Thursday, October 29, 2020

Cattle Panel Row Covers

We've used cattle panels for all sorts of garden projects.
On our original site, they were placed as arches
along the east side of the garden
where we grew snap peas, beans and melons.

Since moving the garden to our new location,
we've used them to make a storage area, a compost station 
and these frames for our raised beds.
We want the option of covering the beds in the colder season,
and since these are easily constructed, we got to work. 

Each frame can be cut to size to fit most any raised bed, 
using a sawzall or heavy-duty wire snips.
The cattle panel used here was simply cut in half,
bent over on itself and placed in the bed.
This actually consists of two 4-foot wide pieces placed side by side.
Depending on the crop,
the panels can be made higher or lower to accommodate the size of the plant.
One of the aspects I like the most about using these panels
is that it is easy to access the bed through the holes in the fencing.
Sowing, harvesting and maintenance are all fairly easy to do,
even for folks with hands larger than mine.

Most of our covers are 6 feet in length, so that when bent in half to form the arch,
three feet of space is created. 
That six feet doesn't include the ends,
which were cut so that the bottoms would sink into the soil.
Upon Big K's suggestion, the spiked ends were bent 
so that the frames would tuck in closer to the edge of the bed.

I also cut off the four spikes on the outside corners of the panel.
This allowed me to rest the end of the panel
on the concrete block corners
and left less of a gap between the board and the first crop.
These panels are solid and rust-resistant,
so I should never have to make them again for these beds.
Each frame took about 15 minutes to construct
and yet, will give us years of service.
They cost a little over $20 a piece and with a small investment,
many of these covers can be fashioned, 
along with a number of other garden projects.

I love the way they turned out.
With colder weather on the way,
it'll be our first foray into creating a greenhouse effect
to see if we can keep our crops going into the new year.
In the spring, it will give us an edge on pest control,
with row covers creating a barrier from harmful snackers.
I'd love to know if you try this project!


  1. A very nice tutorial, Daisy! Obviously, your design makes them portable, which is really nice. I will likely be trying your idea in the future. :)

    1. I hope it helps you in your garden.
      Thank you for stopping by!

  2. These look great! It's been amazing to me how many things do well under a little bit of plastic. Looks like the cold will be coming next week.

    1. Oh, that's encouraging! Yes, winter is peeking around the corner.

  3. What a wonderful idea! Always nice to be able to grow veg for as long as possible. We've had a few light frosts over the past month and our first snow should be here tonight!! (should only about an inch)

    1. Yes, I'd love to be able to grow year-round.

      Always great to see you here!


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