Tomatoville® Gardening Forums


Notices

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.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old November 5, 2010   #1
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default Raybo's Removable, Self-supporting, Collapsible, Tall Cage for the EarthTainer (pics)

After a number of comments regarding the restrictions of the rigidly attached EarthTainer cage system, and a few scraped knuckles of my own in emptying and refilling, planting them with the cages in the way, I've developed a new, user-friendly design. It basically takes a commonly available Pea Fence (6 panels each 14 inches in length) and with some leg bends, adapts the cage to "grip" the rim of the 'Tainer:



It is relatively easy to make the required bends to the 1/8" galvanized legs which will attach as the 12 anchor points:



Once the base unit is fabricated, a second cage (without any bends) is inserted to double the height to a total of 62 inches:



Four 1/8" wire rope clips then attach the outboard legs of the extension cage to the base unit:



It takes about 30 minutes to make the 36 bends, and assemble the cages together:



The cage assembly then simply snaps on to the EarthTainer, providing 12 self-supporting hardpoints:



Optionally, you can attach flexible tarp straps to the diagonal corners of the cage to provide further tension to the assembly:



The neat thing about this new design is that at the end of the Season, you can remove the cage from the EarthTainer and flatten it out:



Stores nicely up against a wall in the garage taking up minimum space:



Cost for the two panel 62" high system for each EarthTainer runs about $17.50 using the $25.00 off coupon at Gurneys.com

http://gurneys.com/pea-fence/p/12826/

Hint: Order two cartons (4 panels) plus a $1.00 pack of seeds, and you will be just at the $50.00 minimum order).

I'll be updating the EarthTainer Construction Guide with specific bend dimensions, etc. in the near future.

Raybo

Last edited by rnewste; November 5, 2010 at 06:31 PM.
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6, 2010   #2
sprtsguy76
Tomatovillian™
 
sprtsguy76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Clara CA
Posts: 1,126
Default

I love the whole fold it up flat and store it concept, nice job Ray!

Damon
sprtsguy76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6, 2010   #3
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default

Damon,

I have now improved the rigidity of the design by using 8 wire rope clips to secure the horizontal ribs of the cage together, instead of the zip ties.



If you hand tighten them with a nut driver to be snug, the joints still will twist easily to fold up the cage. The flattened cage measures 42 inches wide, by 61 inches high. Keeping them inside during the Winter will obviously prolong their life, as well as the Yard just looks better, according to Dear Wife.

Anybody want to buy 32 (slightly used) Glamos heavy-duty tomato cages???



Raybo
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2011   #4
Mark0820
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 907
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewste View Post
Damon,

I have now improved the rigidity of the design by using 8 wire rope clips to secure the horizontal ribs of the cage together, instead of the zip ties.

If you hand tighten them with a nut driver to be snug, the joints still will twist easily to fold up the cage. The flattened cage measures 42 inches wide, by 61 inches high. Keeping them inside during the Winter will obviously prolong their life, as well as the Yard just looks better, according to Dear Wife.

Anybody want to buy 32 (slightly used) Glamos heavy-duty tomato cages???

Raybo
This is a little off topic, but I am wondering how well the Glamos tomato cages work in a garden. Since the top is wider than the bottom, I always thought they would fall over unless they were secured to a t-post or some other type of support. Am I wrong in my assumption?
Mark0820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 14, 2011   #5
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default

You definitely need to stake the Glamos cages, or else the weight of the plant and fruit will pull them over. That was one of my continuing challenges when I grew in a raised bed, prior to the EarthTainers.

Raybo
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 16, 2011   #6
Mark0820
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 907
Default

Thanks Raybo! Originally, I was thinking about using them for determinate tomatoes. Would the glamos cage work okay for small fruited peppers like Jalapenos, etc. (where there wouldn't be too much weight on the cage)? Or do you think they would still fall over?

Mark
Mark0820 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6, 2010   #7
sprtsguy76
Tomatovillian™
 
sprtsguy76's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Santa Clara CA
Posts: 1,126
Default

Ha Ha, like I dont have enough CRW cages myself! Storing them is the hardest part. Whats the going rate for steel per pound right now? Maybe you can recycle them or give away zzxjkxjxkxjx j
sprtsguy76 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6, 2010   #8
lowlylowlycook
Tomatovillian™
 
lowlylowlycook's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: So. Illinois (6a)
Posts: 150
Default

Maybe offer to take a neighbor's zucchini if they take your cages?
lowlylowlycook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 6, 2010   #9
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default

Actually, the Glamos 54" heavy-duty cages are tough to find these days since Walmart stopped carrying them 2 years ago. I'll probably retrofit just a few EarthTainers a year with the new Pea Cages, as the Glamos cage system is still about a foot taller (73" versus 62"), using these for plants like Big Beef, and other tall ones.

Raybo
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2011   #10
bdank
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 51
Default

Great cages, Raybo. They fit the commercial earthbox as if they were made for it! I have figured out how to attach them to my earthboxes by using 4 of the EarthBox Staking System Rim Clamps



bdank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2011   #11
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default

bdank,

That is outstanding Engineering!

I have been sitting here this week trying to figure out how I can build a cage to fit my EarthBox for the Pepper plants. Your design will be perfect. Thanks for posting the photo!

You may want to take pliers or a nutdriver over the upward pointing cage ends, and bend them inward so you don't cut yourself when walking by the cages, as they seem to always point out from the manufacturing process. Just a safety suggestion.

Raybo
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 16, 2011   #12
bdank
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 51
Default

Raybo,
yeah, I thought it was pretty smart of me to think to use the staking system clamps like that. I told my husband to bow down to me as he is usully the one who thinks of these things.

It holds the cage on very tight too! I'm temped to sell the whole cage idea to earthbox .
The clamps are reasonably priced too. I got 4 of them for $5.

You will need to buy some bolts to get it to work. the ones that came with my earthbox staking system rim clamps are too short for this use. I'm using 4 10x24 1-3/4 inch bolts, along with the nuts that came with the clamps, per cage.

Also, I used these cage clips to put the two pea fences together. It came out way cheaper than the rope clamps that you use. I have to make 20 cages and that many rope clamps would be expensive.

Last edited by bdank; April 16, 2011 at 09:33 PM.
bdank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011   #13
bdank
Tomatovillian™
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Virginia
Posts: 51
Default

BTW here's a link to where we are discussing these cages on the earthbox forum.
bdank is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011   #14
organichris
Tomatovillian™
 
organichris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 630
Default

Raybo, you are one ingenious dude. So much so that you force me to question my own intelligence.

organichris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20, 2011   #15
rnewste
Tomatovillian™
 
rnewste's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Campbell, CA
Posts: 3,989
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by organichris View Post
Raybo, you are one ingenious dude. So much so that you force me to question my own intelligence.

organichris,

I am just trying to apply what I've learned in Technology over the years to growing tomatoes.

This afternoon, I had Farhad Manjoo over to the 'Tainer "Farm" as he has just built 3 of them himself, and wanted to see them in operation. I think he left somewhat impressed with the applied technology that went in to design the system. Stay tuned, as he indicated he may be writing an article on them for Slate.com

http://www.slate.com/id/2272970/author/47787

Fun stuff!

Raybo
rnewste is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:04 AM.


★ Tomatoville® is a registered trademark of Commerce Holdings, LLC ★ All Content ©2017 Commerce Holdings, LLC ★