Make a Self-supporting Garden Trellis

Posted on January 25, 2022
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Basically, it took me two years to develop this system so I wanted to help some people going down the same path as I did and maybe save them two years!  Submitted by Tim B., Ohio, Member of Region 6 – Great Lakes.


This document contains design concepts for a self-supporting garden trellis. In the photos are 16-foot cattle panels bent to make an arch and secured to itself with carabiners and chain. The total heights of the arch (with 16-foot panels) is 6 feet, so the 8-foot panels would be about 3 feet tall. The panels are able to sway and move with the wind.

Materials List

  • 16-foot cattle panel
  • 16 feet of chain (two 8-foot piece)s
  • 4 carabiners

Price Reference List (12/20)

  • Qty 1 of 16-foot cattle panel – $27
  • Qty 1 of 8-foot cattle panel – $20
  • Qty 1 of carabiners – $2
  • Qty 1 roll of 2/0 double loop yellow chain – $125 for 175 linear feet


Tips from Tm B. in Ohio on building the cattle panel trellis. T-Posts can be added if the arch deforms. Right now, this system is totally movable because there are no stakes.

I chose zinc plated AND painted chain so I could see it on the ground in the garden. Carabiner and chain we’re purchase at Home Depot and fence was purchase at Tractor Supply Company.

I used an 8 foot board to measure my length. I made 6 trellis systems at one time so this saved time and increased accuracy of the project.

I cut chain with bolt cutters. The bolt cutters did not always go through all the way, so I used wire snips to finish those cuts.


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