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Making a Pea Trellis with Kids

This simple project is a great way to get the kids out in the garden for a little free labour…{ahem} I mean garden therapy.

A super simple trellis for training peas - fun family gardening project

Spring is the time to plant peas out in the garden. Seeds germinate well in cool soil so plants have a strong start by the time summer hits. I like to start my peas indoors then move the little vines out when they are strong enough, but you can also buy started pea plants at nurseries and farmers market this time of year.

When you plant your peas they will start to ramble and tangle along the ground and the sweet tips get munched on by just about any vegetable loving creature you can imagine (slugs, snails, the darn dog!) so it’s nice to grow them vertically up a support. The little vines cling and twine nicely around string, and this simple trellis is perfect to pack a lot of peas into a small area.


  • Bamboo poles of various lengths
  • A spool of garden twine
  • A garden helper


1. Stick two 6’ or longer bamboo poles into the soil on either side of your pea patch.

2. Make a frame using two more bamboo poles that measure a few inches longer than the width of your side stakes. Secure the poles together by tying twine around the poles where they cross in a figure eight pattern.

3. Using twine on a spool, tie one end of the twine to the bottom of one side of the bottom of the frame. Run the twine up and over the top of the frame, and allow to drop back down. Let your garden helper wind the twine around the frame over and over until you have reached the other side. Tie the twin in a knot on the end of the frame to secure.

4. Gently lift the tips of the pea plants and tuck their tendrils onto the twine. The peas will take it from here.


  1. I loved the look of this trellis, but when I made it, the pull of the wound twine made my top horizontal bamboo pole shift/slide down and the twine would go slack. I even took it apart and re-did it with 2 extra bamboo poles going diagonal and the poles still would slide a bit, making very slack twine. Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but I think I’ll try a different kind of trellis.

    • The tension that pulls down the upper vertical pole(s) isn’t necessary. try running separate lengths of vertical twine instead of one piece that’s woven up and down. If each piece of vertical twine is left dangling loose, they won’t pull down the upper horizontal pole. The peas don’t care if the setup is taut or not: they’ll latch on regardless.

  2. If you have trouble with the top frame pole sliding down under the weight of the growing vines, try this: Use two side poles with “knuckles” at about the same height where you want to attach your top frame pole. If you lash the top horizontal bamboo pole just above those “knuckles” of the side poles, the little knobbies will help prevent the top piece from sliding down. I also wrap extra twine around the side poles between the top piece and the side pole knuckles to create a stop. OR, you can create a tripod for each side by lashing together 3 poles, then set the top pole in the criss-cross formed spanning across the two tripods. I just tie a horizontal piece of twine across the tripod legs at the bottom and use that instead of lashing another horizontal pole at the bottom. I find the tripod design a little sturdier since I like to follow peas with cucumbers, and the weight of those vines can pull over a single pole system.

  3. We made this – totally worth it – it was fun, and it looks natural and beautiful in the gatden. We tied one end of the twine to the bamboo, as instructed – but we also tied a small stick to the other end of the twine so my three-year-old helper could easily “sew” the twine over and under the trellis frame. Bonus: the stick also acted as a counterweight so I could adjust the tension and only have to tie the twine once. The frame issues other commenters mentioned are real – just steel yourself and use an itty-bitty zip tie from the jump. I wouldn’t try it, at first, because they’re 100% ugly and synthetic, but after tying and re-tying the corners of the frame 800 times, I finally gave in and used two ties, in an x, per joint. For good measure I also zipped the ends of the twine we’d tied to the top and bottom of the frame. It’s a hideous fix but it’s strong – and I’m going out there tomorrow to snip the plastic tails and, idk, cover them with more twine. Really wonderful, inexpensive and cute, though – so if you’re thinking about it, do it!!!

    • Could you please explain how you used the zip tie? I’m not picturing how this would work or how it helps. Thank you!


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