Build your own Raspberry Trellises from red cedar posts and 2×4’s. Complete animated build video that shows step-by-step how to make a support for your berry bushes. Grow berries on wood and galvanized wire supports.
See the How to Video.
It’s an easy trellis design based on the popular raspberry trellis T post system.
Build the Raspberry Trellis
The Sketchup Model
The cedar fenceposts I had were 8 footers and I cut slots in them for the cross members.
The slots are 12 and 36 inches from the top.
The cross members that support the wires are made from cedar 2×4’s. And are 36 and 24 inches long.
The post is buried 2 feet in the ground.
On the back, I cut a groove 5 feet from the top for a brace.
It’s also made from a cedar 2×4 and will be buried.
On some sawhorses in the garden, I layout the cuts for the cross members.
And cut those to length.
I mark the center of each and drill a hole for the carriage bolt that will secure it to the post.
I mark the two slot locations for the cross members.
A square 4×4 or a 6×6 would work for a post as well. I roughly square the upper cross member and mark lines for my saw cuts. I make the first two cuts into the post.
As the posts are round and irregular, I use a level to help guide the cuts so they are somewhat parallel. I have some wedges under the post to keep it from rolling around.
I used a pencil line marked on my saw as a depth gauge so my cuts were somewhat consistent.
I knock out the wood with mallet and chisel. I only made two saw cuts as this wood is soft and easy to remove.
I set the cross member in the slot and drill through the post.
And secure the cross member with a galvanized carriage bolt, washer, lock washer, and nut.
I’ll repeat that same process for the lower slot.
I roll the post over and mark the slot location for the brace. And make the saw cuts and chisel away.
The first two posts I cut the brace slot on the wrong side. Ah well… I’ll have to correct that.
I marked the post hole locations and cut through the sod with a shovel.
We are fortunate that below the sod we have about 24″ of silt that’s nearly rock free. Below that is a hard clay layer. So the holes can be dug fairly easily with a manual post hole auger.
With a shovel, I open up the bottom of the hole a bit and remove the last of the dirt by hand. The shallower hole for the brace is then dug with a shovel.
I set the post in the hole and check the fit of the brace.
I fill the space around the post with concrete, checking for plumb with a spirit level.
I then attach the brace to the post with screws and add some concrete to that hole as well.
And I’ll do the same for the other post.
Here’s the hardware I used.
A carriage bolt to hold the cross member to the post. And two eye bolts for the ends of the cross members on one post. To tension the wires on the other post I use these little wire vices.
For the 4″ eye bolts I drill into the ends of the two cross members of one post with a 5/16th bit.
And snug the nut with a flat washer and a lock washer.
An 8″ eye bolt will go through the post so, I used a longer bit. This one was 3/8’s. This lower wire will support the newly planted bushes and a watering line.
On the opposing post, I open up the 3/8’s hole to 7/16’s so the barrel of the wire vice will fit.
And I’ll use this 7/16’s bit for the wire vices on the ends of the cross members as well.
They can be held in place with some small screws.
Now it’s time to plant the raspberry bushes. So it’s just digging a lot of holes here.
We screened some well composted horse manure and Marilyn added that to the holes to give the bushes a better start.
We get a lot of afternoon wind, so the trellises should really help to support these bushes.
And are thoughts were that these rows will also help block the wind for some of the beds on the lee side.
A few weeks later I was ready to string the wires. I use 12.5 gauge galvanized wire, and I made my own spinning ninny to help wind it out.
The base is a tire rim with a pipe bolted to it. On that, I set some plywood.
I made the part that holds the roll and spins, from more plywood, 2×4’s, and castor wheels.
The wire is held in place with small blocks of wood mounted on threaded rod. You can buy a spinning ninny at most farm or fencing suppliers.
This heavy wire can be very unruly and dangerous if you’re not careful. I wouldn’t work with it unless I had a way to spell out and control the wire like this.
Starting from the wire vice end of the trellises, I pull out enough wire to take me to the lower eye bolt.
I tie that off then pull out the slack to cut the wire about 8″ past the post.
When I cut the wire with fencing pliers, I’m careful to always control each end as it can spring away. The end from the roll, I push into the ground to hold it in place. The other end I thread into the hole of the post and through the wire vice.
At least that was what I was planning. Something was blocking the wire vice and I though it might be a splinter of wood. So I had to remove the screws and pull out the vice to clear the hole. Turns out it was an earwig.
These wire vices only allow the wire to go one way. They have small jaws that grip the wire like a ratchet. To tighten the line I give it a tug with pliers. Later I’ll bend over the sharp ends of the wire and tuck them down.
I loop the wire through the eye of the bolt then cross it over and up through this loop.
This is stiff wire so it takes some struggling to tie it. I don’t make the neatest knots but they work.
Once through the loop, I wind the end tightly in the opposite direction a few turns. Then trim off the excess. I’ll go back later and wind that end in more.
There’s also some specialized tools available to make tying this heavy wire easier.
Now I’ll cut that, push the roll end of the wire into the ground to secure it, then feed the other end through the back of the wire vice.
Then I’ll repeat this for the rest of the wires.
Here’s another look at tying the wire to the eye bolt.
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See also: Shed Style Garden Pavilion
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