Building a Walk-Through Vegetable Arch

Building a Walk-Through Arch for Your Vegetable Garden Using Reclaimed Materials

Gardening is not just a pastime; it's an art form that allows us to create, nurture, and harvest. For those of us with a passion for growing our own food, finding innovative ways to maximize space, protect our crops, and add beauty to our gardens is always a priority. One such innovation is the walk-through arch for vegetables like squashes, tomatoes, runner beans, and other climbers. Not only does it save on space and protect the veggies from ground pests, but it also transforms your garden into a picturesque landscape. The best part? You can build it using reclaimed materials, making this project eco-friendly and cost-effective.


Why a Walk-Through Arch?

A walk-through arch is not just a stunning addition to your garden; it's a practical solution for several gardening challenges:

  • Space Efficiency: Ideal for small gardens, the vertical growth maximizes your growing area.
  • Pest Protection: Elevating your crops reduces the risk of soil-borne diseases and pests.
  • Easy Harvesting: Picking your vegetables at eye level is easier on your back and makes for a pleasant harvesting experience.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: It creates a visually appealing focal point in your garden.


Materials You'll Need

  • Reclaimed Wood: Look for old wooden beams or planks that can be used to create the frame of your arch. Pallets are a great option and are often available for free from local businesses.
  • Metal Chicken Wire: Essential for supporting your climbing plants. Chicken wire is sturdy yet flexible, making it perfect for this project.
  • Screws and Nails: To assemble your frame. Opt for rust-proof options if possible.
  • Tools: Basic tools like a saw, hammer, drill, and wire cutters.


Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Arch

  1. Design Your Arch: Decide on the size and shape of your arch. A simple arched design is both beautiful and functional. Make sure it's wide enough to walk through comfortably and tall enough to support the growth of your vegetables.

  2. Construct the Frame: Use the reclaimed wood to build two identical side frames for your arch. These can be simple rectangles with a curved top or more elaborate shapes depending on your preference and skill level.

  3. Secure the Frames: Place the two side frames where you want your arch to be in your garden. Use additional pieces of wood to join them at the top, ensuring stability. Make sure the structure is sturdy and anchored well into the ground.

  4. Attach the Chicken Wire: Roll out the metal chicken wire over the frame, attaching it securely with nails or staples. Ensure it covers all sides to provide ample support for climbing plants.


  1. Plant Your Vegetables: Plant your chosen vegetables at the base of the arch on both sides. Opt for climbers like tomatoes, squashes, runner beans and cucumbers. As they grow, gently guide them onto the chicken wire to encourage upward growth. Intersperse with companion flowers to attract pollinators.

  2. Maintenance: Keep an eye on your plants as they grow, providing support and guidance as needed. Regular watering, fertilizing, and pest control will ensure a healthy and bountiful harvest.


Tips for Success

  • Choose the Right Location: Your arch needs to be in a spot that receives ample sunlight, as most vegetables require at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily.
  • Prepare the Soil: Enrich the soil with compost or well-rotted manure before planting to give your vegetables the best start.
  • Watering: Install a drip irrigation system or use a soaker hose for efficient watering that keeps the foliage dry and reduces disease risk.

Creating a walk-through arch for your vegetables is a rewarding project that combines functionality with beauty. Using reclaimed materials not only adds character to your garden but also aligns with sustainable gardening practices. As your arch comes to life with the vibrant greens, yellows, and reds of your vegetables, you'll appreciate the practical benefits and the breathtaking view it adds to your garden space. Happy gardening!

Author: Alex White

Photo of VegPlotter Team member Alex White

Being a dad of three vegetarians, I have a passion for growing organic vegetables and fruit, appreciating the seasonality of my garden and allotment and creating exciting & inspiring dishes for the whole family to enjoy!

I also enjoy exploring new countries and cultures, walking the glorious Devon countryside and I am an avid follower of football.