Vining crops grown vertically need strong supports — and livestock panels are just the thing. In this video, I show three different methods for using livestock panels in vertical gardening.
Vining crops can grow out or up. Growing up improves light into the plant and air circulation, both of which make for a healthier plant. It also has the benefit of visual interest: A vertical garden, with flowering vines reaching up for the sky while squash, melons, cucumbers or other vegetables hang below, is a thing of beauty.
You can use a frame of untreated wood with wires running through it, but drilling those holes and assembling the frame is a lot of work. Using livestock panels, also known as cattle panels, is so much easier, and unlike wood frames, these panels last forever.
Common livestock panel sizes are 16 feet by 50 inches and 8 feet by 50 inches, and they can be cut down to the perfect size for your garden.
Livestock Panel Teepee
Stand up two panels and lean them against each other in an A-shape. Secure them into the ground with U-posts (available at any home improvement store or where you find your livestock panels) and tie the tops together with coated flexible wire.
Livestock Panel Arbor
With one 16-foot livestock panel or two bound together, you can make an arbor that’s tall enough to walk under. Secure the bottoms with U-posts and plant vining crops around the base at both ends. The vines will meet in the middle, and it’s quite dramatic and attractive.
Livestock Panel Low Arches
To give crops just a little lift for more growing area in a small space and the fruit protection from ground contact, a low arch is all you need. Using bolt cutters of fencing pliers, cut one large livestock panel into two or three sections to achieve the size that best fits your garden.
What is your favorite support structure for vertical gardening? Let us know in the comments below.
Links & Resources
Some product links in this guide are affiliate links. See full disclosure below.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy™: Popular courses on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, diseases & weeds; seed starting and more.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Beginning Gardener Fundamentals: Essential principles to know to create a thriving garden.
joegardener Online Gardening Academy Growing Epic Tomatoes: Tomato expert Craig LeHoullier joins me in leading this course on how to grow healthier, productive tomato plants and how to overcome tomato-growing challenges. You can sign up to be notified when enrollment opens.
Disclosure: Some product links in this guide are affiliate links, which means we would get a commission if you purchase. However, none of the prices of these resources have been increased to compensate us. None of the items included in this list have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing factor on their inclusion here. The selection of all items featured in this post and podcast were based solely on merit and in no way influenced by any affiliate or financial incentive, or contractual relationship. At the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has professional relationships with the following companies who may have products included in this post and podcast: Rain Bird, Corona Tools, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Territorial Seed Company, Wild Alaskan Seafood Box and TerraThrive. These companies are either Brand Partners of joegardener.com and/or advertise on our website. However, we receive no additional compensation from the sales or promotion of their product through this guide. The inclusion of any products mentioned within this post is entirely independent and exclusive of any relationship.