question on cattle panels and no till gardening : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I was wandering if any of you use the no till gardening method like Ruth Stout. I put straw and hay under my corn and tomatoes this year. Those two things are the only ones that havn't burned up so far and I havn't had to weed either. We are several inches short of normal rainfal this year and the tomatoe plants still look great. I have had to contend with horn worms on the tomatoes but the corn didn't (for the first time since I started gardening a few years ago) Have any corn worms. It did have ants though. Any way I was wondering if this would be just a huge invitation to snakes. My chickens run loose during the day and they have eaten a few tomatoes but I havn't seen any snakes in the garden. Do you suppose they are keeping the snakes away? And also I want to get cattle panels to use as arbors next year to grow cucumbers, pole beans and gourds etc. My problem is that I own a Chevy S10 pick up. ( fairly small truck ) would I be able to bend them enough to put them in the back of this truck? And how long will they last? I do not have a barn to store them in. They would probably need to stay in the garden all year round. Oh! and one more thing. Do hydrangas ( pardon the spelling or lack of ) need to be in the shade? Thanks.

-- Bonnie (josabp1@, July 29, 2000


I use the cow panels around the barn area. I believe they are 16' long. They are very sturdy and I don't see how you will be able to fold them in half for hauling in your truck. They will bend a little to where you could tie the top somewhere but I don't picture it working very well. As for how long they'll last, alot longer than the finer fences that end up rusting.

-- Pat (, July 29, 2000.

I started a Ruth Stout type garden area some years back, then sold the property and moved before giving it much of a test. The new owners did tell me that they had a wonderful crop of volunteer potatoes that they harvested. I think that the system would and will work great.

On the corral panels, the ones sold around here are 4 feet high by 16 feet long, hardly S10 hauling material. I think that I would opt for an alternate hauling means. Perhaps someone in the farm store might tell you someone that would be willing to haul them reasonably, or perhaps a neighbor with a truck.

As to using the coral panels, I once read that wire gets too hot for some plants, so before using the panels I would suggest that you give them a coat of white paint to reflect as much heat as possible. I myself have a late planed garden site that is currently in need of a panel, and that is what I will do. The panels are galvanized and will last many many years out in the open without being stored in a barn. If you paint them, they will last much longer, before the galvanized area begins to rust. I think that you are on the right track in using the Ruth Stout method, and in use of the corral panels.

-- Notforprint (, July 29, 2000.

Method for hauling cattle panels in the S10--along with your panels, purchase 2- 14 foot 2x4's--leave tailgate shut and lay the lumber on 2 foot centers against the tailgate and over the cab with a doubled rag under the lumber to prevent paint damage. Lay panels directly on lumber with 5 foot of panel exposed over the cab. Lay heavy object on tailgate end(concrete blocks) and secure floating end to front bumber with rope. This works ! Hope it helps.

-- Joel Rosen (, July 29, 2000.

I have hauled up to 6 cattle panels bowed in back of Dodge half ton at one time. It might be possible in an S10 if you have a long bed and are only carrying one or two. I'd tie it down with rope. Ask at store that sells the panels. If its been done they will know. I was dubious about getting 6 panels in back of my half ton but they said it would work and it did. Was real adventure getting them out by myself though. I am trying to picture putting one panel in my '71 Courier. It might be possible without damaging panel, but it would really stick up and panel might get permenant bend. Again ask at store.

-- Hermit John (, July 29, 2000.

Here in Florida hydrangas(pardon the spelling or lack of!) grow best in filtered shade, not heavy shade in our mini farm they grow best facing south east. Hope this helps

-- Sandy D. Fisher (, July 29, 2000.

Hydrangea's like part shade/part sun, patricularly shade from the hot afternoon sun.

As for the cattle panels, I have one that is bent into a arch like form with the ends fastened to stakes in the ground. This year I used it for cucumbers and they are doing fine. I don't know how old the panel is but it was used when I bought it and I have been using it for 4 years now. It stays in the garden year around and is still in good shape.

-- Marci (, July 29, 2000.

I have hauled up to 6 cattle panels (52" x 16') in my Shortbed KngCab Nissan Truck. You will need 3 nylon cinch straps a 2 scraps of carpet. Leave the tailgate in the closed postion, place 1 carpet on the roof of the cab to protect it. Place the panels in he truck one end aganist the inside of the the tailgate the other end will go over the cab to the front bumper. Stack up to 6 panels make sure all the squuars on te panels line up because you will be looking trough them to drive. Place the oter carpet on the front section of the hood ner the panel to prtect it(don't block radiator). Place one nylon strap through all the panels on the front of the truck hook each end of the strap under oppisite ends of front bumper and cinch tight. take the other 2 straps and wrap through the panels and hook and cinch on the frame under the sides of the bed. Adjust the carpet so the panels are not touching the truck. Your truck will look like a truck straight from the Afican Bush Country. Haul them during the day to help with your visability.

-- Mark (, July 29, 2000.

Cattle panels last for years and years. I've had them delivered, but when I needed only 4, they just laid them in the bed of my truck and they bowed up. (Bowed, not bent.) My crew cab has an 8 foot bed, but the panels are only four 1/2 feet tall. Should easily fit in a short bed. I've only used them for livestock.

I have seen the cattle panels made into housing for different critters, like poultry and short stock. T-posts are used to hold them in place and an arc is made of the panels. Tarps are then placed over the panels. I can visualize mini hot houses for whatever you're growin'!

-- ~Rogo (, July 29, 2000.


I used hog panels (4' x 16') in my garden as arbors this year. I cut a 7 foot long piece of plastic covered wire clothesline, and tied it to the wires on each end of the 4 foot section. I then stood on the other 4 foot end and pulled on the wires as hubby picked up and and then pushed the first end toward me. We then tied the clothesline to the other 4 foot end of the hog panel. It made an arch 6 foot across the bottom and about 6 foot tall. This should fitlying on its side in your S-10, though you may have to tilt it and I would definitly tie it down. If you don't live too far from town, or wherever you are going to get them, you might try bringing them home one at a time this way......easier on the budget too if you spread the cost out a bit! On the plus side - they are ready to put in the garden when you get them home. Some folks here (in a way earlier post) wrote about covering them with tarps or plastic and using them for storage - would probably help the longevity, but remember - these things are made to use out in the weather, so they will last a while anyway. I'd keep an eye out for a farm auction - they might have some if the farmer raised hogs. Could be cheaper that way.

Good luck!

-- Polly (, July 29, 2000.

Bonnie, We have gotten the 16' cattle panels and cut them to 8' before loading them in the truck. You can use bolt cutters, makes them easier to manage. We use them for all climbing plants--cukes, beans, cantalopes, anything that climbs. Put in T-posts and tie panels to the posts. They are left outside during the winter and have not deterioiated thus far (lost count of number of years). We also mulch heavily every year. Every shovelful of dirt is literally loaded with earthworms where originally one was hard pressed to find one earthworm. Mulch does attract snails but ducks help to keep them down. Also, chickens will scratch in the mulch so we keep them penned during the summer and leave the bugeating to the guineas.

-- Gayle (, July 30, 2000.

I'm not going to read all the remarkes about stock panels, just tell you what I have done in the past! The first time I bought some, (6-52"X 16") was from Central Tractor, 30 miles from the farm, I thought I would have to borrow a trailer to get them back home but, a couole of old guys who worked there just folded them over, tied them with string and put them in the back of my 6-1/2' bed PU with a cap on the back. When i got back to my place I just pulled them out, cut the string and laid them on the ground and walked on them, that straightened them out. I bought 20 this spring and we rolled them up, so to speak amd loaded them in my 8' bed over the side, no big deal, they will nest in your S-10, just fine.

-- Hendo (OR) (, August 01, 2000.

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