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bencjedi

Built my first cattle panel arch trellis today!

bencjedi
16 years ago

All for less than $30 in supplies!

It took over 4 hours to dig the holes for the T-posts. One post especially was very very difficult to dig because a rock the size of those boogie boards at the beach ominously gave zero option for pole placement. I had to bust it up with a sledge hammer before I could dig. I also broke two shovels including one I bought at Lowes Sunday that touted 'Best shovel in the world'. Split it halfway down the spade! The girls behind the return counter busted out laughing, but refunded the money. I was more careful finishing the job. ;)

{{!gwi}}

I planted cucumbers and snap peas this evening. I left a corner spot for potentially a melon of sorts. I could use the other side of the trellis, but am too worm out to do anything for tilling. I think a raised bed on that side would be considerably easier to create.. possibly all the way to the rear of my stockade fence. For now I may just put potted tomato plants there and train them up that side.

Please let me know what you all think.

Comments (111)

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    I'm happy to see all the new cattle panel trellises! Great job everyone! Unfortunately cucumber beetles wiped out my cucumber plants, so I bought row cover and put new seeds down after cleaning up the vine mess from the beetles' diseased destroying handiwork. I think the cattle panel is going to work out real well and easy with the cover. I took two 5.5-6' long pieces of wood and stapled about 7' of row cover all along the edge on each piece. I put one inside the arch and the other outside. I then used clothes pins to completely seal off the 'cocoon'. So far I have not seen ANY bugs get inside, so we'll see how this works. The pole beans are growing GREAT still! The Sungold F1 tomato plant in the back is wirey, but growing every which way and producing tomatoes all the time. I found a prolific cherry tomato plant on one open side with some twine woven zig-zag in the back is a good way to utilize the support of the panel and give you more to grow in a tight space. If your panel is butted-up to something like a handrail (such as in my case) you may as well toss a cherry tomato plant there for some bonus fruit. :)

    From 070910
    From 071410

  • curt_grow
    13 years ago

    Well I have no pictures, but I have a cattle panel trellis. Now everyone in town wants one. I do have one thing that is unique. Mine has a light inside the arch. A 13/60 w compact florescent bulb in a brooder fixture with ceramic socket. It looks like a lit up grotto at night. I also have a floor made of asphalt shingles and a work/plant shelf Oh I forgot the back wall is wire also ,but only 4 foot tall so it is like a green shed right now with only the north wall open. Boy do I love it. I am going to try to use it as a high tunnel this fall and winter. I will see how my plans turn out when fall comes. Sorry I do not have a camera I am looking for a used one that can take decent pictures. Thanks all for the inspiration and help.

    Curt~#

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Curt, that sounds awesome! A Greenshed!

    I'm getting cukes forming under the row cover since the late June emergency planting. I guess I didn't need bees for pollination. The row cover probably flaps around enough to move the pollen around. It's really too bad that beetles easily destroyed the first plants, even with Sevin dust, but at least so far so good with the replacement plants and the row cover strategy.

    From 082010

  • alisande
    13 years ago

    Had to post an update on my bean arch. Even if I weren't picking delicious beans every day, I'd still think it was pretty!

    {{gwi:48166}}

  • gwanatu
    13 years ago

    sparks5478, I love your design! That looks so nice!

  • jolj
    12 years ago

    bencjedi
    I linked this thread up on the fruit form for some one who wanted to trellis raspberries.

  • rose0lavender
    12 years ago

    Is there anything else I could use besides cattle panel? I haven't seen it in any of the stores around my area.

  • jolj
    12 years ago

    Yes, clothe line, concrete wire,2X4 wire, 48" or 72" high.
    You can get the cattle panel at tractor supply.

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Another year by and this time I prepped the soil around my arch to grow sugar snap peas. I figure I'll still put down cucumbers and pole beans, but since that won't happen til May, I may as well see how the peas do first. They completely surround the trellis. Can't wait to see how they do and if my extra-use will pan-out.

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    12 years ago

    Wow, just realized it's almost been 5 years since I originally erected my cattle panel arch trellis and there's no sign of any aging. This thing seemingly will last forever!

  • sodbuster50
    12 years ago

    Ben I have to say thanks for just sticking with the year after year updating. I just went on the computer to see how people use cattle panels for planting cucumbers and ran across this 5 year history of what you are doing and inspiring fellow gardners. Unlike you I have a big yard and my garden is probably 15' by 30'. I've always been raising cucumbers on the ground but every year it seems to get harder and harder to make room for them. I was going to just go out to a local farmer and get an old panel and set it up but this "hoop" style has me hooked. Question. since I will only be using the panel for cukes, have you found it better to go east and west or north and south with the hoop?

  • tey157
    11 years ago

    Nice, I'm looking for ideals on how to build a trellis/ arbor.

  • growingfor7
    11 years ago

    I am heading to Tractor Supply today to get 2 panels. My question is, how difficult is it to bend these to get them into my vehicle (mini van)? Is that possible or do I need to borrow a truck?

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    11 years ago

    @sodbuster50 - Thanks! I do look in this thread from time to time. I oriented mine so the opening is West-East (walk through it from West to East). I usually plant the pole beans on the north-facing panel and the cukes on the south-facing one. I also found putting bush beans in the inside area can be a smart use of that space since all beans and cukes are planted at the same time they all grow up simultaneously so the sun isn't shaded in the inside of the hoop right away. It's like stealing an extra crop of beans. I should have thought of that years ago. I accidentally put bush beans down instead of pole beans a year ago and that's when I realized "hey, this actually works". lol I quickly did plant the pole beans and left the bush beans. I just had to carefully step around them when I wanted to harvest anything. It wasn't a big deal.

  • christy2828
    11 years ago

    This thread is tagged on Pinterest!! Great ideas, thanks :) Christy

  • jolj
    11 years ago

    I really need to make wire cage for tomatoes & use cattle panels for other crops. Bamboo can be a hassle.{{gwi:270085}}

  • RunningGrammy
    11 years ago

    Ben, I found your awesome arbor/trellis on Pinterst. Like so many others, I'm so grateful that you took the time to record and photograph the past five years of using it in your veggie garden. I recently bought something similar to it (though not nearly as wide) at a big-name gardening store. Even at 40% off, it was quite a splurge for me. I'm so glad I haven't had time to take a truck to the store to pick it up, because I want to get a refund and make a bigger, less expensive one like yours! Thanks again!

  • mrs_tlc
    11 years ago

    Tom - In looking at the pictures you posted am I correct in seeing that you started the cattle panel higher off the ground with buckets centered beneath for vining plants?

  • mrs_tlc
    11 years ago

    We just bought the panels the other day and noticed that there is a bit of rust at the joints on the panels. Should we coat the panels with something to prvent and further rusting?

  • little_minnie
    11 years ago

    I wish that bamboo tomato cage pic was clearer. It is an interesting idea. Cheapest cages I think you can make. 4 bamboo poles and then just tie up supports as they go. I wonder how well it holds.

  • bencjedi
    Original Author
    10 years ago

    Forgot to post a pic of its use in 2012. Here's last September. Still great for beans!

  • chorn89
    10 years ago

    This an awesome idea for a veggie trellis. Going to Tractor Supply tomorrow to get my cattle panel. Thanks so much for the post :)

  • dddzstmpn
    10 years ago

    For those who do not have Tractor Supply nearby (like me) I was able to buy this type of wire by the foot at Orchard Supply Hardware....I lucked out as it was one of the stores that was closing & I got it for 40% off. I got 16 ft. I got the T-Posts at Lowe's. Hope this helps someone.

  • barngem
    9 years ago

    Just to let you all know. T-Posts are made to pound into the ground. You do not have to dig a hole to bury them. You can buy a tool to pound them in. Or if you can weld or know someone that can they can take a round steel pipe and weld a cap on one end. You slip it over the top of the post and raise and lower the pipe up and down on the top of the post this pushed it into the ground a little farther with each pull down motion. Just remember not to lift the pipe so high that it clears the top of the post on the upward thrust because it will come off and potentially hit you in the head.... depending on the height of the post. With a shorter post as shown here you are working over your post and can manage it much easier. But there is a tool to purchase and can be purchased at tractor supply when you get the posts. The tool is well worth the money if your doing any number of posts.

  • barngem
    9 years ago

    This is such a great idea. I just set up new raised beds and
    will be taking advantage of this idea for my cucumbers and my tomatoes. I have been looking for a good idea that looked nice too. Thanks for posting

  • Danielle
    8 years ago

    I enjoyed reading through this thread! Just wanted to post a couple of pics from my garden last year... the first year I used cattle panels, I LOVE them and am setting up another one today! =)



  • jolj
    8 years ago

    In soft organic soil some of us just use a large hammer to put in T-poles.

    A lot of us have hammers on the farm/homestead, so no cost or fuss on special tools.

    But I may make one if the steel & time comes my way.

  • catherinet
    8 years ago

    Danielle........very nice! I don't see any posts holding it. What do you use to keep it from popping out of the ground?


  • Danielle
    8 years ago

    Thank you, Catherinet! Ours aren't in the ground at all, we just nailed them to the logs (with u-nails) that are our bed borders! I put another arch up the other day with just one panel and I just dug a small trench 4 feet long and 8-12 inches deep and shoved the end down into it and covered with dirt! We didn't have any extra posts laying around. =)

  • Lydia K (zone 6b)
    8 years ago

    My husband and I built an arched trellis this spring. I wish it cost us $30, but it was more like $300 for five trellises. There were limited cattle panel choices at the nearby Tractor Supply store. I did get a quote from a handyman to rebuild the center bed into 4-7x4 raised beds and build four trellises. The quote came out to $900 for labor alone! So we decided to do it ourselves and I think it turned out pretty well. I'm so excited about the growth of the pumpkins, cucumbers, cantaloupes and pole beans. I'm managing some squash vine borers that will hopefully not take out my crops. I have 6 different varieties of pumpkins, a total of 22 plants. It would be great to see pumpkins hanging down the row. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  • wsdai
    8 years ago

    Hi, I am new in gardening. It is exciting to see all the trellis for vinery vegetables. I have a question: Can I use the metal fencing materials sold in Home Depot or Lowes to build the arc trellis? For example http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-4-ft-x-50-ft-14-Gauge-Galvanized-Steel-Welded-Wire-308302EB/204322262. Thanks


  • catherinet
    8 years ago

    We used that for the fencing around our garden. I always liked the 12 gauge more.....but couldn't find it anywhere. It will probably work with the stuff in the link you showed......but it's only 4' tall (right?), so you'll need to use tall metal stakes about every 4-6'. Also, I believe the opening are only something like 4"x2", so you can't really stick your hand through. If any fruits/veggies are growing half on each side of those openings, you'll need to pull them out before they grow into the wire. I don't know what to tell you about heavier squash......it might work. But lots of vining veggies like to grow tall, so yours will probably grow completely over it and down. But you could train the vines to grow more across the fencing. Good luck!

  • wsdai
    7 years ago

    Thank you for your response. I really appreciate it. In my original thought in using the Home depot wire, it is 4' x 50'. I would cut the 50' to two 18' and one 14'. Then the 18' could make an arch of about 8'. Do you think that could work?


    The only things are that the gauge is slight lower (14 gauge instead of 12 gauge) and the small opening. What kind of opening is good for squash type? 4"x4", or 5" x 6"?


    Several questions if I may: Would Pumpkin be too heavy for hanging in the air? In the hot summer, the metal creates too much heat, would the metal scorch the plants? Also, some post says that the tractor supply store arches the panel, does the panel stay arched during transportation? I do not have a truck, only a minivan. I wonder if I can carry home? Tractor supply store is far from us. Any other store that carries the cattle panel?


    Sorry for many questions - I am new to gardening and not very handy. Thank you so much for your help!


    Sonya



  • jojogarden zone 9b
    7 years ago

    I haven't put it up yet, but I bought (2) 10' x 6" masonry ladders from Home Depot ($2.37 each) to use for an arch of mandevilla vine in my front flower garden border. Different size, different intended use, but same concept - use metal panels for gardening instead of paying mucho bucks for pre-made "brand-name" products. Thanks to those of you who pioneered this concept and then took time to share your experience with the rest of us.

    JoJo

  • catherinet
    7 years ago

    Good luck with your project JoJo! :)

  • Megan Staples
    7 years ago

    this is great information! just bought a cattle panel from TSC

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    I know this is an old thread hope you all enjoy your gardens! I searched and watched a lot of videos but can’t find an answer to my question. I am ready to put the panel for my two stock tank raised bed. Do i put the panel outside of the tank, inside of the tank or inner side of the tunnel? I plan on sugar peas/cucumbers .. which way will be easier for picking?

  • catherinet (5IN)
    last year

    Hi Sandy. I'm having a little trouble picturing what you mean. You have 2 stock tanks. What are they raised on? What is their size (gallons)? How close together are they? So you're making a trellis with a stocktank on each side? What size cattle panel are you using? Sorry for all the questions, but I'll give you my opinion when I understand things better. :)

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    Sorry just read this, I will take a picture tomorrow

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    The stock tanks are 2ft W by 3 ft long

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    Arggg sorry for the multiple posts since I can’t edit my posts. The space between the two tanks is about 3 or 3.5 get

  • catherinet (5IN)
    last year

    Sorry.....I'm a bit slow these days. So you're going to make an arch out of the panel and use these 2 tanks in or out of it?


  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    Correct

  • catherinet (5IN)
    last year

    Ok. In order for the arch to be higher, the tanks would need to be much closer together if you put them on the inside of the panel. They might be hard to get between, to weed, etc. So I would suggest you put them on the outside of the arch.(one on each side). I don't know if you considered that already as the option and pretty much have the tanks where you want them, but it looks like you wouldn't be able to weed the tank on the right, if it is right near the fencing. Have you put any drainage holes in the bottoms of these tanks? Don't put too many in. I was using about 9 food-grade stock tanks and put waaaay too many holes in them and the water would drain out much too soon, and I have to water them about every other day......which is a drag. I've tried to plug some of the holes and they're doing a big better. But mine are up on some cement blocks, and not right on the ground. I love trellis gardening. I grow (in the ground) cucumbers on both sides of the trellis and they love it. I also use my kids old swing set with fencing up one side and over it and grow winter squash, and it seems to love growing upwards.

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    Thank you for the info… i was going to have hubby drill some holes but he said there is that one whole and should be ok.. lol i think he is just been lazy. I am putting rocks/tree trunks/branches as fillers in the bottom then soil. From what i read most veggie roots don’t go very deep so i think i should be ok. I thought the same regarding the right tank been too close to the fence but once i stood there, it’s not bad and i should be able to weed the bed without going around the side. Very excited, hubby is getting the panel today, will post a picture when he is done.

  • catherinet (5IN)
    last year

    Sounds good. If you later find that it's not enough drainage, you can always drill a couple holes on the sides, very close to the bottom. I hope your hubby doesn't have problems getting the panel home. They can be a challenge! :) Yes, post a pic of it when it's done.......and later when stuff is growing up it too!

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    Finally I have my raised beds and a fenced garden area. Still got a lot of weeding to do. Even the cantaloupe, cucumber, chives and sugar peas are very small but I am super excited

  • catherinet (5IN)
    last year

    Cool! Be sure to post pictures as your stuff grows up the trellis.

  • Sandy Wu
    last year

    The chives and sugar peas on the left side didn’t make it

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