5 Fun Ideas for a Sugar Snap Pea Trellis

To accommodate vines that grow as high as six feet, these fun sugar snap pea trellis ideas bring a touch of creativity to the garden as they keep the vines upright.

by Jessica Walliser
PHOTO: Jessica Walliser

Sugar snap peas are among my favorite garden crops. Their sweet crunch is hard to resist. But, the vines of many sugar snap pea varieties can reach five to six feet in height, making a sturdy support structure an absolute necessity. Today I share five of my favorite sugar snap pea trellis ideas. All are easy to set up, and each provides ample support for the growing vines.

5 Sugar Snap Pea Trellis Techniques

1. Nylon Netting Row Trellis

This simple structure is among the most inexpensive sugar snap pea trellis ideas. Nylon garden netting is often sold at local nurseries and found at various online garden supply companies. The netting’s openings are five- to six-inch squares, and it comes in lengths of 25 or more feet and is most commonly 5 feet tall. Hammer 1-by-1 hardwood stakes down the length of the row of your sugar snap peas, spacing the stakes about 8 to 10 feet apart. Then, stretch the nylon garden netting down the length of the row and use a staple gun or zip ties to attach the netting to the wooden stakes. You can plant a row of pea seeds down each side of this sugar snap pea trellis to maximize growing space.

2. Box-Wire or Chicken-Wire Row Trellis

If you don’t want to purchase the nylon netting described above, use chicken wire or box wire to build your sugar snap pea trellis instead. Space the hardwood stakes as described above, but use the fencing instead of the nylon netting. It’s less flexible and slightly more visually obtrusive, but it works like a charm. The biggest downside to this sugar snap pea trellis technique? The small openings of the fencing make it impossible to reach through and harvest pods from the other side of the row. If you use this method, be sure that the trellis is fully accessible from both sides, or harvesting the pods will be challenging.

3. Natural Branch Trellis

Another fun (and visually attractive) way to trellis sugar snap peas is to use tree branches as support for the vines. Collect straight branches that are forked multiple times to give the vines plenty of places to cling to. Bury the base of a line of branches into the ground down the length of the garden row. Space them close enough so that their forked branches cross over each other. If you can’t bury the base in the ground, you can tie the base of the branches with twine or plastic zip ties to pieces of 3-foot rebar that are hammered into the ground for stability. Choose branches that are tall enough to support the growing vines to their mature height.

4. Gabion Stack Trellis

Gabions are empty cubes or cylinders made from welded wire that are filled with rocks and earth. They were once used as military fortifications, but these days you often see gabions used for erosion control and to create unique fences, walls and other outdoor structures. Empty gabions also make great trellis structures. To make a sugar snap pea trellis from gabions, stack several empty gabions on top of each other and fasten them together with zip ties. Place the stack in the garden and secure it to the ground with four wooden or metal stakes. Plant your sugar snap pea seeds around the stack, and you have yourself a distinct trellis. You can buy gabions from construction and landscape supply centers as well as various online sources.

5. Recycled Trellis Ideas

There are many different repurposed household items that work great as a sugar snap pea trellis, too. You can use a mattress spring, an old closet organizer or tireless bike rims—the possibilities are endless.

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With a little bit of creativity, you’ll have a great sugar snap pea trellis for this growing season and many more.

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