Josh from Polhill Garden Centre gives some useful tips on how to improve your garden with trellis
Josh says, “Trellises are timeless and practical additions to outdoor spaces. When it comes to creating a beautiful and functional garden space and are a versatile addition that can make a significant difference. These structures offer an array of benefits, from enhancing the visual appeal of your garden to optimising space utilisation and supporting the growth of various plants.”
1. Add vertical interest or a structural element to the garden
By providing a framework for climbing plants, trellises encourage vertical growth and create a stunning visual impact. Whether it’s a vibrant display of blooming flowers or lush foliage, the upward growth of plants against a trellis adds dimension and depth to your garden. Trellises can act as screens, dividing your garden into distinct areas or creating a sense of privacy.
2. Provide stability and sufficient space
Some climbing plants or fruit and veg will really benefit from the stability of a trellis and this can even improve the health of the plants as they can be less likely to snap or break in periods of wind or by being knocked. Fruits and vegetables that will benefit from trellises are peas, tomatoes, grapes, peppers and cucumbers. You could also build a trellis teepee with some bamboo and twine to maximise access to sunlight for your plants.
By using trellises, you can space the plants appropriately, allowing for adequate sunlight penetration between them. Proper spacing prevents overcrowding and ensures that each plant has sufficient access to sunlight without being shaded by neighbouring plants.
3. Maximise your growing space
Instead of relying solely on planting in the ground, you can train plants to grow vertically along the trellis, effectively expanding your planting area. This is particularly beneficial for gardens with limited space, such as small yards, balconies, or urban gardens. This way you can conserve space and grow more in a small area. You can add trellises along boundary fencing, just ensure that you attach it to a raised panel to ensure that there is enough air circulation between the trellis and your fence.
4. Allow for increased sunlight exposure
By growing vertically on trellises, plants optimise their surface area to capture sunlight, ensuring that more parts of the plant receive the vital light necessary for photosynthesis.
Additionally, plants trained on trellises have the advantage of sun tracking. As the sun moves across the sky throughout the day, these plants can adjust their growth to face the sunlight. This adaptive behaviour enables different sides of the plant to receive direct sunlight at various times, effectively maximizing the overall exposure and duration of light absorption.
5. Allow pollinators to easily pollinate the area
Raised trellis flowers can allow bees and butterflies to easily reach you plants, as they are more visible and attractive to the pollinators, especially if they have bright colours and sweet scents.
6. Reduce exposure to fungal diseases
By using trellises, you can increase the airflow around your plants. This helps to spread out the foliage vertically and avoid crowding on the ground. More air movement lowers humidity and stops fungal diseases from growing in moist, still areas. It also dries the leaves faster after watering or rain, so fungi have less time to multiply.
7. Deter insects and pests
By elevating the plants off the ground, you can make your plants less accessible to slugs, snails and other soil pests.
8. Increase air circulation
Trellises let more air reach your plants by making the leaves go up and not down. This makes more air movement in the garden and lowers wetness which can cause fungus on the plants. More air also makes the leaves dry sooner when they are wet from rain or water, which deters fungus from growing.
9. Make harvesting easier, with less bending and stooping
Trellises make pruning and thinning plants easier, which helps prevent fungal diseases. Pruning improves air circulation, reducing humidity and fungal growth. It also removes infected or damaged parts, minimising the spread of fungal pathogens. With trellises, plants can be pruned and thinned efficiently, ensuring good airflow and reducing the risk of fungal diseases.
10. Change the look of your garden
By incorporating trellises into your garden, you can introduce vertical elements, create green walls, enhance privacy, define spaces, add decorative focal points, and customise the plant selection. These transformations can completely change the look and feel of your garden, turning it into a visually stunning and inviting space that reflects your personal style and preferences.
You can easily add bright climbing plants to your trellises without sacrificing any space and you can add fairy lights to create a cosy atmosphere or feature. You could even incorporate a seating area amongst your trellises for a more attractive seating area.
Trellises add depth and visual interest to your garden by breaking up the horizontal landscape. They introduce a dynamic and layered element, enhancing the overall aesthetic appeal of the space. This vertical dimension creates a dynamic garden design, making it more visually engaging and appealing to the eye.
Josh says, “Trellises are a great asset to those with a small garden! Even if you have a small space to work with, trellises and climbing plants can accentuate the available space. Just because you have a small space does not mean you have to compromise on making your garden inviting and beautiful. Best of all, you’re inviting creatures that need pollination opportunities or providing shelter, which is something we all need to be conscious about.”
“Trellises also contribute to reducing exposure to fungal diseases by minimising contact between plant foliage and the ground, improving air circulation, and promoting faster drying of plant surfaces. These factors help create an unappealing environment for fungal pathogens which can harm your plants. You can also buy ready-made trellises in various shapes and designs, such as arches, teepees, tunnels, A-frames, or boxes. You can use trellises for climbing flowers, vegetables, fruits, or herbs.”