Author Topic: Any recommendations?  (Read 636 times)

Offline Rabbitproof

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Any recommendations?
« on: April 09, 2018, 01:13:41 PM »
Wondering if anyone could recommend an internet site where I could order DECENT tomato cages. I have a few very old ones that are tall enough and have lasted yrs, but the newer ones I have purchased in the box stores came apart in a yr or 2 and weren't that functional to begin with. THIS yr the only ones I can find look like they would be barely big enough for a pepper plant. I have to go online, I guess, and try to find some suitable ones----is that crazy? What is so difficult about tomato cages that one cannot find a decent one in 2 cities here? Does anyone know of a site where I can order suitable ones like there were maybe 6 or 7+ yrs ago?  Hopefully, not for an arm and a leg,tho I know they will cost some more.

Offline billygoat

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 02:07:37 PM »
I've just finished making tomato cages from field fencing.  They are durable and easy to make.  A roll of 5 foot wire fencing costs about $125 at Tractor supply and is about 350 feet or so.  Each of my cages used 75 inches of wire and I used a T post for support.  I was tired of wood posts being eaten by ground bugs.  Yes the cost is up front and requires a little work.  The wife and I were able to make twenty cages in three hours.
350 feet times 12 inches divided by 75 equals 56 cages.   Good luck on your project.  Bill

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2018, 02:22:51 PM »
hey rabbit

i tried shopping out some tomato cages 2 years ago when i had the big heirloom toms going in my woodchip bed.  i ended up doing florida weave that year since it was not in my budget at the time to buy a roll of the tall fencing wire.   i priced out some of the big square folding cages and they were like 20 bucks a pop plus shipping online.  for that, you can buy the wire and have better cages.

i found a better solution for my budget.  i went to our local scrap yard and i lucked out and they had a roll of the tall wire there.  i got the whole thing for like 14 bucks (at that yard, they charge double the scrap value).  check out the local scrap yard in your area and you might luck out. 

you may also want to check craigslist for your area.  i know the big wire cages are up on craigslist here for 8 to 10 dollars a pop pre-made. 

good luck!

Offline Daniel Grant

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2018, 05:19:23 PM »
I have used the Florida weave method very successfully for several years. I have used 8 foot 2x2 treated and sharpened on one end for posts. I use a hand fence post driver to pound them in about 18 inches. It can be a bit of a challenge to get the driver over the top and drive beginning at 8 feet.  I will be using some cattle wire panels for Italian pole beans this year and may try tying some tomatoes on those as well as my usual Florida weave.
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Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2018, 08:54:18 AM »
Thanks you all for the suggestions. I watched the video's on making my own and also priced online. Definitely pricey online for the ones I would want that are very heavy gauge . Will have to get cracking and make a decision soon which way to go. They do seem pretty simple to make----even for a creatively challenged person like myself!! I think I will go the old cage versus the weave style....just cuz that is what I am used to.

Offline LakeRat1

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2018, 11:53:48 AM »
If U watch U will sometimes see a part of a roll of Concrete reinforcement wire that U can buy are sometime they will give it to U to get it out of the way, that make up into a very good cage, I don't remember how many inches it takes per cage, My Brother went this rout, I use the Florida weave and a stake between every other plant, and a T post on each end of the 16 ft raised bed

Rat
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Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2018, 12:09:33 PM »
 LakeRat....I read the Fla. weave is best for determinate tomatoes. I grow Indeterminate only----most times they get  tall and big. The tallest they get for me are 6.5 ft tall and usually 5.5 ft wide. Don't know how they would do with the weave method....????

Offline LakeRat1

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2018, 08:14:39 PM »
Rabbitproof, I grow 1 bed of determinate tomatoes (Celebrity) and 1 bed of Indeterminate tomatoes ( Park Whopper ) I use 8 ft stakes in this bed, then up on top of the stakes i make a trellis like, by using cane poles connecting to all the stakes across the top, once the Parker whoppers reach the top, the grow over the trellis and back toward the ground,

The Park whopper is a good tasting & good growing tomato, they just grow like Jack & the Bean stalk

I guess i don't really do the  real Fla. weave, because i place a stake between every other plant, this helps support the load of the big heave vines,

My Rasied beds are 4 x 16 & place 8 plants on each side, I drive a T post at both ends of each row, this give me a solid place to pull/anchor the weave/twine onto

I also have 5 beds that are 4 x 8. i use these for bell peppers, and salad tomatoes, also have some Kennebec Irish potatoes in a couple

Rat
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2018, 06:09:08 AM »
Wow,Rat....bet those Whopper tomatoes look like a forest in your garden growing up and then back down. Yes, that sounds like they would need the extra support you give them. I am on limited room in a single garden space(and also have another corner spot in my yard.)....ha , can't have too many monstrous ones growing in there! I am still reading and viewing video's about the Weave,though. Think it would be interesting to try.

Offline LakeRat1

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2018, 01:03:42 PM »
Rabbitproof >< One more about the weave, U need something solid on each end to anchor off on, like in my case i drive a T post on both ends of each row of tomatoes

U are right about how these Whopper grow, the first year i did not have any support on top, at some point they slid down, talk about a mess, they keep making into early fall

Rat
zone 8
Concordia Parish La.
18 Pecan Trees 11 Raised Beds
Live on the Banks of Lake St. John
about 1/2 Mile from the Miss River
Has to Be Next Door To Heaven
Toro ZTR Mower >< Lots of Grass

Offline Rabbitproof

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Re: Any recommendations?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2018, 01:55:22 PM »
Well, was out shopping (garden hose, Serenade, worm castings,etc.) and found sturdy old fashioned (thick) tall tomato cages for $10 a piece. That nursery is the only place I saw any worth dropping a dime on. I always pound a stake on either side of the cage so are very supported but the cages at most places are the pits!! Cannot find the mushroom compost anywhere in Maryville but know a place in Knoxville( I think) who has it. Got the castings just in case to see how they do in a pinch. I may have lots of worms in my garden but since garden is still sleeping under the straw don't know for sure. Headed out to set up the irrigation lines now.....hope don't need to order new parts for that!!