Don’t you just love a good garden transformation? I know I do! Our garden has gone through various transformations, but I think we’ve finally settled on the perfect fit for us: Two raised, parallel garden beds that give us just the right amount of fresh veggies for the summer. Last year we added a cattle panel trellis arch dupe that really brings it together. Here’s what we did!
Cattle Panel Trellis Arch Inspo
Just like any good backyard gardener, I plan my summer garden when it’s below freezing and there’s snow on the ground. This winter, I stumbled upon a cattle panel trellis arch and fell in love immediately.
We have two parallel raised garden beds and an arch that joins them together AND gets draped with all my thriving plants? Yes, please.
I knew this was the perfect addition to our backyard garden. I immediately got busy figuring out how we’d make it work.
No Cattle Panel Trellis Arch for Us
Spoiler alert: We didn’t figure it out.
Unfortunately, we had some issues purchasing the materials we’d need.
We found the cattle fencing at a local store, but couldn’t figure out how to get it home. Each panel of cattle fencing is roughly 16 feet long and 4 feet wide. Much too big to fit in either of our vehicles.
We tossed around a million ideas — borrowing a truck, renting a truck, renting a trailer — but we just needed to move on to something simpler and more cost-effective.
I shared this whole saga on Instagram, which you’ll see evidence of in a minute if you keep scrolling.
Our Cattle Panel Trellis Arch Dupe
After months of debate and brainstorming, I checked amazon to see if I could find something else that we could work with. Within 10 minutes, a new plan was hatched.
We found a garden arch on amazon that would fit perfect between our two raised beds, creating a covered path between them for our vegetables to grow on.
I was less excited about this plan than I was about an actual cattle panel trellis arch, but my poor cucumbers couldn’t wait another minute to get in the ground, so we needed to stop thinking and start acting.
Our Garden Arch
The garden arch we purchased had excellent reviews and came in a variety of size options so we could get one that perfectly fit between our garden beds.
Our two garden beds are 4 feet wide and 8 feet long. There are 5 feet between the beds (wide enough for the lawn mower to fit).
The trellis we purchased is 7 feet long and 7 feet wide, and 8 feet high. It’s like they made it for our garden.
Assembling & Installing the Garden Arch
Assembling the garden arch was simple, the pieces simply nested together. Unfortunately, they don’t click together, they just nest. Green duct tape may be necessary if you think the arch may come apart.
Since our garden beds are on a slight incline, we had to dig a trench to bury the one side of the arch significantly deeper than the other side.
Side note: Since I’m the worst blogger/instagrammer EVER, this is the only picture I have of the arches before we installed them in our garden bed. Oops!
The arch was the right size for a trellis frame, but there was one problem — there was nothing that could act like a trellis.
The empty arch wouldn’t work to support the cucumbers and cantaloup that we planned to grow — they need more support than three metal bars 4 feet apart.
Trellis Solution: Garden Fencing
Luckily, we had some coated metal garden fencing in the garage that we had used around our garden in the past (a previous version of our garden was in the ground, so we needed the fence to keep the critters out — it didn’t work).
Luckily we had enough left to cover the arch, so that saved us some money and helped us use fewer materials.
Cutting & Attaching the Fencing
We rolled the fencing out, measure 7.5 feet and cut the wires using cutting pliers. We then lined the fencing up evenly along the outsides of the arch, pulled it as tight as we could, and attached it using zip ties.
We had a mix of black and white zip ties already on hand. The black blend in with the dark green of the arch and fencing and essentially disappear. The white stick out like a sore thumb. I’d recommend getting black zip ties in a variety of sizes if you attempt this cattle panel trellis arch dupe project.
We installed the fencing on the outside of the arch, so when the vines grew high, gravity would help to support the vines on the fence. If we installed the fencing on the inside, the zip ties would have been the only thing supporting the fencing and vines.
We had to install 4 strips of the fencing along the arch — one strip overlaps others, but we thought this would be helpful for providing additional support at the top of the arch.
When we finished attaching all the fencing to the arches, we snipped off any excess using the cutting pliers.
I then planted the (sad, dried out) cucumbers that have been sitting in their grow pots for way too long and tucked the leaves and vines through the openings to help them climb.
We also planted peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, watermelon, green beans and cantaloupe.
Garden Arch Results
So, do you want to see the final results of our cattle panel trellis arch hack? I thought you’d never ask.
Here it is! The height and width of the garden arch are perfect. Grown adults can comfortably fit through the arch. The cucumbers, cantaloupe, and even watermelon happily climbed it all summer long.
As the vines grew, we would gently guide them through the trellis. We got a late start on the arch last year so we didn’t have as much coverage as we would have liked, but we’ll get an earlier start this spring since we don’t have any installation to do.
Don’t judge the lawn — we try to be as bee-friendly as possible, so there’s a lot of clover back here.
A note about the watermelons — we won’t be growing them on our garden arch next year. They were very happy on the trellis, but very heavy. We lost one giant watermelon to gravity and then had to rig up watermelon support braces as the summer went on using old t-shirts. It worked, but it was ugly and the shirts stayed wet for a long time.
Our Cattle Panel Trellis Arch Dupe
When I had to pivot from the original cattle panel trellis arch, I was very disappointed. I was sure any other solution we came up with wouldn’t be as good as the cattle fencing.
I’m so happy to say I was wrong. Our solution ended up being:
- Easy to transport
- Easy to install
- An ideal size
- Cost effective (just over $100)
- A color that blends with our yard
- Simple to take down for the winter, if we choose
- Environmentally friendly (since we could reuse materials we already had)
I cannot wait to watch our fruits and vegetables grow up to cover the trellis, and I can’t wait to watch my kids run and play in the (future) shade.
If you’re on the fence about installing a cattle panel trellis arch or a dupe, I encourage you to go for it. Questions? Drop them for me below!