A raised bed garden such as ours can present some added challenges when it comes to accommodating climbing plants. Once a trellis is filled, then it can really catch the wind, so having a structurally stable design is important. It also needs to be light enough to be able to move around easily. I had thought about having trellis capabilities built into the basic concrete structure but decided against it.
This trellis is 6′ wide at the top, while the inside dimension of the garden is 4′. This gives me the ability to simply reach straight up to pick the beans (or cucumbers or whatever I’m growing). Another benefit is that I could use an entire cattle panel (the standard size is 16′ long) without having to cut anything on it; if the sides had been straight, the top edge would have been another foot higher. I am 6’6″ tall, but there are still limits to how high I want to reach to pick vegetables.
Bending the heavy wire of a cattle panel is not easy. I bolted a fence stretcher to it so that I would have something to bend it around. It turned out to be easier than I thought it would to bend. Not easy – just easier. The cross braces are pressure-treated 2×2 with notches cut to hold the wire (I made two saw cuts and then used a wood chisel to remove the excess). They are secured with stainless steel wire wrapped and twisted. Before final assembly, I used cable ties to make sure it would work and the dimensions were right.