Not really a Garden Secret but....

penny1947(z6 WNY)January 19, 2006

After reading JIM's post about his gardening secrets I thought this little tip may come in useful to some of you. I use a lot of tomato cages in my garden but not for tomatoes. Here are just a few of the uses that I have found for the old rusty cages that I have collected over the past couple of years.

1. Use as a base for a plant saucer bird bath: Tines go into the ground for stability and then place a large saucer in the top ring. Mine are 12 inches in diameter so i set a 12 inch saucer inside the ring. The lip of the saucer holds it securely. I can plant beneath the cage and all around it not losing any growing space.

2. Plant stands: I can put additional hanging baskets in the top ring of the tomato cages and place them in and around inground plants to add height to the bed.

3. Topiary frame for a container grown vine such as manettia. again the tines go into the soil and then the runners are started up the cage. I also added some crossed wire at the top of the cage to create a dome shape. For a large vine you could put two cages together top ring to top ring. I should have done that with mine but didn't think it would get this big.

4 A stand for a gazing ball. Invert the cage so that the top ring forms the base. I bent the tines into scrolls and rested my bowling ball gazing ball in the center.

I do spray paint all my tomato cages black to go with the scheme of things. BTW, all my cages were curb side rescues.


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cats39(z5 Upstate NY)


What do you mean not really???? a Garden Secret? And a bunch at that. I think those are truly Great Ideas that I would never have thought of and I'm sure there's others out there like me. Between you and gottagarden I'm going to have to go on a tomato cage expedition this spring when the house and garden cleaner's get busy.

I really like the bird one the best. I started a small Butterfly Garden last year and I'm going to use your Secret and put it to use for an above ground sand and mud drink and licking post for those little beauties even though I'll have clean and check on the wetness more often.

Now if I can only remember. I have "What was I here for syndrom" and there doesn't seem to be a pill for that.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 2:42PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Jim glad you liked the idea. I came up with it because I broke my regular birdbath and I had all these tomato cages stacked up in the garage. After i used the first one for the 'gazing ball', I started to think what else I could use them for besides just tomatoes. It is a lot lighter than a heavy cement bird bath and the saucer was easier to keep clean.


    Bookmark   January 19, 2006 at 6:10PM
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cats39(z5 Upstate NY)


You wrote: "I came up with"
And it's little things like that, that made this country "Great." It's called "American Ingenuity" all because people either gave up or shared their "Great Secrets"


    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 6:47AM
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husky004_(z5 NY)

I've seen Penny's cages and they are really cool!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 11:51PM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

Jim and Husky,
Y'all are going to make my head swell LOL! All joking aside I am just really cheap and if I can come up with something that I can reuse or reinvent without spending any money then I am all for it. I do drive my DH nutso with my crazy schemes as he is the type that will just go out and buy what he wants. I guess it is caused by the creative part of my brain in overdrive. Right now I am looking for those wrought iron scrolled hand rails to use in making a new garden arch. Sooner or later people replace them and toss them out. I just have to be there at the right time.


    Bookmark   January 22, 2006 at 6:24AM
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