Duke Norfolk
Makes The Most Deluxe
Minibed Growing Cages!

(click on photo for larger view)

In one of my recent YouTube videos, Duke Norfolk left this comment...
I've made my own mini-beds this year and I found that cutting a cattle panel crosswise, into 24 inch width pieces (each opening is 8 inches wide) and zip tying them together makes a great tomato cage. It fits perfectly inside the the 30x30 mini-bed frame.  And the height is pretty good at 50  inches. 
They just sit right on the ground, with no anchoring, but the weight is substantial enough to make them very stable.  And they only cost about $15 each (you can get 6 sides out of  each panel, at $20 per panel), vs. the $35-40+ you'll pay for a good tomato cage.
The Duke has sent me the photo you see above, and the following (click on the photos to see larger views)...

These photos show Minibeds with tomatoes, but Duke Norfolk says he has also used them for other crops. 

These custom Minibed growing cages are impressive. Thanks for the inspiration, Duke!


  1. You're quite welcome. I'm sure somebody has done this already, as the innovations using cattle/hog panels are numerous. They're working out quite well. So far I've also used them with bush beans, which works great, and cow peas, although they may turn out to be too short for that; at least with some varieties.

    You could also make them taller by attaching more to the top. I may experiment with that next year. The taller you make it, the more likely you'll have to anchor it somehow, which isn't necessary the way I've made them. They're quite stable due to the wide base and weight of the fencing.

  2. I made these this year using an angle grinder to cut them. My cattle panels have 6 inch openings, so the cuts were different and I also left 6 inch spikes at the bottom to push into the ground. But, after 40 years, my 18 inch diameter concrete reinforcement wire circles finally rusted through and I was ready for new frames. I love the clean look, no rust, and flexibility for other uses and storage. I am using the leftover pieces as trellis and staking for other vegetables. Thanks for posting this information.

  3. Impressive photos! I have extra cattle panel just hanging around waiting for use. They do make things look neat as can be in gardening. I will stick to weaving my tomatoes in and out of the sections, as a trellis. Your readers certainly invent good helps!

    1. Yes, the cattle/hog panels really are one of the great "raw" materials for doing all kinds of things in the garden/homestead. Good to have a couple around just in case, as with some lumber, etc.