Methods to Join Garden Trellis Wires

I've often made various types of wire trellises in the garden. These trellises are usually wall-mounted and provide a valuable garden structure for many garden vines to climb. Garden wire trellises would typically have wires crossing each other to form square or diamond patterns.

Shown below is a flowering young Bleeding Heart vine (Clerodendrum thomsoniae) growing on a wall-mounted garden trellis. The trellis is made from wire with a 12" x 12" square pattern on a 8 ft. by 6 ft. frame. It is anchored to the wall with long L-hooks screwed to the concrete wall. The wires have been painted (brown) to weather the elements.

Usually, the wires are joined or connected at the intersection where they cross. This is especially so if the vines planted for the trellis are sprawling vines.

Sprawling vines don't have natural climbing capabilities so they don't cling nor twine to garden structures. Examples of sprawling vines include bouganvilleas, allemandas, jasmines and many others. If trellis wires are not connected where they cross and are far apart, sprawling vine branches may fall through at the gaps.

Here are three methods you can use to join wires at their intersection:

  1. Coiled Wire

    This method is done by wrapping or coiling one wire ONCE on another stationary wire as shown below. You need a pair of pliers to tighten the loop of the coiling wire while keeping the stationary wire straight. The coiling wire in the photo is horizontal and the stationary is vertical. This technique virtually makes the two wires inseparable.

    A drawback to this method is the need to pass an entire length of the coiling wire around the stationary one. You might have to pass it through tight spaces. Another problem is it's a bit difficult bend and form thick wires (gauge 14 and below), even if you use pliers and vise grips.

    If the coil isn't tight enough, there is also the tendency for the coiled wire to slide along the other wire. In the photo above the coiled wire may slide downwards if the coil isn't tight enough and the sprawling garden vine branches become heavy.

  2. Wire Lashing

    This method involves a thinner tie wire that lashes or ties together the two crossed wires at the intersection. There are several ways to tie the crossed wires and the one below is probably the simplest.

    You need a pair of pliers to tightly twine the tie wire on one of the wires while crossing the other. In the photo above, the tie wire was twined on the vertical wire. If the tie wire isn't tight enough, the wires may slide horizontally or vertically.

  3. Hardening Clay

    This method makes use of a plumbing tool called epoxy clay or plumber's epoxy. A little known secret in the use of this clay is for joining small items together, sort of like welding them together. Follow the package's directions for mixing the clay and applying it. Keep the wires together and motionless while waiting for the clay to completely cure and dry. Below shows hardened clay joining two wires at the intersection.

    The joint looks cleaner and flatter, and the hardened clay prevents the vertical and horizontal sliding of the wires.

It is also possible to combine any of the above methods for sturdier joints in the garden trellis. If you intend to grow heavy and aggressive vines in this garden trellis then it is necessary to combine methods for sturdier joints in the garden trellis.

Articles in this Series:
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 1
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 2
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 3
Build a Bleeding Heart Wall Trellis - Part 4
Methods to Join Garden Trellis Wires (this article)
Strong Jointed Garden Wire Trellis
Marking Drill Points for Trellis Anchors
Drill Trellis Anchors in Concrete Wall
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 1
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 2

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