How To Build a Squash Arch

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How To Build A Squash Arch |

Squash is a bully in the garden, and it will take over if you don’t control it. I used to grow my squash on the ground, and train the vines to stay in a neat row (well, as neat as squash can be). Not anymore, now the squash in my garden grows vertically. I built a squash arch to tame my squash, and now I have a wonderful piece of architecture in my garden too.

How To Build A Squash Arch

It was extremely easy to put this arch together. Originally, I was going to build it the same way I built my arched trellises for my beans and cucumbers. But the metal garden fencing I had isn’t strong enough to hold up heavy squash on it’s own around the top of the arch. So we (my husband helped me with this project) decided to add PVC piping to support it.

To make the arch tall enough, we needed two pieces of PVC pipe for each side. We glued them together using a special PVC glue and then weaved the PVC into the fencing.

Squash Arch Trellis |

Squash Arch Trellis

Once the squash arch was up, I spray painted the PVC black to make it look like metal. You can paint it any color you want, be creative! Just make sure to paint it before you plant any seedlings so they don’t get sprayed with paint. Also, it’s better to paint the squash arch after you put it up. If you paint it first, then the paint will get scratched when you start to move the squash arch around.

Squash Arch |

Squash Arch

Amazing right? Who knew squash could be so beautiful! My favorite types of squash to grow on my arch are Sugar Pie Pumpkins, Butternut and Delicata. Many people are afraid to grow squash vertically because it’s so heavy. But, most of the squash sit on top of the arch. If any squash start to hang down, I put them back on top. The heavy squash can also be supported by making a sling out of an old t-shirt or nylons to support their weight.

Squash Arch In The Garden |

Squash Arch In The Garden

I’m super excited about this arch, I absolutely love it! So many people rave about it, and it’s the focal point of my vegetable garden. It has made squash control very easy, and my squash no longer take over the garden. It also makes harvesting the squash a breeze, since I don’t have to bend down and hunt for it.

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  1. says

    I think this is a great idea, and I bet it helps with vine borers too.

    Do the squash and pumpkins climb it themselves, or do you have to continually train them on it?

    I look forward to seeing the results.

    • says

      Thanks! I don't think the arch will help with the borers, but that's what the raised bed is for. I dig out the borers when I notice damage. Then I add some dirt to the bed, burying the borer damaged part of the vines. The plants will grow new roots as the stems are buried with dirt. I did this last year, and it worked great! I was harvesting squash until the cold killed the plants.

  2. says

    I've used this method before with cucumbers and squash and it works really well. Pumpkins need extra support so that they don't rip off the vine when they get too heavy but you can just use some old clothes or fabric scraps to "swaddle" them for extra support. Good luck, I'm eager to see your results.

  3. says

    I live in an apartment right now and am putting a garden on my roof this year. I was just thinking about building something like this for all of the squash I started; so glad I came across this post and can't wait to follow along and see how it works for you!

  4. Susan says

    I love, love, love this! Can't wait to try it next year. This summer I built a similar structure, but it was to protect blueberries and strawberries from the deer and rabbits. I used PVC pipe and wove it through chicken wire–thought it was an original idea! :)

  5. Anonymous says

    I'm a new follower and I've seen many design's for trellising squash and the like and this is the 1st one that has actually jumped out at me. It's to late for this year but next year I'll be in the know, I love the design. My cucumber's has over taken my bamboo teepee's this year and are going wild. Thank's for sharing this and have a great weekend! P.S. Your

    • says

      Hi, thanks for the new follow! Glad you like my squash arch, I'm happy with the way it turned out. Isn't it fun when stuff starts to take off and grow like crazy. I figure in a week or two, it will be hard to walk through the vegetable garden. I love this time of year! Thanks for the nice comment about my gardens too. :-)

    • says

      Hi Crystal,
      So, so sorry for the delayed response on this. I painted over the PVC, so I wasn't sure how to tell what size it was, then I realized that you can see it in one of the pictures. Ha, ha. Anyway, it's 1/2" PVC. Basically, I took a piece of the fencing to HD with me to see what size of PVC would fit. So, depending on the type of fencing you use, the diameter of the PVC

      • Nancy says


        Love all the wonderful ideas! The tubing you used is called “FlowGuard.” Home Depot sells it in 10 ft. lengths. Here’s their description: Charlotte Pipe 1/2 in. x 10 ft. CPVC SDR11 Flowguard Gold Pipe. We’ve used it to make mini hoop houses for my eggplants and the potato grow bags, as Colorado Potato Beetles are rampant around here. After creating a base of larger rigid PVC pipe, we drilled 5/8″ holes all the way through the pipe and fastened the 1/2″ pipe by pushing it through the 5/8″ pipe and anchored it in the dirt. We covered ours with AgriBon to make it insect proof. Makes it very sturdy AND you can break it down and reconfigure it a number of ways.

  6. Kelly says

    Love this! Like you I don't have a truck for the cattle panels. How did you secure the PVC pipe in the ground? Also, do you remember how long the PVC pipe is? Does it come rolled up or in straight pieces?

    Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Kelly,
      Thanks! We used 4 pieces of rebar as stakes into the ground and then we slipped the PVC over the top. I hope this makes sense. Test each piece of rebar to make sure it will fit into the PVC pipe before you buy it. We discovered that not all pieces of rebar are skinny enough to fit. The PVC comes in straight pieces, you can find it in the plumbing section at HD or Lowe's. I can&

  7. Anonymous says

    I made this today – thanks for the inspiration! Did you plant the squash inside the boxes or outside? Do you think it would work to plant them in pots on the outside and train them up the arch from there?

  8. says

    Thanks so much for your inspiration!
    My husband and I have reclaimed an abandoned city lot for our veggie & herb garden this year, and we constructed a squash arch for it today, based on your blog.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I hope it holds up…time will tell :)
    Here's a picture, if you want to check it out!

  9. Anonymous says

    love the arch idea am wanting to do one myself but what i realy was lookin at was the greenhouse around it. gives me wow some great ideas. so I'm assuming you take the greenhouse down for summer or do you move the trelis? samona dowler facebook will like your page

    • says

      The arch is actually separate from the greenhouse frame. So, the arch stays up year round. But the greenhouse (which fits over the arch) comes down in the spring, and goes up in the fall. We also take the greenhouse down for the winter, so the greenhouse is only up for a few months in the fall, and a few months in the spring.


  10. says

    It looks beautiful–and big enough to go under. I think it would be so lovely with roses too!

    It looks like your hoop house must be portable? You seem to have covered the arch garden in the winter? Is that right? I hope you will share your hoop plans someday.

    • says

      Yes, I made it tall enough to walk under. Though it could be a bit taller for my husband, he has to crouch down a bit. :-)

      Yes, we built our hoop house the same size as our vegetable garden so it covers the whole thing. We put it up before frost in the fall, and this year we left it up all winter. It's warm enough in there now that I can start seeding soon. Can't wait!

  11. Julee Celeste says

    What a super idea, and so decorative, too! When my husband and I finally close on the house we’re buying and I am able to plant a garden, I will definitely use this idea. Thanks for posting it!

  12. Carrie McColl says

    I used a cattle panel seems to be working well but I really like the idea of the woven fence , we always have a section left over from fencing around here… it will be put to good use this time. I use it mostly for melons , I will do some winter squashes this way this year. Great timing as I am getting ready to plant everything.

  13. Kimberley says

    I built my arch earlier this spring with my nine-year-old daughter it was a great project for us! My two questions are how many individual squash plants do you typically have a growing up the trellis, and what are the dimentions of the planting area at the base of the trellis?

    Thank you!

    • Amy Andrychowicz says

      Wonderful, I’m so excited to hear that you built your own squash arch! I’m not exactly sure how many plants I’ve put in the past few years. Probably 6 or 8 seedlings/seeds per side, then thin out the weak ones. I’m not sure what you mean by the dimensions of the planting area at the base of the trellis. If you’re asking about the dimensions of my raised beds, they are 2’x4′.


      • Kimberley says

        Perfect that answers my question! I’d read from another source to have only one squash plant per 4 ft wide trellis and that left me thinking I wouldn’t get much yield. I’ve got 4 plants per side in raised beds that are 1.5’x3′ which seems consistent with your planting.

        Thanks for the inspiration, I’m eagerly awaiting a full squash arch later this summer!

  14. Ed Abayon says

    If I buy the book Building a Squash Arch, do you send a pdf copy of it via my email? Am from Philippines. I just need a pdf copy, to avoid shipping cost .

  15. Diana says

    Hello, I loved your idea so much that I purchased the PDF and am planning on building two of these this year Such a great idea!

    Two questions: I can’t tell from the pictures how ‘woven’ the pvc is in the fencing but it looks like you skipped a few fencing squares between weavings? Could you comment on that?

    Also, in your experience is 3″ of rebar long enough above ground to keep the trellis adequately stabilized?

    Thanks so much, this is the most functional, economical and relatively easy to build trellis idea I’ve seen yet!

    • says

      Awesome, hope you enjoy it! :-) I loosely weaved the PVC into the fencing. Yes, just enough rebar to stabilize the arch. Once you get it in, you can readjust if you need to. You’ll see how stable it is once you put the arch up. :-)


  16. Rae-Lyn says

    What length of PVC pipes did you use? How high is it? My hubby is going to build right away for me!!

  17. Skye says

    I see from your link that you are using the metal rabbit fencing but not seeing it at the bottom of your picture. I don’t need rabbit fencing, is this type flexible, it looks like it is? Also, you possible know how many inches the squares are and/or the mm of the wire? Great idea, I want to try it! Thanks.

  18. Judi says

    FYI, I wanted to PIN this for use when spring finally hits MN, but Pinterest says, “Sorry! We blocked this link because it may lead to spam.” Thought you might want to know! Now I will go follow you on Pinterest and see how that works out! :-)

    • says

      Squash and melons do tend to cross pollinate, so if you’re worried about that then don’t plant them together. I usually stick to one type of squash on the arch, but have experimented with mixing them before. It’s fun to try different varieties. I’ve never grown melons on the arch, melons are tough to grow in our short season here in MN.

      • Diana says

        We’re in Wisconsin and this year are starting our melons early under lights and then will move them to the greenhouse before planting them outside by the arch. Maybe we can get a good harvest that way instead of direct seeding them and being disappointed because they don’t have long enough to ripen.

  19. Julie says

    If you did this for cucumbers approximately how many plants do you use per raised bed? My worries I may plant to many lol vs using the ground

    • says

      The seed packet for the cucumbers I’m growing this year says to space them 12″ apart. I usually plant my cucumbers a little closer together than the recommendation, since they climb the trellis and have more room to grow than the bush varieties do. If you’re worried, then I would stick with the recommendation on the seed packet.

  20. Brigg Franklin says

    I notice in your squash trellis picture above you appear to have used a 10′ PVC pipe and a shorter section hooked together. Is the short section 5′ to make the arch total 15 foot? It seems an arch of two 10′ sections is too tall and one 10′ section too short. You could also use three 5′ sections with “T” connectors to link two arches together with short PVC sections and give the fence more support. Ideas?

  21. says

    Just found your site after seeing your squash arch on Laurie Neverman’s Home Grown Food Summit presentation- really like your ideas!

  22. Diana says

    Hi Amy,

    Just wanted to let you know that we built our squash arch last Sunday. Where it was placed is a step down from our driveway which made the original length look too short, so we used 2 10 footers instead and spread the legs apart further than in your instructions. It was a bit wobbly feeling at first but adding 10 or so zip ties to each side stabilized it very well. Everyone that has seen it thinks it looks great. I’m so excited to get some plants growing on it!! Thanks again for such a nifty and easy idea.

    FYI: I chose to go with the schedule-80 dark grey pvc pipe since it’s supposed to stand up to UV rays better and it’s not that much more expensive.

    • says

      Sounds like you made some great modifications! I hope it will work out well for you. I love the idea of using the dark grey pvc, then you don’t have to paint it. Thanks for sharing that tip!

  23. Judy says

    Perhaps this question came up in other comments but I’m wondering if you move your trellis to different garden boxes each year. I have been trying to do a sort of crop rotation in my boxes but it gets hard to do if you have permanent hard structures!

    • says

      Yes, I do move it between boxes. I also use it to grow beans, and have alternated years with growing beans and squash on the arch so that I can do crop rotation that way too.

  24. Ed Kniska says

    Can you tell me if it is better to plant the squash inside the arch (fencing) and leave a gap so that the vines can be brougjht through and then ran up the trellis arch or plant the squash in front of the arch and then rub the vines straight up the arch as it grows?

    • says

      You can plant the squash plants either on the outside or the inside of the arch. It doesn’t matter because as they vine out, they will grab onto the fencing and weave themselves in and out of the fencing. You do have to help them out sometimes though, here’s more information on training your squash vines to grow vertically… How To Grow Squash on a Garden Arch

  25. Barbara M. says

    OMG this is just beautiful ! To me , gardening is all about the “magical” return on my creative effort.. And this arch is truly year I’m arching away! Maybe even in the FRONT of my house. It’s THAT cool. Thanks Amy! Just subscribed tonight.

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