How to Build a Winter Squash Arch

April 6, 2016Katie

I’ve always wanted to plant winter squash, but since my garden is an urban backyard garden, space has always been an issue with crawling vines like watermelon, winter squash and sugar pumpkins.

We may have found a solution.

Photo Mar 27, 7 09 14 PM

Side note:  Mr. Wonderful insists on wearing these overalls, and while I originally despised them, I think he looks quite cute in them don’t you?

It only took us a few hours to build this PVC squash arch and when I say “we” this time I mean he and I! I actually helped.


To bend the PVC pipe (we used 3/4″ PVC pipe) I boiled a pot of water and took it out to him. He put a cap on the end of the PVC pipe and poured the hot water through a funnel into the PVC and let it set a minute or two. Then he dumped it out and the heated plastic pipe bent beautifully!

Again, I helped. I can boil a mean pot of water!

Photo Mar 27, 4 58 31 AM

Our PVC wasn’t long enough so he cut some other pieces to lengthen it and joined the pieces together with some PVC connectors.  We opted to hook them to our raised beds from the side of one stretching across the walkway and other bed to the far side of it.

Photo Mar 27, 6 02 09 AM

And then he clamped them onto our raised bed boards with C clamp brackets (again 3/4 inch).

Photo Mar 27, 5 06 39 AM

He painted these before he clamped them on but waited to paint the rest of the arch until after. However if we did it again we’d probably do it beforehand and away from the vegetables. That makes me nervous.

Nothing like organic onions with a bit of spray paint on them for dinner!

Photo Mar 27, 6 23 09 PM

Next we added the wire fencing. According to Mr. Wonderful, you can buy it in different gauge wire fencing. We used some we had rolled up in the shed. Unfortunately we can’t remember what gauge because we’ve had it awhile. Keep in mind that you want stronger fencing for something really heavy like larger pumpkins, etc. We are using ours for sugar (small) pumpkins and butternut squash (which I will probably help in weight by looping slings around with tube socks, knee-high pantyhose or something stretchy).

Photo Mar 27, 5 09 48 AM

The width of the arch would be up to you depending on the size you want and the space you have to use.   We made ours about three feet wide so as not to shade too much of the bed. We have onions under there right now but may move it and plant something that likes shade better under it.

We cut the wire and pieced it together on the arch rather than waste a lot by just using the whole length.

Photo Mar 27, 5 12 26 AM

We cut it so the wires were left loose on each side and then bent them around the pole

Photo Mar 27, 5 13 21 AM

Then (here’s where I came in). I helped zip-tie them on by looping the zip ties through the squares and around the pole and pulled them tight.

Photo Mar 27, 5 13 36 AM

I realize my hands look rather manly here.

Just kidding – I couldn’t take a picture of myself doing it so I took of shot of the Wonderful guy doing it.

When you get to the part where you join two pieces of the fencing together, loop it through both squares – one on one piece and the other on the other piece. Then snip off the tail of the zip tie. Oh, and also snip all the other ones as well!

Photo Mar 27, 5 20 51 AM

Do this all the way over the arch.

Photo Mar 27, 5 22 02 AM

And just for added measure and stability, Mr. Wonderful cut and added a PVC support at the top. Again held on with zip ties.

Photo Mar 27, 5 57 17 AM

I am so ready to get my plants going on this arch – it’s going to look so cute in our garden with vibrant green vines climbing over it and yellow squash blossoms! Stay tuned for later posts and pictures!


  • Katherine

    February 16, 2018 at 2:41 pm

    How did the arch look with the vegetables growing on them? I like your design. I've only seen them with huge cattle panels bent over and that's hard to transport.
    1. Katie

      March 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Katherine - It looked beautiful ...that is until the squash bugs and borers got a hold of them. :(
  • DIY Cattle Panel Squash Arch Tutorial

    April 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    […] How to Build a Winter Squash Arch […]
    1. Linda Sue

      March 15, 2023 at 11:50 am

      I too wish there was a picture of the squash fully grown, to really get a visual on how well it works!!!
  • Robin

    February 11, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Was the plastic tubing strong enough to support a number of squash? did you take a pic with the squash growing on it.
    1. Katie

      February 26, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      Robin- I don’t know why not?
    2. Katie

      February 26, 2021 at 2:32 pm

      Robin - sadly we didn’t get anlot of squash. The vine borers got them early. ?
  • Lacey

    April 9, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    Sorry if this is a silly question!! But where exactly did you plant your squash & pumpkins after you had this built? Right in the ground or in the raised bed? And how many of each did you plant?
    1. Katie

      April 10, 2021 at 10:47 am

      Lacy right in the ground!!! Then you start tucking them into the trellis as they grow!
  • Bethany

    March 11, 2022 at 1:40 pm

    It’s been almost 6yrs since this post. How has the arch held up to the sun, winter and critters? I’m in urban Ohio and suddenly got the idea that a arch like this might do double duty as a protective fencing to keep urban critters (plus deer) out of snacking on my garden. I understand my arch would have to have smaller fencing holes in it but was wondering how the pvc has held up.
    1. Katie

      March 16, 2022 at 9:13 am

      Bethany- The squash arch held up beautifully and worked the first couple of years we were dead. Unfortunately we were overrun with squash bugs and vine borer‘s and we gave up on squash for a couple of years but may revive it again soon!

Don't be afraid to comment! I LOVE to hear from my readers!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post Next Post