garden entrance trellis

v1rtNovember 7, 2010

hi folks,

I would like to build a garden entrance trellis similar to the picture below. How do I secure it to the ground without have to dig and pour concrete?


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OK, first issue is terminology :-) A trellis is a flat screen, often of lattice, that is used to support vining plants. A 3-dimensional structure, like the one in the photo, is an arbor.

In milder winter areas that do not experience freeze/thaw cycles, you could anchor the arbor with concrete patio blocks embedded with nailing clips, available at any home improvement center. In colder climates where the ground freezes solidly and can experience freeze/thaw cycles, I would suggest you dig and form concrete footings like you would for a permanent fence structure and to a sufficient depth.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 9:58AM
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Ok. Do I dig similar to the depth that I deep for the pergola which is 4 ft deep?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 10:10AM
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If that's what's standard for your area for fences, pergolas, etc., then that's what I'd go with. A pergola is just a larger version of an arbor :-)

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 12:29PM
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Got it. :)

I was hoping I can cut corners since it was a lot of work when I did the pergola. I was hoping I can just lay it on the grass and put some heavy materials to prevent it from being blown away. :)


    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 12:43PM
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There are some shortcuts you could take but I'd be concerned about how suitable they'd be in your climate. And it depends on the size, weight and stability of the arbor, too. You can drill holes in the base of the supports, then 'slip' them over rebar that has been pounded into the ground to an appropriate depth but I'm not sure I'd be secure with this method if the arbor was of any good size. And be sure to plan ahead for what you might wish to grow on it......some vines can become very heavy over time and can create somewhat of a sail effect in strong winds.

You might be able to get by with the patio blocks as well. May need some leveling after winter and again, I'd be concerned about stability in winds. Maybe someone can offer some more regionally appropriate first-hand knowledge of this (or other) methods :-)

There are also commercial arbor anchor kits on the market but I'd have similar reservations about them. Maybe even more so -- the ones I've seen do not look very substantial.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 1:55PM
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Thanks gardengal48! :)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 12:21AM
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Virtuosity- I got something similar to your arbor, for my mom, from Lowe's. It's the vinyl kind (with the hollow legs) and she gets a LOT of wind at her place, being on top of a hill.

My husband pounded in some metal fence posts, so there was about 2' left above ground. We placed the four legs over the fence posts and wired the arbor to her front vinyl lattice fence (just to be sure). The arbor has not moved since we installed it. She's in zone 5a, and had three feet of snow, the first winter, we put it in.

Hers looks very similar to your picture, but being vinyl, it doesn't have to be painted and will not rot. It was about $200 to $300 and we got it for her at Mother's Day. Hope that helps :)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 6:27PM
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I have extra concrete. I think I'll go with putting the concrete. :)


    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 11:53PM
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clg7067(z6 OH)

What about these metal anchors?

Here is a link that might be useful: Fence Post anchors

    Bookmark   November 14, 2010 at 10:38AM
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Go to your local box store, I don't know what you actually call them, but I'll call them deck footings...they are anchors to fit 6x6 or 4x4 studs when you install a deck.

My neighbor used these for a makeshift privacy "trellis" by cementing the footings in the ground, and the arbor posts fit into the footing, and were bolted in. The nice thing was in the fall, he removes the posts and stores them for the winter, but the metal footings remain in the ground. Go to the building department where they sell decking material at Home Depot or Lowes.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 8:58PM
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I'm building an arbour for wisteria. The posts will be cemented. Will 4x4 posts support the strenght of the wisteria or should I go with 6x6 posts ?

    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 7:16PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

You should start your own thread.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2011 at 10:22PM
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