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Old February 21, 2006   #1
Tomstrees
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Default Concrete Mesh ~

Bought my concrete mesh for home made cages that I'll make when weather gets alittle better ~

set up my "starter table" in my "plant room" ... jiffy pots , saran wrap is ready with my mister ??!!!
I can't wait ! It all starts this Sat. !

This will only be my second year starting tomato seeds from scratch - and I hope it goes as well as the last ~

I can't wait to grow all these new vareities from trades ~ Tom (who is really getting stoked for 2006!)
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Old February 21, 2006   #2
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jtcm05 ~

That's not a little early for New Jersey?
re:
I don't think so ; I'm starting a week or so earlier than last year ~
Last year I started on March 6th.
I was held back last year from getting all veggies in the garden due to travel to KC MO, & Chicago ...
Planted out first weekend of May for maters ~
I did wait until Mothers Day to plant out peppers though ~

I live @ the bayshore (central) so its always warmer ;
like 3-5 degrees warmer than west or north New Jersey.
I know because I work in NNJ, and I watch my temp guage drop in my car ! lol ~
Its pretty funny driving up to family functions ~ we have no snow ? They have lots !

When's your last frost date?
re:
My last frost date is April 4th - and thats for Newark which is 40 minutes north/west of me ~
If you look at some "zone maps" I'm at the tip of the 7/6 zone ~ I plan on planting the maters out the last week of April ? or first weekend of May ...
(weather depending, of course lol) My family in NNJ, plant out around Mothers Day or Memorial Day ~

Did you buy a roll of CRW or the sheets?
re:
I bought the roll from Lowes
(great selection of Ferry Morse herbs btw) ~

My dad came down with the "bolt/wire cutters" on Sunday ~ The roll is 6ft tall with 6 inch square holes ~
I will prob. make them 5 ft. tall and use some of the left over wire as anchors @ the bottom , or get bamboo sticks and tie at the base of each for wind resistance (sometimes gets windy @ the bayshore in the spring/summer ; there is always a constant breeze).
I did get a translucent rustoleum to spray them with for the salt / "rust factor" ...
Not sure how that will work out but will try ~

I'll show pics of progress !
jtcm05 where are you at ?

~ Tom
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Old February 21, 2006   #3
JerryL
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Tom,

I can see you’re stoked!!!

I’m a CRW user and I’m not sure I understand your statement “The roll is 6ft tall with 6 inch square holes ~
I will prob. make them 5 ft. tall and use some of the left over wire as anchors @ the bottom”

When I make mine I cut off the circular wire on one end leaving the vertical pieces of wire. There are 6” long. This works real well for sticking them in the ground. Then I use either a 3 to 4 foot piece of ½ inch rebar or a strong wooden stake driven in alongside the cage and tied to help anchor it.
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Old February 21, 2006   #4
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John ,

CT is that late ? huh ...

I thought they were 6ft.
I would swear they were over my head and I'm 5.11 ~
I could be wrong not sure ~
was a pain in the back to get them in the car
(alone, lol misses was home) ~

I can't use the old stake method because my garden is on top of an old tree stump (I mean this thing had to be well over 100 yrs old) as the people that moved out had cut it down months before I moved in ~

It was an eye sore so I figured why not make a veggie patch ? I've been building the garden up and up for 3 years now with compost ... Its been great so far ~
Tom

here it is in the fall :
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Old February 21, 2006   #5
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JerryL ~

I think after you see the above explaination why I need to be creative with my "anchoring" / support ~

But here it is in summary .. lol

I'm 12+inches above a large stump !
But maybe ... the larger rebar would penetrate the wood below instead of tied bamboo !?
Now you've got me thinking !!~ Tom
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Old February 21, 2006   #6
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Here near New Brunswick, our last avg. frost date
April 30th. I started 3 toms yesterday that I will
pot up as an experiment in earliness.

I normally seed my maters on or around St. Patty's
Day. If on St. Patty's, it done early in the day before
the corned beef and libations can catch up with me.

This sowing window ensures at least 6-8 wks. of
growth before outdoor planting....JJ61
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Old February 21, 2006   #7
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jerseyjohn61 -
SEE THAT ? You're 40 Minutes away and you're Aprl.30th !!! ???!!! Wow what a difference the coast makes ~

jtcm05 -
huh ~ they most certainly do not come up under my chin (as I meantioned before I'm 5.11) and also my dad is 5.7 and they were def. taller them him ...
maybe we're npt talking about the same stuff ?
I'll measure them when I get home tonight and report back ...

~ As far as the diameter ? I was thinking the same as you ~ Tom
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Old February 21, 2006   #8
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Yes - has to be diff. stuff ~
I'll still take a look and see tonight ~
Mine was called "remesh" @ Lowes ~ $46 for 50 feet ~ It is strong sturdy stuff ~
I'll take a pic tonight and post ~

I'm also looking forward to not having to prune as much as well !

Like I've said before - with the old cages ? It was a jungle in there ! ~ Tom

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Old February 21, 2006   #9
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Tom, John,

The first time I built cages from CRW I made the diameter 10 squares. That came out to about 19”. I found that WaaaaY to small. By mid season I couldn’t find room inside the cage for any more branches. And I refuse to cut them back. So I was tying vines to the outside of the cage. Kind of defeats the purpose of a cage me thinks. I remodeled some into 24 inch diameter and am trying to use the small ones for the smaller plants and the 24” ones on the monsters like Zogola etc.

Don’t short change yourself or your plants.

Just my experience. Your mileage may vary.
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Old February 21, 2006   #10
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My tip on the CRW cages: Don't just cut off the bottom circle. Make a cut at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical wire. Then bend that section of horizontal wire down so that it is vertical. You now have a 12" spike on the bottom. Do this around the entire bottom cirfumference.

Maybe everybody has figured this out already?
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Old February 21, 2006   #11
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Jerry,

Thanks so much for that helpful information as I am a "green-horn" with this cage building thing ~

I was thinking the 19 inches ; but now I am going to make my cages in between 22 - 24 inches across - not sure how many "squares" that is lol, but will make sure they are way wider than the $.70 garden center pieces of scrap I've had in the past ~

They did not cut the mustard last year as the plants went drooping over the tops by July, and alternate methods had to be used (aka tying etc.) ...

How many feet would I need to make a 22 inch circle again ? (should have payed attention in math class, as who would have thought it would appear in tomato growing! lol)
~ Tom
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Old February 21, 2006   #12
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geoguy

I hadn’t thought of that. Need to give it a try.

Thanks
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Old February 21, 2006   #13
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would make the "stakes" longer for support ... good call Geo ~ Tom
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Old February 21, 2006   #14
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Tom,

I knew you’d ask a hard question. My math isn’t much better that yours.

If I did it right you will get a 22-23 inch cage if you use 13 Squares.

13 x 6” = 78” circumference 78” / 3.14 = 24.82” diameter. Take off a few inches of the circumference to account for the end being cut and folded over and you’ll likely get a 22 to 23 inch cage.
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Old February 21, 2006   #15
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so, if I have 50 ft of mesh ~ and my math is kindof correct lol - to get 12 cages ... I'm ... uh .... gonna need ... hmmm.... yes, thats it .... more mesh !!!
Tom (if I do the 24-inchers)

ps. height ? didnt understand that part ~
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