redwood Lumber
- 4×4 Redwood Lumber
- Livestock Wire Panel
- Drill & drill bit
- Impact Driver & T25 star bit
- 3 inch deck screws
- 2 inch deck screws
- 1/4 x 6 inch powerlags
- Staple Gun
- Electrogalvanized 1 inch Staples
- Circular Saw
- Speed Square
- Tape Measure
If you can find somewhere that carries Livestock Wire Panel locally, we highly recommend going with this as your trellis option. It is super strong and won’t bend or deform over time. We found some at our local Fence Factory outlet, but most farm supply stores are likely to carry it as well.
Just as a side note – We did consider using 2×4 material for the trellis portion, but decided to use 4×4 lumber instead because it’s not as likely to warp and we could easily incorporate it into the box since we were using 4×4 corner posts anyways.
So to get started, we cut all of our wood to length. This box is roughly 5.5ft long, 2ft deep, 16.5 inches tall and the trellis portion of the box extends up to 5.5ft tall. We’ll be using 2×6 Heart Redwood lumber for the front, back, and sides of the box. For the corner posts and trellis header, we’ll be using Redwood 4x4s.
Before assembling the box, we needed to cut out a channel in our two back 4×4 corner posts, and one in the top 4×4 header. This channel will be what holds the livestock wire panel in place, and we’ll use the wood that we cut out of this channel to sandwich and secure the wire panel in place later.
We made our channels 2” wide and 1” deep. And for each of the back corner posts we left 16.5” uncut at the bottom of each post that goes down into the planter box. And keep in mind you might have to chisel out the corners a little once you’ve removed your channel strip of wood.
Once we had the channels cut, we started by putting the side pieces of our raised bed together. Taking one of our back 4x4s and one front 4×4 , we laid them on a flat surface and then laid three 2×6 side pieces across them. Holding the boards as still as possible, we drilled two pilot holes on either end of each board, and then screwed each board in, one at a time, using 3 inch deck screws. One thing you want to make sure of here is that the channel is in the right position – facing backwards, or what will be the back of the box.
We repeated this same process for the other side of the raised box.
Once both side pieces were assembled, we laid them on a flat surface and attached our front 2×6 pieces. Getting everything square and the edges aligned here is key for the box coming out level. We did use a couple clamps for this part which really helps keep the boards secure and in place. After that, we flipped it over and did the same process of drilling and screwing to attach the back 2×6 pieces of the box.
Step 4 (Optional)
We like to attach wire hardware cloth to the bottom of our boxes to keep out any gophers. To do this, we used a staple gun with electro galvanized staples. We didn’t have a piece of hardware cloth large enough for one consecutive run, so we attached it in sections and then wove some wire through to seal the overlapping seams.
Once we we’re done with that, we flipped the box upright and put a center support in place. We like to do this just to make the box a little more warp resistant, and we usually have enough spare wood lying around after we’ve cut all our other pieces anyways. We just used two 4x4s and two 2x6s cuts to make the center support.
If you have a hard time with pesky weeds growing in your yard, you can lay some weed shield fabric down inside your box as well, to keep those from growing up through your box.
After that we put the wire livestock panel in place. Using the strips of wood that we cut out earlier from the 4x4s, we placed these on top of the wire panel and screwed them in using 2 inch screws.
After the wire panel is secured along the sides, we placed the 4×4 header beam across the top. Then we drove 6” power lags down through each of the 4×4 posts and secured the channel strip along the back, top section of the wire panel to finish it off.
For more details, be sure to check out the video we made, located a the top of this post, and stay tuned to for a more in-depth look at what we planted. We’re excited to get this thing growing and we hope this gave you a little inspiration to give this a try in your own garden!