Building a Trellis for Snow Peas (Step-by-Step)

There are plenty of trellising ideas you can use but here’s a simple trellis you can make using only a few materials.

Growing snow peas is both easy and rewarding. As long as you give them plenty of sunlight and adequate water, and keep picking the pods, they’ll provide you with a continuous supply of fresh pods to harvest.

But, snow peas need a strong trellis to support them and keep the pods off the ground. There are plenty of trellising ideas you can use but here’s a simple trellis you can make using only a few materials.

What you’ll need

The only materials you’ll need for your trellis are some sturdy bamboo stakes and some common garden twine. 

The bamboo stakes should be fairly thick and at least 1.2 to 2 metres long, depending on the variety of snow peas that you’re growing. It’s better to have taller stakes so that you don’t run out of room when the plants just keep growing.

Try to use a natural twine made from cotton or jute as this will be strong enough to support and hold the growing plants.

How snow peas grow

Before you build your trellis, it’s useful to understand how snow peas grow so that you can easily guide them up the trellis.

Trellis for Snow Peas 1 | Fruit & Vegetables

Snow peas grow like a long vine but they have these little tendrils that they use to cling onto whatever they can find. This often means that they’ll cling onto each other which is not ideal when you want to keep them off the ground.

Therefore, as they grow you need to guide them up the trellis so that they can cling onto the string lines that you’ve strung between the bamboo stakes.

How to build your trellis

The number of bamboo stakes that you’re going to need will depend on the length of your garden bed. For a bed that’s around 1.2 metres long, I would suggest using three stakes.

Bamboo Trellis for Snow Peas | Fruit & Vegetables

Place one on either end and one in the middle. At a push, you could just use one stake on either end, but I would prefer to provide that little extra support as the snow pea vines can get quite heavy once they’re full of pods.

You also want to ensure that the support you provide can stand up to any heavy winds that you might experience through the growing season.

Step 1: Push the stakes into the ground

The first step to building your trellis is to push the stakes into the ground.

Make sure you push them in really well so that they’re nice and sturdy and aren’t likely to fall over with the weight.

Step 2: Tie on the string

Once you have your stakes in the ground, it’s time to tie on the string. You want to make horizontal support rows with the string all the way up the stakes.

You can start the bottom row of string around 15 to 30 cm from the ground.

Tie the end of the string to one of the end stakes securely. Take the string horizontally to the next stake and just wind it around the stake making sure that the string is nice and taut.

Bamboo Trellis | Fruit & Vegetables

Now, take the string horizontally to the other end stake and wrap it around a couple of times. Bring the string back to the centre pole and wrap it around.

Step 3: Secure the string

Finally, take the string back to the first end pole and tie it on securely.

Once again, make sure that all the horizontal string lines are nice and taut but that there’s enough slack between the two lines to guide the plants through.

This double row of string line allows you to contain the snow peas securely and gives the plants plenty of string to cling to. 

Continue to create horizontal lines of string up the stakes around 15 cm apart until your reach the top of the stakes.

How to train your snow peas up your trellis

Once you’re planted your snow peas and they start to grow, it’s time to train them up your trellis. Ideally, you want to guide the plants through the middle of the horizontal string lines.

Do this gently so that you don’t break any of the stems. As you guide the plants up the trellis, the small tendrils will start to cling to the string and this will keep your plants off the ground.

Trellis for Snow Peas 2 | Fruit & Vegetables

You can also use the above method of building a trellis if you’re already planted your snow peas and you want to get them off the ground.

All you have to do is follow the instructions for inserting the stakes and then take one string line around the front of the snow peas and the other string line around the back of them.

This will safely incase them between the two lines of string without you having to find all the tendrils and possibly damaging the plants in the process.

Other trellising options you can use

If you have some chicken wire laying around, you can use this for the horizontal support instead of the twine.

wire Trellis for Snow Peas | Fruit & Vegetables

However, with this method, you’ll have to ensure that you guide the tendrils onto the wire consistently as the plants grow.

You could also use a strong piece of lattice and just guide the growing vines through the spaces from front to back and then from back to front all the way to the top of the lattice.

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Annette Hird

Annette Hird is a gardening expert with many years of experience in a range of gardening related positions. She has an Associate Diploma of Applied Science in Horticulture and has worked in a variety of production nurseries, primarily as a propagator. She has also been responsible for a large homestead garden that included lawn care, fruit trees, roses and many other ornamental plants. More recently, Annette has concentrated on improving the garden landscape of the homes that she has lived in and focused a lot of energy on growing edible plants as well. She now enjoys sharing her experience and knowledge with others by writing articles about all facets of gardening and growing plants.


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