Old iron bed frames with springs create a rustic trellis for vining plants.

How to Use a Bed Frame As a Trellis

by Nannette Richford

Growing vining flowers and vegetables on a trellis holds them above the ground, saving space while creating a living wall of lush foliage and bright fruit or flowers. Any object that provides support for the vines can be used as a trellis, but if you are looking to add country charm to your yard or simply want to save a little money by recycling, a recycled bed frame may be the answer. These sturdy frames stand up well to the weather and will serve your needs as a trellis for years to come.

1 Measure the narrow side of the bed frame and add 4 inches. Measure the width of the frame; this may range from an inch or two to several inches, depending on the type of bed frame being used. This gives you the dimensions needed to dig a trench and install the bed frame trellis in the soil.

2 Dig a trench to a depth of 6 to 12 inches using the dimensions of the bed frame as your guide. While small lightweight bed frames, such a twin frames, can be set to a depth of 6 inches, large full or queen size frames require a greater depth to support them.

3 Drive a 4-foot length of rebar or wooden post into the soil at both ends of the trench. Hammer them into the soil to a depth of 6 inches. Posts may need to be set deeper in loose sandy soil. The key is to hammer it into the soil until the post is secure and does not wobble when you apply pressure to it.

4 Position the bed frame in the trench so that the edges line up with the posts. Cut six 2-foot lengths of heavy wire. Loop the wire around the post and through the edge of the bed frame approximately 6 inches from the top of the post. Repeat at the midpoint and bottom of the post. Loop the wire around the post and frame a second time and twist the wire tightly to secure the bed frame to the posts. Check that the trellis is securely attached by applying pressure to the trellis. If it resists your efforts to move it, the trellis is secure.

5 Fill in the trench with soil and tamp it down firmly to secure the bed frame. Tamp down the area around the posts for additional support. Water the area to saturate the soil to the depth of the trellis. Allow this to sit for several days, while the soil settles. Fill in any sunken areas with fresh soil and tamp it down firmly.

6 Plant vining annual flowers, such as morning glories (Ipomoea sp) or sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus), along the trellis, spaced 2 to 4 inches from the bottom of the bed frame. Vining vegetables, such a cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), pole beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) or telephone peas (Pisum sativum) can also be trained to climb the trellis.

Items you will need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • 2 Rebar posts, 4-foot length
  • Hammer
  • Heavy wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers

Tip

  • Giving your bed frame a fresh coat of brightly-colored paint before installing it allows you to express your personality in style. For a whimsical display, think bright reds and purple adorned with a painted ladybug or two. To create a trellis that blends into the background, give it a coat of green paint.

Warning

  • Always wear safety gloves and protective clothing when cutting wire.

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images