Add Height and Beauty to Your Raised Beds with an Arch Trellis

Raised garden beds are a great way to improve your gardening experience. The elevated design makes planting, weeding, and harvesting easier on your back. But have you considered adding a trellis arch over your raised beds? This simple DIY project takes your garden to the next level in both form and function.

Why Add an Arch Trellis?

An arch trellis over a raised bed serves multiple purposes:

  • Provides vertical growing space Vining crops like beans, cucumbers, squash, melons, and indeterminate tomatoes thrive when given a structure to climb. An arch trellis maximizes your growing area

  • Creates an eye-catching focal point. An arch makes a statement in your garden. It adds height, draws the eye upward, and just feels special compared to a typical flat trellis.

  • Invites pollinators. Bees and butterflies are attracted to the flowers and vines that will cover your arch trellis. Give them a place to visit and do their job pollinating your plants.

  • Provides shade and support Position your arch trellis on the north side of a bed to offer filtered shade for sun-sensitive crops Sturdy climbers like pole beans will support more delicate vines later in the season.

  • Improves air circulation. Elevating plants on a trellis improves air flow which reduces foliar disease issues.

Simply put, an arch trellis boosts the form and function of your raised beds. Let’s look at how to add this beautiful garden structure.

Materials Needed

An arched cattle panel makes the perfect trellis base. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 4 sturdy metal fence posts, approximately 5-6 feet tall

  • One welded wire grid that is 16 feet long and 4 feet wide, like a cattle panel

  • Zip ties and/or galvanized wire

  • Post pounder tool (or post hole digger)

  • Raised garden beds

The key is using strong, thick metal posts that won’t bend or buckle under the weight of mature vines. Pound the posts at least 18-24 inches deep for maximum stability.

Cattle panels have large openings perfect for climbing plants. Look for a heavy gauge option made from galvanized steel for longevity.

Build Steps

Installing an arch trellis over raised beds involves just a few simple steps:

1. Position Posts

Measure and mark where you want the posts. They should flank each side of the raised beds you plan to cover. Space posts 6-8 feet apart depending on the width of your cattle panel.

Use a post pounder tool to drive each post at least 18 inches into the ground. The posts need to be securely anchored.

2. Dig Trenches

The bottom edge of your cattle panel trellis needs to be buried in the raised bed soil. Dig a 6 inch deep trench across each bed from post to post.

3. Shape the Arch

Bend your cattle panel into an arch shape. Have a helper support one end while you secure the other end in the trench with zip ties attached to the post.

Then bend the panel down into the second trench and secure to the opposite post. The natural spring of the cattle panel makes forming the arch easy.

4. Bury and Plant

Bury the edges of the panel in the trenches and backfill with soil. Pack the soil firmly around the trellis.

Plant vining crops on each side that can grow up and over the arch. Pole beans, cucumbers, melons, squash, and indeterminate tomatoes are excellent choices.

Add flowering vines like morning glory, nasturtium, or hyacinth bean to attract pollinators and add color.

Tips for Success

Here are a few additional pointers to ensure your arched trellis thrives:

  • For a more secure installation, use galvanized wire to attach the cattle panel to the posts in addition to zip ties. This prevents sagging over time.

  • Space your raised beds 6-8 feet apart so the arches don’t shade other beds too much at midday.

  • Avoid overcrowding vines on the trellis to encourage adequate air circulation.

  • Gently guide vines along the trellis as they grow. Use soft plant ties or clips to support heavier fruit.

  • Add a charming plant hanger from the top center of the arch. Let trailing flowers like petunias or calibrachoa overflow it.

Have Fun Expanding Your Gardening Canvas

An arch trellis really opens up the possibilities in your raised bed garden. You can add height, beauty, and productivity with a simple weekend project. The arch adds so much visual interest compared to a typical flat trellis.

Look at your garden with an eye for where you can insert vertical structures like this. An arch over a path or seating area is also a fun way to expand your gardening canvas.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with shapes too. A dome or cube shaped trellis over a square raised bed looks amazing once lush vines cover it. The only limit is your imagination!

Raised beds provide the perfect opportunity to grow food and flowers in fresh new ways. An arch trellis is one of those special touches that makes your gardening feel magical again.

How to Build a Cattle Panel Garden Arch Trellis

How do you build a trellis over a raised garden bed?

To make it, you’ll be using a long piece of wire fencing that’s bent in an arch. It can be built across an entire bed or between two beds (it’s very cool to walk under the top of the arch). You can even create a tunnel of vining plants several feet long! DIY archway trellises provide both vertical and horizontal space above raised garden beds.

What is an arch trellis?

An arch trellis, or garden tunnel, is a whimsical, but practical structure. I have mine set up between my wooden raised beds. I use wood strapping to screw the bottoms of the wire mesh or cattle panels to the boards of my beds. These are strong trellises perfect for pole beans, cucumbers, and other vining vegetables.

How do you install an arch trellis in a raised garden bed?

If you’re retro-fitting your arch trellis in a bed already filled with soil, I’d recommend digging out the soil in the area of the bed where you’ll install the trellis. Then, you’ll place the trellis and its stakes, and backfill all the way to the top of the raised garden bed with soil. Celebrate!

What is the difference between a garden arch and a string trellis?

A garden arch adds whimsy to a raised bed vegetable garden. They are often made from wire mesh panels or cattle panels and attached to the ends of raised beds. A string trellis is a wooden or metal frame with lengths of twine or string that run through eye hooks. The frame supplies the strength and the twine supports the climbing crops.

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