I’ve been excited to share about this trellis project with you. I’ve written before about growing things vertically and how it’s a great way to make the most of the space you have available for gardening. Jeff made some beautiful trellises in the garden this year with bamboo we harvested, and I love them. (You can see a peek of one here, and here.) I had also written about how we wanted to make some trellises with cattle panels, but were at a standstill with how to transport them. Well, we sold the truck canopy that was on the back of our truck in June, and were so glad we did that. You can guess one of the first things we did! (We were able to haul four or five cattle panels in the back of our truck at a time, and used some for other projects that I’ll share later.)
With two cattle panels and four t-posts, we were able to make a trellis in our garden that really blew me away with how much it increased the amount of food we were able to grow in that area! Each cattle panel cost us $24.99. The price could vary in your area. I didn’t keep track of the price of the t-posts, but making the cattle panel trellis cost us a little more than $50. That might seem like a big garden investment just to make a trellis, but they hold up well and will last for many, many years. If you have plenty of garden space, you might not find the need to grow vertically, but for us we need to make the most of every bit of garden space we have available, and the trellises are a great way to do that.
How much more money’s worth of vegetables were we able to grow this summer with the increased growing space the trellis provided? I’m sure this year’s harvest already paid for the trellis and then some (we harvested pounds and pounds of green beans, cucumbers, and squash), and that trellis will continue to be a blessing in the garden year after year. (Plus, can I just say how pretty it is all covered in vines? It makes such a fun walkway underneath it too. I’m dreaming of all the possibilities of growing fruit over these, wouldn’t it be perfect for grapes?)
Every summer we grow pole beans and cucumbers vertically, and we grew those up the cattle panel trellis, but we also did something new this year- we grew winter squash vertically. There was something really fun about seeing winter squash hanging down from the arched trellis and watching it grow larger, yet not fall off the vine. We had to be mindful when we were walking under it to not bonk our heads on squash, which I found pretty funny. Normally I’m not much of a fan of growing winter squash because of how much room it takes up of our precious garden space, but I really love eating it, so the arched trellis was a great solution for that.
We harvested all of our winter squash in October, with the help of our friends who were visiting that day. We grew butternut squash, Thelma Sanders’ Sweet Potato Squash, and some delicata squash. We’ve been enjoying eating winter squash with many of our meals. Also in October, Jeff and B harvested all of the sweet potatoes Jeff grew in the garden this year. Our climate is not suited for sweet potatoes and while he has had some success growing them (he grew an orange variety this year and a purple variety years back), he’s decided not to bother growing any next year because it’s too much hassle and we could use the growing space for something else that thrives here.
Anyway, I wanted to share our cattle panel trellis in case it was something that would work well for your space too! I’m always wanting to share garden inspiration. Our local friends use these at their farm, and I’m seeing more of them all the time. This video shows how simple and easy it is to make one.