click map Twitter Instagram Pinterest Facebook

DIY Cattle Panel Arch

affiliate

I spend a lot of time in the garden, most of that time I have my kids with me. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I needed something to keep them entertained while I worked and if it could be part of the garden even better! I wanted something they could play in/with that I would also be useful to grow food on. When I was little my grandfather used to grow green bean teepees for my sister and I; I wanted that secret garden feeling but with enough room for 2+ kids and play.

Create a whimsical & practical garden hideaway with this Cattle Panel Arch. It's quick & cheap to throw together and sturdy enough to handle beans or gourds

I turned to cattle panels because they’re sturdy, easy to work with and relatively cheap. I picked up three last summer at Running’s for about $20 each. I used two for this project and the third was put to use as a temporary baby gate/’keep the geese from pooping all over my deck’ gate.

Cattle Panel Arch Supplies:

  • Cattle panels (16 feet x 50 inches) I used 2
  • 4 foot pieces of rebar, 4 per panel
  • Hammer
  • 7 Pool Noodles
  • Scissors
  • Wood & Hardware for garden beds (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Mark your location, remove any large weeds and level the ground if necessary (or be like me and don’t do any of that and just struggle)
  2. Pound in two pieces of rebar where you want the short side of the archCreate a whimsical & practical garden hideaway with this Cattle Panel Arch. It's quick & cheap to throw together and sturdy enough to handle beans or gourds
  3.  Slip the cattle panel over the rebar weave it so the rebar goes through the panel in a few places and carefully stand it up and let it flop over to the other side. I know I’m not explaining well so I hope the picture helps
  4. Mark the the last two pieces of rebar need to go in the ground and move the cattle panel back out of the way.
  5. Pound in the remaining rebar
  6. This is the tricky part, stand up the panel again and you need to over bend it a little to get the rebar in the right holes. This part is much easier with two people! If you’re doing two or more panels I recommend doing all of one side first then moving to the next so you aren’t tripping over the panels.
  7. Cut each pool noodle into 4 pieces and slice each one up the sideCreate a whimsical & practical garden hideaway with this Cattle Panel Arch. It's quick & cheap to throw together and sturdy enough to handle beans or gourds
  8. Slide the noodles onto the edges of the cattle panel (they can be sharp) taking care to cover the rebar
  9. Everything in my garden is in raised beds because of poorly draining clay soil so I had to add beds to this too. I wanted them to fit in with the rest of my garden (I use a push mower between the beds and I wanted to be able to mow in a straight line) so I made them out of 2*6 boards. The beds are 100 inches (2 cattle panels)  by 2 feet. This year I have pole beans planted on either side. Next year I think I’m going to try gourds.

I threw down a few old blankets to give the girls something to play on and out cattle panel arch is currently the home to our turtle sandbox. I’m in the very slow process of fencing in the garden and eventually I’ll have a swing set and their little house moved into the shady spot where I haven’t bothered trying to grow anything. I’ve got ginger skin (thanks mom!) and my two little ladies are just as pale as I am so I can’t wait for the beans to fill in and create a shady spot for them to play.

Create a whimsical & practical garden hideaway with this Cattle Panel Arch. It's quick & cheap to throw together and sturdy enough to handle beans or gourds

The pool noddles are so bright and cheerful, the effect reminds me of the painted pasta necklaces you make in preschool. It really stands out in the garden and you can see it from the road. If you’re looking for something less whimsical you can get similar black foam tubing used to insulate pipes. Side note – Chickens will gladly eat/destroy pool noodles. When the snow took down the temporary fencing the chickens helped themselves into the garden and ruined the original set of noodles. I’m 5’10 and I can stand inside without needing to bend, I’m sure once the beans start coming in I’ll have to be more careful.

Create a whimsical & practical garden hideaway with this Cattle Panel Arch. It's quick & cheap to throw together and sturdy enough to handle beans or gourds

My garden is an old horse riding ring and it’s surrounded by telephone pole fence posts. I’ve been working my war around the garden with metal fencing but at the moment I have quite a bit of temporary fencing (the green stuff). The fluffy looking mess is my asparagus and there are black raspberries along the front and left fence line. I’m adding another set of beds this year and hopefully even more later this year or next spring.

Check out my Garden DIY page for more ideas and follow me on Facebook and instagram to keep in touch!

Comments

  1. What a cute idea – and it doubles as a food trellis! You did a good job on that. And I bet the girls love that turtle sandbox. I like that it has a cover on it. We have a few stray cats in our neighborhood, so that would keep them out.
    Alicia Taylor recently posted…Minted Basil Watermelon Granita Summertime Dessert RecipeMy Profile

    • It’s very windy where I am and I was waiting to lose the lid within hours of setting it up but it’s never come off once! Even when I forgot to bring it in and it lived in the garden all winter. I remember keeping a giant rock on the turtle sandbox I had as a kid to keep the lid on but thankfully that’s not needed so my three year old can pop over and open it up without any assistance

  2. The noodles do look like a colored noodle necklace!!! I love it! I would love to have a big space to garden like this. Make sure to give us an update on how big those beans get.
    keikilani recently posted…Tips for Potty Training TwinsMy Profile

  3. That is a great idea! I love that so much! It’s always great to have ways to keep the little ones busy, but especially to give you all a place to chill in the shade for a break from working! Fabulous idea!

  4. What a cute way to make a play area. I am not at all good at garden stuff but love to see what others do. This is so awesome.

  5. That is such a neat idea. I’m excited to see how it looks after the beans grow up.
    Carrie Chance recently posted…Starlight Baby – Quality bodysuits and accessories for babyMy Profile

  6. I love how you used the pool noodles! This is such a fun idea and it looks great!
    Milena recently posted…Genuine Health The Fermentation Experts #FeelAwesomeBeAwesome #SponMy Profile

  7. This is such a creative idea! The pool noodles add a really fun pop of color!

  8. This is such a creative idea! It looks so bright and festive out there, and I bet the kids have a great time playing in it!
    Lois Alter Mark recently posted…“the big sick” movie reviewMy Profile

  9. Wow. How creative! I bet the kids will really enjoy this. You did a really great job on this.

  10. Oh my gosh, this is BRILLIANT! We start gardening in October here in southwest Florida so I will definitely need something like this. I just love this idea!!

  11. Melanie says:

    Looks like a fun area to play, and easy to build! My kids love spaces their size. I think it makes it easier to pretend they’re big.