Cattle Panel Trellis DIY - How To Make An Arch Tunnel For Your Garden (2024)

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This DIY cattle panel trellis creates an arch tunnel, and adds a magnificent architectural element to the garden. In this post I’ll give you the step by step instructions for how to make your own.

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Arches are one of my favorite structures to use in my garden. Not only are they beautiful, they’re functional too because they can provide a huge amount of vertical growing space.

I made the large arch tunnel in my garden out of three panels of 4-gauge wire cattle fencing (also called livestock fencing), which is very thick.

The cattle panels create a strong trellis that can support large vining crops and other plants with ease.

It’s perfect for supporting heavy climbing plants like pole beans, melons, cucumbers, or squash. Use it to frame the entrance to your yard for dramatic appeal, or arch it over the top of a pathway to create shade and privacy.

You can make just one of these for your garden, or put a couple of them close together to create a lovely tunnel like mine.

Where To Buy Cattle Panels For A Trellis

You can find cattle panels for this trellis design at any farm supply store. One thing to keep in mind is that they are very large (16’ long), so plan accordingly when you go to pick them up.

I learned this the hard way when we showed up with a pickup truck to haul away the fencing, only to discover that the panels wouldn’t fit in the bed. We had to return later with a long trailer in order to bring them home.

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Cattle Panel Trellis FAQs

In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about making a cattle panel trellis. If you can’t find yours here, then ask it in the comments below.

How far apart should cattle panel trellises be?

How far apart you put these cattle panel trellises depends on the space you have and your personal preference.

Mine are a few feet apart because I have them installed over my raised beds, and I wanted to be able to walk between them.

But you can put them right next to each other to create an unbroken tunnel, or space them further apart for more room to move around if you want.

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How do you arch cattle panels?

Arching cattle panels is definitely more difficult than is sounds, and you’ll need to have a partner help you with it. First, turn the panels so they are standing up horizontally on their side.

Then each person can grab onto one end, and walk towards each other until your arch is the shape and size you like.

You might find it easier to secure the ends with rope or a wire to make it less awkward to move into the garden.

How tall is a cattle panel arch trellis?

How tall your cattle panel arch trellis is depends on how much you want to bend it. The more you curve it, the taller it will be.

Some people even crimp the top so it’s in more of a cathedral arch shape, making it even taller. The ones in my garden are about 6′ tall.

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How To Make A Cattle Panel Trellis

Below are the step by step instructions for how to make a cattle panel trellis like mine. It’s really easy, and doesn’t take much time.

Yield: 1 cattle panel arch trellis

Cattle Panel Trellis Step-By-Step Instructions

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You only need a few supplies to make this cattle panel trellis for your garden. Install it over your raised beds like I did, or anywhere else you have the space.

Materials

  • 16’ x 50” 4 gauge wire cattle panel fencing (1)
  • 9.5” heavy duty metal landscape stakes (8)

Instructions

  1. Curve the cattle panel into an arch - Lay the cattle fencing piece on its side. Position one person at each end of the panel, and slowly walk towards each other to curve the panel into an arch shape. Stop when the ends of the panel are about 6’ apart. Cattle Panel Trellis DIY - How To Make An Arch Tunnel For Your Garden (7)
  2. Install the trellis - Slowly turn the arch so that it’s standing up, then lift it into the garden, and position it into the location where you want it. Cattle Panel Trellis DIY - How To Make An Arch Tunnel For Your Garden (8)
  3. Secure the trellis - Secure the bottom of the cattle panel trellis into the ground using four metal landscaping stakes on each side. Facing the tab of each stake toward the fencing, hammer the stakes into the ground at a slight angle. Once the landscaping stakes have been driven all the way into the ground, the metal tab of each stake should overlap the bottom piece of the fencing panel, ensuring the panel is completely secured to the ground.Cattle Panel Trellis DIY - How To Make An Arch Tunnel For Your Garden (9)

Notes

    • The panel fencing pieces are heavy, and very awkward to handle alone, so make sure you ask a friend to help you with this project.
    • To stabilize this cattle panel trellis better, you could use 3' metal garden posts instead of landscaping stakes on the outside of the arches, and attach the fencing to the stakes using zip ties.

Making your own cattle panel trellis arch is easy and fun, and it will add a fantastic focal point in any garden area. I especially love the large tunnel I created in my veggie patch!

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This is an excerpt from my book Vertical Vegetables. For more creative step by step DIY projects, and to learn all there is to know about growing vegetables vertically, order your copy now.

Or you can learn more about my Vertical Vegetables book here.

More DIY Projects You Might Like

  • How To Build A DIY Arch Trellis
  • How To Build A Pea Trellis Arch

Share your tips and ideas for making a cattle panel trellis in the comments section below.

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Some of these photos were taken by Tracy Walsh Photography.

Cattle Panel Trellis DIY - How To Make An Arch Tunnel For Your Garden (2024)
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