How To Build a Cattle Panel Trellis
There are a lot of vegetable plants that benefit from being supported. For our tomatoes, we generally use tomato cages* that are strengthened with t-posts*. For other vining vegetables and berries, we use cattle panel trellises. To make the trellis, we pound in* four t-posts. Then we get a bunch of people to grab the cattle panel and bend it so that it wants to "spring" open against the t-posts*.
When we first started making these kinds of trellises, we attached* the cattle panel to the t-post (because I was afraid of them hurting somebody if they came loose and sprang back into an unbent shape). But they've never gone anwhere, so we've gotten a bit lazy and don't even bother to attach them anymore.
The vegetables that we have grown on these trellises include: pole beans, peas, cucumbers, watermelons (sugar-baby*), and cantaloupe. We do support the watermelons and canteloupe as they grow, but the other plants take care of themselves.
Last year, we tried something new - kiwi*. The kiwi plants survived the winter, so we'll see if they actually produce any kiwi for us.
I love having the trellises spanning the beds during the summer. It's always fun to walk under them (or lean on them like Hewitt is doing). Depending on what you grow on them, they can create a good amount of shade for your other plants.
Overall, I love not only the way the trellises help my garden produce better, but I love the way they make the garden look as well!