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How To Build A Vertical Vegetable Garden Frame – Mistakes To Avoid

How To Build A Vertical Vegetable Garden Frame

Avoid common mistakes as you learn how to build a vertical vegetable garden frame.

Vertical vegetable gardening systems come in all shapes and sizes. A lot depends on the space you have.

This article is about avoiding the common mistakes, what you need and the types of garden frames that can be purchased without using too much of your sweat equity.

While most of us aren’t endowed with the ability to build things from scratch, myself included, putting a simple garden frame together actually was easier than I thought.

Further down towards the end of this article, D.I.Y. expert Craig Phillips shows how to build a vertical vegetable garden frame using pallet wood.

But for now, here’s what I know about putting a garden frame together.

The type of garden frame you choose to build will depend on the materials you have on hand.

On my parents farm, we always had lots of materials on hand, especially pallets.

Putting together impressive vegetable garden frames with pallets wasn’t a tough thing to do once you knew how.

But we never lacked for material.

If you live in a suburban area, then that’s probably not the case for you. What have you got in your yard?

Look around and see what you can scrape together. Chances are, you’ll need to either source the materials or pay for them. How bad do you want your garden frame?

How To Build A Vertical Vegetable Garden Frame – The Mistakes

Backyard garden bed with trellis
Backyard garden bed with trellis

Let’s look at some of the common mistakes people make when designing a garden frame for their vegetables.

The first thing you need to think about is your space. How much room do you have available for a garden? If you have a small space, then you may want to consider growing your vegetables vertically.

Vertical gardens can use up less room as they grow.

Many people make the mistake of designing their vegetable garden based on what they think they want rather than what is practical or necessary for them.

This is because many people have misconceptions about what gardening entails and believe that it requires a lot of space and hard work.

But this is not true at all! For example, if someone has only five square feet of free space in which to grow vegetables, they can still get many different varieties of tomatoes and peppers by planting them vertically.

Another important aspect of planning your garden design is making sure you have adequate ventilation.

Many people forget this detail when they start thinking about their plan for their vegetable garden and frame.

I didn’t say this was going to be a “breeze” and there is a little planning involved including garden and frame.

What Materials Do You Need?

The first step to building a vertical vegetable garden frame is finding your materials.

If your goal is to build one for your own personal use, you will want to make sure the materials are not too expensive. The different types of frames that can be made include:

1) A basket or hoop house-style frame that is usually made with PVC pipe and has a UV resistant tarp for cover.

2) A window box style frame made from wood, wire mesh and galvanized metal window boxes used as the “hanging basket” container.

3) A wooden trough style frame that is often used in commercial projects due to its durability and ease of construction.

4) A plastic trough style frame that is also easy to construct but does require some assembly after installation.

5) A concrete block wall style frame that requires no tools other than a hammer and nails.

6) A brick wall style frame that is very durable and requires minimal maintenance.

7) A greenhouse style frame that is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions such as snow and rain.

Choosing What Type of Garden Frame to Use

Vegetable garden frame
Vegetable garden frame on a big level

Let’s look a little more in depth at the types of frames.

There are several different styles of frames that you can use to build your vertical vegetable garden. Each type of frame has its pros and cons, so it’s important to decide which one best fits your needs before you begin constructing it.

When I started this article, I was going to put together a video on how to put a vegetable garden frame together from scratch. Maybe that’s for another post.

The good news is, vegetable garden frames are available to buy, with little of the hard work starting them from scratch involved.

It’s important to know what types of frames exist out there for you to decide to use.

Expanding on the list above, here are four of the most common types of frames in more detail:

Basket or Hoop House Style Frames

These are the simplest form of vertical vegetable garden frames. In fact, these are the easiest frames to assemble as well.

The main advantage of basket house frames is that they are inexpensive. You can purchase a kit online or from a local home improvement store. Basket house frames come in two basic sizes: 8-foot and 12-foot tall.

These frames are made out of wood and wire mesh. The hoops used to support the baskets are usually made out of metal.

There are various designs of basket house frames. Some have shelves built in while others have none.

Some disadvantages of basket house frames include that they are difficult to clean. Also, they tend to be heavy and bulky.

If you choose to use this style of frame, make sure that you have ample storage space inside of it.

Vertical Vegetable Garden Frame Kits

Vegetable garden frames
Vegetable garden frames in their simplest form

You can find vertical garden kits online or in stores like Lowe’s.

These kits contain everything you need to build your own vertical garden including trellis supports, stakes, soil mix, seeds, fertilizer, etc.

These kits are great for beginners who want to learn how to build their own garden but aren’t quite ready to commit to building it on their own.

The main advantages of buying a kit over purchasing individual parts is that you get quality materials and instructions with your kit.

You will also save money because you don’t need to pay for shipping charges.

However, some kits may cost more than what you would spend assembling the same items individually.

Frame Kits

This is another option that you can consider. A frame kit consists of all the components you need to construct your garden. It includes wooden posts, cross beams, and other pieces.

This means you only have to buy one set of parts instead of purchasing them separately.

One disadvantage of frame kits is that they are more expensive than purchasing each item separately. 


Wood trellis
Wood trellis covering red barn fencing

Another popular choice for vertical gardens are Trellises. Trellises allow you to grow up to three or more plants at once.

Most trellises are made out of bamboo, aluminum, or plastic. You can either purchase pre-made trellises or build them yourself using lumber.

One major benefit of trellised gardens is that they allow you to maximize the amount of sunlight that you receive. They provide shade during the day and let light into the garden when it’s needed. 

They can be costly depending on the size and design of the trellis.

If you plan to plant multiple rows of vegetables, then you should invest in a larger trellis.

On the other hand, if you just want to grow herbs in your garden, then you don’t necessarily need a large trellis.

How To Build A Vertical Vegetable Garden Frame Using Pallet Wood

By this time, I’m tipping you’ve decided “to heck with building this myself, I’m buying my frame online or at the hardware store”.

I say “good for you”.

But if you need a little help and are feeling a little adventurous, here’s that video showing you how to build a vertical vegetable garden frame with pallet wood.

As I mentioned earlier, pallet wood always seems to be available. If you haven’t got it, canvass some of your local businesses. They always have pallets lying around.

And better still, many just want to get rid of them. Many times, there is no cost involved. Good luck.

JD Dean

Growing up on a farm gave me and my family some huge advantages. One of them was learning to grow our own food. Apart from acres and acres of crops, we had a magnificent fruit and vegetable garden plus, we canned our own food. I’m hoping to pass on some of this expertise and experience to you.

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