Marking Drill Points for Trellis Anchors

Trellis anchors are what support and secure your wall trellis to the concrete wall. Too few anchors and your garden trellis may collapse sooner than you think. They should be strong and adequate enough so they can withstand the weight of the vine. The trellis anchors also provide support to the branches of non-clinging, non-twining garden vines.

It is important that trellis anchors are positioned so that they're evenly spaced. This ensures that the load of both trellis and vine is balanced. And when a storm or typhoon comes, a well-secured and balanced trellis assures that the high impact that strong winds place on the vines do not compromise the trellis' stability.

How Big is the Trellis

Decide on how big your trellis will be. Be aware of the boundary of the trellis frame. This is especially so if you have an aggressive vine. Incidentally, the vine shown above is a Bleeding Heart and is not an aggressive vine. But this trellis was designed for other vines as well.

Note surrounding poles, wires and cables in your property as well as the neighbor's. Provide a clear gap of around a foot or more between these structures and your trellis. This will allow you to cut or pull back vine growth should the vine branches meander beyond the trellis frame.

The photo below is a magnified view of the top-left corner of the previous photo.

The topmost and leftmost trellis anchor is shown on this photo. The trellis' top edge is 10 inches below the wall's top edge. The trellis' left edge is 14 inches to the right of the wall's left edge. There is also a gap on the right edge of the trellis.

How Big are the Trellis Squares

Decide how big will be the trellis squares. It would be an overkill to put an anchor on every square. Remember, although anchors can become supports so branches don't slide down the wall, anchors can also become limits or hurdles. This is especially when you need to move around branches. You will have to pull out the entire branch to get it past the blocking anchor.

This particular trellis has 48 squares (6 squares high x 8 squares wide). Each square has a height of 10" and width of 12". The height of the entire frame is 60" (6 squares x 10") and the width is 96" (8 squares x 12").

The trellis anchors are placed every two squares. Vertically that's every 20 inches, and horizontally, 24 inches. The photo below shows the blue crosses which indicate the placement of the bottom trellis anchors. Six are shown.

Tools for Marking Drill Points

Use colored chalk to mark the drill points. Short horizontal and vertical marks will intersect to mark a "cross" that will be the exact drill point. Optional tools for drawing true horizontal and vertical lines or marks include the plumb bob, framing square, carpenter's level and chalkline.

Notice the blue chalk marks made on the rough concrete wall. For pin-point accuracy, draw a finer and smaller cross with a pencil when you're about to drill. A clean hole was drilled at the center of the cross.

Trellis Starter

At the bottom of the trellis frame, you can build a built-in trellis starter or opt for a temporary trellis starter. A built-in trellis starter can make use of a V-configuration at the bottom.

The trellis starter is a narrow ladder and this is where you position a young vine. This particular trellis only has one trellis starter located in the center. It has a wide V-configuration to allow the upward spreading of the vine branches from the center. You could actually have two trellis starters at opposite ends of the frame. With two trellis starters, the vines would meet somewhere in the middle of the frame.

Planning ahead and marking the drill points makes it easier for you to drill in the trellis anchors with no worries.

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
Strong Jointed Garden Wire Trellis
Marking Drill Points for Trellis Anchors (this article)
Drill Trellis Anchors in Concrete Wall
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 1
Assemble the Trellis Frame - Part 2

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