remesh for tomato stakes or PVC

coengMay 3, 2012

I've been to Lowes and two Home Depots and have not been able to find a clean 4-foot wide roll of the heavy duty remesh material with the larger square openings. The best they had was pre-cut sheets of RUSTY remesh at Lowes (I believe it was 42" width and 6 foot length). They had some remesh at HD in rolls but it was so bent and rusted that I didn't even bother. Also, the rebar only came in lengths of 3, 4, and 10 feet. No six footers.

Time to reconsider my cage plans!

Perhaps PVC is the way to go for me. Sort of like my cucumber trellis (photo below), only 1/2 inch PVC instead of 3/4 inch. One trellis for each of my 2x4 tomato beds. Also, will probably not create a grid out of plastic coated clothesline material like I made for my cukes.

Suggestions?

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Well the PVC would be in keeping with what you have so far - appearance wise. But there is another alternative - the galvanized fencing you used. You can make cages out of it too and then you just snip some random 4x4 or 4x6 spaces out on the cage for picking. I have several of them I made from some left over fencing and others have made them too when they don't want the 'rusty' look.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:31AM
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John11840(z6/CT)

I use galvanized fence with a 1" X 4" mesh about like you have in you photo, but I don't make it into cages. I just have 2 straight fences and weave the plants through the mesh as they grow. I would rather have a larger mesh, but the 1X4 works. I use the galvanized because it doesn't rust. 4' CRW or fence is too short. I use 5' fence and have it mounted 1' off the ground. Just a suggestion.
John A

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:35AM
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coeng

I also have a portion of my vinyl coated fencing material left over, however it is not as rigid as remesh. Won't it bend under the weight of the plant and tomatoes? Another concern is that if cut the openings bigger I won't be able to get a clean flush cut. When someone goes to stick their hand in, they may get a nice gash. Or is there a trick to this?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 10:56AM
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coeng

John, do you happen to have a photo of your setup?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:01AM
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Kevinitis(5)

A friend of mine uses cattle panel(with 4" x 4" mesh) for his raised bed garden boxes. He wires the tops of the panels together to form an A-frame that run the lenght of his boxes. The tomatoes grow into and are supported in the A-Frame naturally. I don't think he actually weaves them. At the end of the season he just pushes the A-frames over and it pulls the dead tomato plants out. Then to store them he conveniently closes the A-frames flat. Its really quite clever. I don't know what he uses to link the tops of his panels but you could easily use zip ties or hog rings. If I had grow boxes I would do A-frames his way. Since I have row crops and not boxes I do them like digdirt.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 11:31AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I also have a portion of my vinyl coated fencing material left over, however it is not as rigid as remesh. Won't it bend under the weight of the plant and tomatoes? Another concern is that if cut the openings bigger I won't be able to get a clean flush cut. When someone goes to stick their hand in, they may get a nice gash. Or is there a trick to this?

Can't speak to your vinyl fencing as I'm not familiar with it so it could be too flexible. But no, regular galvanized, welded wire fencing won't bend under the weight. These cages in the pic are 8-10 years old now with no problems. But like all tall cages they do still require a stake to keep the wind from laying them over when they reach full growth. I just hadn't staked the cages in the pic yet. I drive a 3' spade-end metal stake along side each cage and strap tie the cage to it in a couple of places.

As to the cuts, you just leave a 1/2-3/4" tag end when you cut and bend them back with pliers or channel locks. Gives you a nice smooth finish to the opening. You can also use a powdered hand grinder which cuts and grinds down the rough end at the same time.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 1:15PM
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2ajsmama

Would electrical conduit be stiff enough to support a cage? It's less expensive than T-posts (at least if you can use 1/2" or 3/4" instead of 1")? And HD will cut it for you, though they won't cut rebar.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 3:11PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Probably. But the 3' green spade-end metal posts are only $1.79 at Lowe's here so are a lot cheaper than conduit is. Plain old wooden stakes work just as well for staking the cages and some use the vinyl coated fake bamboo ones too and they are even less expensive than the metal posts are.

HD here sells rebar pre-cuts. Whole racks of them in various diameters pre-cut into 4' lengths.

Dave

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 4:19PM
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2ajsmama

Whoa! I'm going to have to go to Lowes. I don't remember what the shortest T-posts are at HD, I was looking at the taller ones to use as fence posts as well as supports. They do sell pre-cuts, but 4ft is $3, 10ft is $5 so if you can find a way to cut it there, and need 5ft (or can use 3ft) it's cheaper that way.

I thought TSC used to have bulk pricing on T-posts but can't find it now.

Do you have a link Dave? I can't seem to find it on Lowes site - searched metal post and fence post. No hits on spade-end post. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 4:59PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Price is $2.44 online (see link below) but I bought 10 of them 2 weeks ago locally for 17.90 plus tax.

Then there are these stakes for $1.98 that also come in packs of 25. They are just to anchor the cage so don't need to heavy duty steel and they don't need to be all that tall either.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Lowes fence post

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 6:55PM
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2ajsmama

We got some of those vinyl-coated steel stakes last year just to slip non-metallic conduit over for deer fence - they break too easily in our rocky soil and with the wind.

But the U post is a possibility - I was just looking at taller T-posts, for some reason I though U posts were more expensive.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2012 at 9:25PM
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