Last Updated: January 26, 2017

Definition - What does Trellis mean?

A trellis is commonly used in gardens to support or train plants as they grow. This hardscaping (architectural structure) is commonly made from bamboo, wood, or metal and is also used in vertical gardens. Trellises are often used in viticulture to provide adequate support for climbing roses, ivy, clematis, and grapes. While some plants tend to automatically wrap themselves around trellises, others need to be trained to grow in a certain direction.

MaximumYield explains Trellis

Trellises are quite common in vegetable gardens, since some produce, such as beans and peas, often need something to hold on to and climb as they grow. Other produce, such as cucumbers, melons, and squash should be supported by a trellis to provide higher quality and more aesthetically pleasing fruit.

In some cases, it is important to support the plant to prevent overgrowth. Tomatoes, for example, can sprawl out for a long distance over the ground, which is why they should be adequately contained by a trellis. While some horticulturalists opt for metal tomato cages to prevent overgrowth, many horticulturalists use straw or wooden ones since these are more flexible with the plant’s tendency to sprawl its fruits over long distances. In these cases, it is important to prune the plant first and then tie it to the trellis.

A trellis can help in monitoring pest control efforts because it keeps plants away from soil-bound insects, worms, and other parasites.

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