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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 April 29, 2014   #121
HydroExplorer
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Thanks for the tip. caging my tomatoes has always been a problem. This looks like an easy solution.
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Old April 30, 2014   #122
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I made mine by bending hooks last summer. They were solid and strong but they were a pain when it came to disassembling and rolling the cages for storage.

I elected to cut the bent wire hooks off flush with the angle grinder to make them easy to store in the shed. To reform the cylinders I will overlap one complete square and use zip ties to fasten for their deployment this summer.

Just wanted to update my experiences...the cages worked wonderfully all summer - no staking or anything.
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Old June 5, 2014   #123
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I am new to the forums.

I have been using concrete mesh cages for 2 decades. Some of my cages are 8' tall.

Recently I bought a bunch of roll-pins with a diameter close to 8 gauge wire in order to use as ferules on the ends of the cut wire. I then mig welded the pins to the butt jointed cage-wire. This meant that the role was extended by one more cage. I am not suggesting anyone else do this as I used the experience to practice welding and make cages at the same time.

IN SoCal where I live the summers are brutal hot (115 degrees in September). I place two 8' high cages in the middle of the row of 6' cages with a length of pencil rod (3/8" rebar) running from the first and last cage to the higher ones in the center of the row. I then drape floating row cover over the rod forming a slight shade. I got the idea from watching the scene in the Godfather where Don Corleone dies of a heart attack; the director (forgot his name) had them stretch white sheets over the entire tomato bed. However, not being a wealthy person I have to do everything myself on a budget. This seems to work to avoid sun scald and other attendant problems.
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Old January 29, 2015   #124
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You can also buy a 350 ft roll of 5 ft field fence for under $200 and use it. Its galvanized so it won't rust.I have had mine for 15 years and they still look great. You can get about 70 cages per roll if you use a 5 ft section for each cage, which we have found is just about right. Our garden group bought a role so our cages cost us around $2.50 each and they are better than 90% of the commercial ones at a fraction of the cost.
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Old January 29, 2015   #125
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You need to use 3 to 5 ft T-Posts or equivalent, and wire the cages to them.
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Old January 29, 2015   #126
JRinPA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeGrow View Post
You can also buy a 350 ft roll of 5 ft field fence for under $200 and use it. Its galvanized so it won't rust.I have had mine for 15 years and they still look great. You can get about 70 cages per roll if you use a 5 ft section for each cage, which we have found is just about right. Our garden group bought a role so our cages cost us around $2.50 each and they are better than 90% of the commercial ones at a fraction of the cost.
A link to this fencing would be great, thanks. I'm not seeing anything with my searches.
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Old January 29, 2015   #127
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JR, Look for farm fencing at places like Agway, Southern States, any
grain and hay business; even Home Depot sells farm fencing. Tractor
Supply Company should carry it-they also, at most TSC stores, carry cattle panel
which is more similar to concrete reinforcement wire. We use crw here as
I use long tent stakes to secure the cages. When we used farm fencing,
the wire intersections aren't welded and can buckle so we had to use stakes.
The tent stakes on the rigid crw are just easier for me to deal with by myself.

I think if I needed more tomato plant supports, I'd consider purchasing
cattle panel, installing it on T-posts (the SOLID, strong type of t-posts) in
a straight line (not cages). I'd grow the plants to 2 or 3 stems and secure to the
panel. Alternating years, I'd grow pole beans on the panel.

Darlene
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Old January 30, 2015   #128
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Thinking of Plasti Dip...

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Old January 30, 2015   #129
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Would need a lot to dip; do you brush it on? Wonder what plastics and plasticizers it contains . . .
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Old January 30, 2015   #130
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It comes in a quart size, I bet one could do two or three cages. I was thinking of using some kind of trough. It can be brushed or sprayed (there are also aerosol can versions). People in the last 5 or so years have been using it on cars, rims, etc..
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Old January 30, 2015   #131
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Here's Lowe's version: http://tinyurl.com/old8cy7

I don't need 350 feet, so the smaller roll works better for me.
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Old January 30, 2015   #132
JRinPA
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Thanks for the link...that is a 2x4" mesh, not a nice big 6"x6" like a CRW cage.

I love the CRW cages I use, but we are going to make some cages for my brother this year and it would be nice if the weren't rusty since he has little kids and wife that may be more squeamish about rust stains on everything.

I have thought about the plasti dip type stuff but it seems it would take a lot. I used my whole roll of CRW for our garden, but I'm not sure how many cages he needs.
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Old January 30, 2015   #133
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Is it possible in your area to find cut lengths of CRW? Angerstein's in Elsmere,DE, for instance, sells rolls of CRW as well as 10' lengths. We've curved them and tied them so they fit in the back of a pickup truck when we've needed to build just a couple of cages. Just be careful when they're untied!
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Old January 30, 2015   #134
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Oh yeah, I have to snip "big 'mater' holes to reach through, but it was still a more sensible choice for me.
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Old February 2, 2015   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRinPA View Post
A link to this fencing would be great, thanks. I'm not seeing anything with my searches.
We bought our at Tractor Supply. Farm and Fleet also has it.
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