|Cucumbers climb a trellis in a community garden. The trellis is easy to remove at season's end.|
Concrete reinforcing mesh outranks typical metal tomato cages in size, strength and ease of both harvest and storage between seasons. The metal grids are widely available at hardware stores and home and garden centers. The mesh comes in rolls of 100 feet or in panels typically 4x8 feet. The panels cost around $8. Yes, that may be pricier than a single tomato cage, but these cages are big enough to place two or three tomato plants inside -- and they'll last for years. The openings are 6 inches across, allowing for easy harvest.
A main advantage of the panels vs. rolls is not having to cut the mesh. To make a tomato cage bring the short ends together and use cable ties to join into a tube. This forms free-standing cages, or you may stake into the ground with rebar poles for extra security. (But they're not going anywhere!) At season's end cut the cable ties and stack panels flat against a wall or fence.
To make a trellis use three long rebar poles per panel: two at either short end and one in the middle. Hammer the poles into the ground 12 inches or so deep. Attach the panel with cables ties. If you want the trellis to be elevated off the ground, use a wide wooden stake next to the rebar poles to form a shelf for the panel bottom before attaching with cable ties.
Trellises from concrete reinforcing mesh are easy to set up and easy to take down, but have the strength of more permanent installations -- making them ideal for shared gardens or crop rotations in your home plot.
|Poles beans climb trellis made of concrete reinforcing mesh.|