by Jennifer Poindexter
Are you considering using cattle panels in your garden space? Are you sure how to go about it or which plants work best with this type of trellis?
If you’re feeling uncertain, or even if you’d like a few pointers, we’re here for you. As you read, you’ll learn multiple ways to stabilize this type of trellis.
Plus, you’ll be filled in on which types of plants are served best with a cattle panel trellis. If you’re interested in learning more about using cattle panels in your garden, read on.
Here’s what you should know to tackle this project:
How to Stabilize a Cattle Panel Trellis
You might think that a cattle panel sounds like a durable trellis, but how do you keep it stable? There are two ways to go about this.
Which method you choose will depend upon how permanent you’d like the trellis to be. The first option is best used in a permanent growing set-up where your garden won’t change much from year to year.
Begin by placing two wooden posts in the ground. Screw the cattle panel to the posts. This will allow plants to grow vertically up the trellis.
Keep in mind, it’s wise to rotate your garden crops to avoid pests and diseases from forming where they know a certain crop will grow.
However, you may still practice crop rotation with a permanent trellis. Just be sure, even when rotating crops, that you plant something that climbs or sprawls near your cattle panel trellis to ensure its use.
The next option to stabilize a cattle panel trellis is less permanent. This is the option I frequently use because our garden changes quite a bit from year to year.
I don’t want to be tied to a certain layout due to a permanent trellis. In my case, I place plastic fence posts in the ground.
Keep the posts equal in distance. Then I angle the cattle panel in a lean-to position and allow the top to hook on the fence posts.
This keeps the trellis in place, but at the end of the season, I can take the fence posts down. Then I store them and the cattle panel in my barn until my next growing season.
I also like this method because I can cut my cattle panel to the size I need each year. If I’m growing a long row of something, I might use an entire panel.
However, if I’m growing a shorter row of a climbing or sprawling crop, I can cut the cattle panel down to size and arrange my fence posts accordingly.
Decide which method best suits your needs and try using a cattle panel trellis in your garden. This will keep your plants supported and healthy while maintaining a tidy growing space.
Plants That Work Best Using a Cattle Panel Trellis
Some plants do best when provided support, such as a trellis. Which plants might need a trellis in your garden? Here’s a list of flowers and vegetables that might thrive if provided a cattle panel trellis:
Mandevilla is a gorgeous climbing flower that is frequently grown as an annual but is actually a tender perennial.
They’re hardy in planting zones nine through eleven. This plant should be grown in full sunlight and provided plenty of nutritious, well-draining soil.
Nasturtium is another flowering plant that will find a cattle panel trellis useful. Though this plant is an annual, it reseeds easily and typically returns each year. It’s a great flower for planting zones two through eleven.
These flowers should be grown in the spring while temperatures are still mild. They prefer full sunlight, but if you live in a warm climate, they might do better if provided some afternoon shade.
I love growing petunias. They come in so many different colors and designs. Plus, they can be grown using various methods. Some gardeners grow them in containers, hanging baskets, in the ground, or even in flower bags (which is my favorite way to grow them).
Petunias are only hardy in planting zones ten and eleven and are grown as annuals in most other locations. Ensure these flowers are provided ample sunlight and well-draining soil.
4. Sweet Pea
Do you live in a cooler planting zone and need a flower to liven up your landscape? Sweet pea could be an excellent choice. This flower prefers cooler temperatures and should be planted in early spring.
A little frost won’t harm them. In fact, though sweet peas are considered annuals, they grow well in planting zones two through eleven. Be sure to plant them where they’ll receive full to partial sunlight.
5. Climbing Roses
My grandmother always grew the prettiest climbing roses. They ran up the trellis on her front porch. If you’d like to grow a climbing variety of rose, consider providing it with a permanent cattle panel trellis.
Do your research on the variety of rose you choose to grow. Rose growing conditions and needs can vary based upon plant variety.
A clematis can be a great investment around your property. This plant is a perennial and should return for many years with the proper care.
It’s hardy in planting zones four through nine. Be sure to grow clematis in full sunlight and plant it in well-draining soil that’s consistently damp.
Did you know you can make an arbor from a cattle panel? Wisteria would be a great plant to grow around it as it’s a gorgeous blooming perennial.
This plant is hardy in planting zones five through nine. It needs full to partial sunlight. You should ensure the soil is rich in nutrients and well-draining.
8. Morning Glory
Morning glories produce beautiful blooms in a variety of colors. They climb and are great for adding a touch of charm to wherever they grow. You can have these gorgeous flowers around your home in planting zones three through ten.
Though they’re annuals in many places, they self-sow easily and return for many years (in some cases). Be sure to provide these flowers with full sun and well-draining soil that’s high in nutrients.
9. Black-eyed Susan Vine
The black-eyed Susan vine is a gorgeous plant that’s only a perennial in planting zones ten and eleven. However, you can still enjoy it as an annual in other growing locations.
These flowers need well-draining soil and should be given morning sun. In warmer locations, they thrive when provided with afternoon shade.
Gourds are plants you should grow with caution. They reseed easily and will return for many years (and can become invasive) if not grown carefully. I learned this the hard way.
They grow best in full sunlight and in soil that’s well-draining. A cattle panel trellis is a great option for this plant because it’s sturdy. This trellis can handle the weight of the gourds as they reach maturity.
Plant gourds after all threat of frost is over. They should be harvested prior to frost returning. Do give the gourds time to dry completely before putting them to use.
If you’ve ever grown peas in your garden, you know they can spread and take over a growing location with ease if not provided with a trellis.
A trellis not only keeps the plant healthy and free of rot, it also keeps your garden tidier until it’s time to harvest. Be sure to grow peas during the cooler portions of the year.
Some plants can take over your garden due to their ability to sprawl. However, it can be difficult to support them because of the weight of their fruit. By providing a strong trellis, such as cattle panels, it can keep the fruits fresh until harvest.
A cattle panel trellis can also help keep your garden maintained. Melons are a prime example of this and would benefit greatly from a cattle panel trellis.
These plants aren’t frost-tolerant, so be sure to plant them after all threat of frost is over. They also need full sunlight and well-draining soil.
There are many varieties of squash. Summer squash become larger, but they’re less likely to spread out over your growing space.
However, butternut squash (and other varieties) grow on vines and can become quite intrusive. Keep your squash harvest neat and healthy by providing a cattle panel trellis next to their growing location.
Squash can be grown after all threat of frost is over. These plants prefer well-draining, nutrient-dense soil. Plus, they enjoy ample sunlight as well.
I won’t grow cucumbers without a trellis. The reason being is they sprawl, and it can be hard to pick cucumbers effectively if they aren’t kept off the ground.
If you’re interested in growing cucumbers, try growing them with a cattle panel trellis. You can plant these crops after frost is over. Be sure to provide a location with full sunlight and well-draining soil.
Our final plant, that’s a great option for growing with a cattle panel trellis, is beans. Any type of running bean is a great candidate for a trellis. The reason being is the trellis keeps them off the ground, in a single location, and makes for an easier harvest.
Be sure you don’t plant beans until after all threat of frost is over. They thrive in full sunlight and well-draining soil that’s high in nutrients. Take all of this into consideration when planting this crop.
You now know how to use a cattle panel trellis in your garden, and you know the different methods to stabilize this style of support.
Plus, there are many plants that are great candidates for utilizing this style of trellis. If you need a garden trellis that’s budget-friendly and durable don’t overlook cattle panels.