Trellises come in all kinds of shapes, sizes and materials but when planning the vertical edible garden in the alley, utilitarianism was top priority. It had to be sturdy, big enough to cover the side of a garage and low maintenance. Being easy to make and install wouldn’t hurt either. That’s when hog wire came to mind even though it’s mainly berries we’re trying to corral here.

Materials you’ll need
• Hog wire
• 3/8 x 8˝ eye bolts
• 1/4˝ exterior cable clips (if mounting on a building)

Tools that will be useful
• Bolt cutters
• Cordless drill
• Allen wrench
• Crow bar
• Vice

Hog wire comes in 16’ x 50˝ sheets. Cut in half, it makes two nice vertical trellises, or it can be hung horizontally for one long version.


For easy installation, we used 3/8˝ x 8˝ zinc plated eye bolts. The trick is that the eye comes closed, but that’s nothing a vice, a crow bar and some umph can’t fix.


Time to break out the power tools! Drilling a 1/4˝ pilot hole makes installation easier as does this clever use of an allen wrench to utilize the power of the drill to screw in the bolts. For a 50˝ x 8’ piece on the size of the garage, we used 6 hooks – one at each of the two top corners with another in the center and then a second row like this halfway down. For the section we installed on a fence, we only used 2 hooks – one on each side towards the top.


Now grab your piece of hog wire and slip on to each hook. I like to put the cut end of the wire downwards, stuck in the dirt for some extra support. For the section we installed along the fence, the bottom foot or so was buried for extra stabilization since there was only 2 hooks used on this piece.


Now stand back and admire your work. See…wasn’t that easy?


When hanging the trellis on the side of a building, we used 1/4˝ exterior cable clips to affix the top of the grid to the facia.


No offense, trellis, but as handsome as you are, I’m really hoping that by the end of summer you’ll be completely covered with blackberries, raspberries or tomatoes so I won’t see you at all.


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