'Mater ties

The plastic bag my morning paper comes in makes an excellent tie strip to tie my tomatoes to the stakes . I pinch a corner off the bottom so I'm not fighting trapped air . -- Snag Learning keeps you young !
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I used to use my better half's knee high stockings, but about 10 years ago I bought a roll of 5 foot concrete reinforcing wire and made cages. It is very stiff and hard to work with but the cages last a long, long time. One tip if anyone decides to do this: The cages will become top heavy by late summer so make your diameter at least 18 inches, 24 would be better. Steve
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So I'm not the only one.
Actually, this is my first round with the roll. I used to buy what the home centers call "mini mats" -- 4 foot by 8 foot sections of mesh. But I went to get more this year and found that they have gone to a much thinner wire (maybe 14 gauge).
The roll is 10 gauge and waiting for attention this weekend.
For the unfamiliar, this is wire welded in a square grid with 6" spacing. Lots of room for pulling even a very large tomato out. Years ago, I grew luffa on similar cages, but I think I pulled things out through the top.
--
Drew Lawson | It's not enough to be alive
| when your future's been deferred
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On Wed, 13 Jun 2012 18:36:22 +0000 (UTC), snipped-for-privacy@furrfu.invalid (Drew Lawson) wrote:

My method with the roll after trying a few different ways-- I roll out 10-20' on the driveway and try to flatten it as much as possible. Then I snip at the 4 or 5' mark. [I wish I'd made a couple 6' ones for the Sweet 100s]. I cut right at a weld line so I end up with 6" tails that I use to sink into the dirt. Rarely have to add any additional supports.
-snip-

I've got fewer tomatoes in this year so I've got a couple hills of cucumbers and beans growing on them, too.
I also saved some flat 5x5 pieces that I train some cukes on every year. I just make a self supporting 2-sided teepee with it and plant 8-10 cukes around the base. Keeps them up out of the dirt and slugs.
That mesh is some good stuff.
Jim
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Have a look at your local Lowe's or Home Depot for construction site safety netting. It's a 4x100 foot roll of very heavy plastic, bright orange with 2 inch squares. Cost is about $30. Tried it for peas this year, awesome! I cut off about 30 feet for a row, tied it to some stakes and the peas did the rest. This section should last for years plus I've got about 70 feet left. The only real issue is that you can't reach through it to pick. I noticed that Lowe's has the same thing in green in the garden section, but it's more than double the price.
The peas and spinach came out today, parsnips and something going in tomorrow. Got to go and pick blueberries now, there's just not enough hours in the day this time of year. Steve
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That's about what I've done with the 4x8 mats -- making 8 foot tall cages, sunk about a foot into the ground. The 5 foot roll (rather than the 4 foot sheet) should make a ~25% wider cage, which I expect to be a good thing. And I can vary the height that way. I like about 6 foot, with indeterminate tomato varieties.

That gives me a few ideas for other climbers. I don't have any peas in this year, but a mesh A-frame would probably be good there.
My current plans will use up about half of the roll I have. So I can experiment a lot with the rest.
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Drew Lawson
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I use women's old stockings. I bought a bag of them a few years ago for $1. Still have plenty. Also tieing cucumbers up to tomato cages to keep them off the ground.
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wrote:

I use circular clear plastic clips for my tomatoes, and I've found them very useful doing things like attaching vines to chainlink fence so the vine isn't interwoven into the fence and thus will be easier to remove if necessary.
Priscilla
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