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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old March 27, 2014   #31
Cole_Robbie
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The cheap cages do also ok with fence posts attached to each one. Similarly, the CRW cages can also be made with thinner, cheaper woven wire if they are held up with a post.
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Old March 27, 2014   #32
habitat_gardener
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Originally Posted by livinonfaith View Post
I actually do use those flimsy metal tomato cages....
Me too! I use stakes with them -- 6 ft. rebar or bamboo. I didn't buy any of them. They were all free from one source or another.

For pole beans, I stack 2 cages, wide sides together, also well staked.
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Old March 27, 2014   #33
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Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
Me too! I use stakes with them -- 6 ft. rebar or bamboo. I didn't buy any of them. They were all free from one source or another.

For pole beans, I stack 2 cages, wide sides together, also well staked.
+1, with 2 stakes, one on each side, they've done ok for me. Nice thing about these cages is they neatly stack into each other during the off season. The round ones don't and would require much storage space.

One of the most useless tool I ever bought is a combo hatchet/hammer/nail puller from HF. Doesn't do any of its intended functions, and dangerous to use.
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Old March 27, 2014   #34
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Livinonfaith, I agree with you.. going to use them too for my cucumbers and squash.. going to make use of some in the narrow beds where I know they do not get in the way and for smaller plants .. but the bigger beds and plants, the florida weave method for sure. I used my tomato cages for years and the cons are 1) too small for the big plants 2) tough to weed and hill around the base of my plants because the four wires are in the way 3) they need additional support and fall over when mature plants weigh or storm winds blow. 4) the wire is too thin and the vines usually need twine support anyway or the vine breaks on the thin cage wire. 5) they eventually rust at the bottom and break after a few seasons and aren't cheap compared to bamboo or 2x2x8 or 1x2x8 pine wood stakes which can be cut to length and fewer to set for your plant support requirements. 6) Cages are harder to set up and maintain and picking fruit is harder compared to maneuvering between a Florida weave row. I think I covered everything
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Old March 27, 2014   #35
livinonfaith
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It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one using them. Now I don't feel so stupid!

One thing I haven't tried but have hardly ever heard good things about is the Topsy Turvy tomato kit. I don't know of a single person who used theirs more than once.

I've never had a lot of luck with those little peat pellets than you use to start your seeds either. (but some people seem to do okay with them, so it may be a difference in maintenance or humidity conditions.)
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Old March 28, 2014   #36
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...One thing I haven't tried but have hardly ever heard good things about is the Topsy Turvy tomato kit. I don't know of a single person who used theirs more than once....
I don't know anyone who's used one, but I was at the local flower and garden show last week and at a presentation of new stuff for container gardens, the topsy turvy was one of the items featured!! I assume he gets samples for free (he gives them away at the end fo the presentation), but still, I was surprised that an experienced garden person would recommend it. He and some people in the audience said it was good for cherry tomatoes!

They've been around for a few years, though, and the first time I saw them I thought they were a fad that wouldn't last more than a season.
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Old March 28, 2014   #37
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They bred a tomato variety for those planters called 'Topsy Tom.' I tried to grow them in hanging baskets last year, and the vines would not cascade. Then I realized what should have been obvious - they were not bred to cascade over the sides of a basket, because they don't have to. The planter is upside down. Duh.
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Old March 28, 2014   #38
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Hi

>>> I've never had a lot of luck with those little peat pellets than you use to start your seeds either

Me and DW use hundreds of these every season, to very good effect. A couple of important rules we follow:

1) Use only the bigger ones from Jiffy (36 to a tray). They keep a more even moisture, and give more room to the little seedlings to grow in until potting up. The little ones (72 to a tray) are a waste.
2) Always remove the surrounding net before potting up
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Old March 28, 2014   #39
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The only problems I have ever had with Jiffy 7 Peat Pellets has been when I did not get them thoroughly wet when I started them. And also I always use the Jiffy Brand. Burpee had some one year that were coir and the plants took a couple of months to grow to transplant size even with fertilization.

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Old March 28, 2014   #40
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Don't buy an Ultimato tomato cage system. It's modular, but not very strong, and not tall enough; all and all not a bad idea, just poor quality. I actually had better luck making an impromptu cage/teepee with cheap-o bamboo rods.
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Old March 28, 2014   #41
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Never buy those flimsy tomato cages from the big box store to hold up your tomatoes. They'll barely hold up a dwarf. A sungold F1 will literally break the welds on them.

PS I actually would never buy one, but I have 4 received as gifts from well meaning, but inexperienced friends.
Use those cages for smaller pepper varieties. Great for habaneros. Also works well for even very large eggplants.
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Old March 28, 2014   #42
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Originally Posted by rxkeith View Post
any home exercise equipment.

i myself have never bought any such thing.
my wife however, would keep coming across something that seemed like a good idea at the time, would get used for a little while and then never again. i think she is past buying any more gadgets, but i asked her to run it by me first if the urge strikes her again.



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I love my rowing machine and my husband loves his stair climber. I hate going to the gym to use sweaty, rhinovirus infected stuff.
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Old March 28, 2014   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by habitat_gardener View Post
Me too! I use stakes with them -- 6 ft. rebar or bamboo. I didn't buy any of them. They were all free from one source or another.

For pole beans, I stack 2 cages, wide sides together, also well staked.
What a great idea! How many beans per cage stack? I was trying to figure out an inexpensive structure for pole southern peas and long beans. Moving soon and I sold my cattle panels to make the yard look nicer.
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Old March 29, 2014   #44
Tom A To
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Seems like you could use the smaller, flimsy cages turned upside down and they would suffice for cucumber trellis'.
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Old March 29, 2014   #45
madddawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livinonfaith View Post
It's nice to hear that I'm not the only one using them. Now I don't feel so stupid!

One thing I haven't tried but have hardly ever heard good things about is the Topsy Turvy tomato kit. I don't know of a single person who used theirs more than once.

I've never had a lot of luck with those little peat pellets than you use to start your seeds either. (but some people seem to do okay with them, so it may be a difference in maintenance or humidity conditions.)
My Mother In-law gave me one of those so it gave me an idea to try in 5 gal buckets the same way, They all failed!They get too hot, no room for roots, Not enough moister retention. Who Knows....Keep em in the ground like nature intended...
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