Build a DIY Cattle Panel Trellis Arch

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If you’re looking to grow vegetables in a small garden space, a cattle panel trellis is a great option. It’s affordable, and easy to build, and you can use it to grow a variety of crops. Here’s how you can build a cattle panel trellis arch and get started with vertical gardening.

Easy to Build

Constructing a cattle panel trellis arch is a simple task, but it’s recommended to have two people involved as it can be cumbersome to maneuver and hold alone. The cattle panel used for this project is 16 feet long and 50 inches wide, slightly wider than a standard 4’x8′ raised garden bed. What’s great about this length is that you can create an arch you can walk under – depending on how far apart you position the base of the trellis.

In the past, I’ve attempted to create arch trellises, but they never seemed tall enough for me to walk under. I’m only 5’1”, so I may need to use a step ladder to pick certain crops depending on how well they grow on the trellis.

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Here’s the list of items we used for building the arch:

Getting the Cattle Panels & Build Time

A 16-foot cattle panel is not the easiest thing to get home. I have seen people roll them up and fit them in the back of a minivan or pickup truck. I ended up ordering several panels, so I had them delivered. That was much easier than attempting to get them in my car.

My husband and I were able to build 2 cattle panel trellises in around an hour. It took a little longer than expected when I was doing it, but I wanted to prove that this could be easily built by someone like me who doesn’t have a lot of muscle or height.

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Building a Cattle Panel Trellis Arch

  • Pick a location in your garden where you want your arch. The space between the bottom of my arch is a little over 7 ft. If you want a taller arch bring the space between the bottom of the arch closer together. If you want a shorter arch separate the bottom of the arch farther apart.
  • Lay the cattle panel on a flat surface near where you are going to install it.
Cattle panel and 4 u-posts leaning on 5 raised garden beds.
  • In each of the corners of the 50-inch ends of the cattle panel thread the 4 U-Posts into the cattle panel. How I did this by inserting the end of the U-Post into the first hole in the cattle panel. Then go up 3 holes in the cattle panel and insert it through that hole. Slide the cattle panel onto the U-Post.
Green U-Post threaded through edge of cattle panel sitting on the grass.
  • Holding both short ends of the cattle panel (This is where 2 people are really important) move the cattle panel to where you are going to install it.
  • Place one end of the cattle panel (with the U-posts) into the position where you want to hammer it into the ground. Make sure the U-posts will stick up on the outside of the archway and not on the inside of the archway. If it is incorrect flip over the cattle panel.
Woman using red fence post driver to hammer in U-Posts on a cattle panel arch trellis.
  • Have one person hold the cattle panel in place while the other person uses the mallet or fence post driver to hammer the U-posts into the ground.
  • Set the other side of the archway into its location and again have one person hold it in place while the other person uses the mallet or fence post driver to hammer the U-posts into the ground.
  • Use zip ties if desired to anchor the cattle panel securely to the U-posts.
Cattle panel arch trellis made out of cattle panel and 4 u-posts. Used for vertically growing vegetables and flowers.

Time to Grow!

With your trellis arch set up, you can start growing your favorite vegetables. I ended up trying these, and I think they’re some great options:

You can also try growing squash and melons, but you may need to create a sling to support their weight as they grow – I’ve seen some people use pantyhose to make a sling.

Overall, building a cattle panel trellis arch is an easy and affordable way to add vertical gardening to your garden space.

If you’re looking for some other Trellis ideas, you should read How to Build a Teepee Trellis next.

Join the Conversation

  1. How tall is your arch? My beds are 7 feet apart and I was looking at buying this same sized cattle panel, but I was afraid it would not be tall enough to walk under.

    1. My beds are also 7 feet apart. The top height of my arch is a little over 6ft tall. It can easily be walked under for someone shorter than 6ft. I am still easily able to harvest items at the top of the arch if needed. I hope this information helps.

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