Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Potato Pro, Raspberry Pro

I'm not tooting my own horn here.  I'm not a professional anything.  This is all about keeping things safe.  We've talked about garden pro not that long ago when the girls were still on the loose in the yard and when the squirrels were digging me an opportunity to plant onions twice.

Keeping busy feet at bay

Big-hearted chicken lover that I am, I suffer a twinge (is it guilt?) when the hens do not have full free range of all our property.  Well, not the front yard--there's no fence there.  So recently my extra tomato cages became potato pro(tection).   Two by two lumber from an old bean trellis found itself in the Things I get to do today to hinder the frenzied feet of the girls at the base of my raspberry rows.

Cages just laid on the bed--spaces too open and vulnerable

But back to the tomato cages.  I'm very opinionated on this subject, I'll warn you up front.  The round wire funnel cages, in my opinion, are nothing short of a nuisance, especially in the off season.  My preference is the kind that are about three and a half feet tall and 14 inches square.  At the end of the season, they fold flat.  15 of them take not space at all, it seems.  But even this kind can be worthless if they are made cheaply with light-weight wire.  A good wind will take them and your tomatoes right over like a pile of angry coat hangers in a wrestling match.

Cages opened, linked and offset with 6-7" openings.

Somehow I acquired half a dozen or so of this cheapo kind.  And when the potatoes needed help these worthless wires were shanghaied into service.  I unlinked the hooks that made them square, creating a flat open mesh, then linked half of them all together to cover the long bed.  Did the same with the rest and laid them offset so that the "mesh" has about 6" openings in instead of 12".

There's a use for everything if you let your creativity ramble about in the vicinity of an idea that's looking for an answer.


  1. Raspberries take precedence over tomatos every day in my world. Fortunately I don't manage a farm plot.

    1. I really like raspberries. I love, love, love tomatoes. And I guess I create extra occupations for myself by turning our city lot into a farm. Keeps me off the streets, out of mischief and in a state of bliss most of the time. Thanks for checking in. Blessings to you!

  2. I like to put a "fence" off the ground for my cucumbers to grow on. I don't think I have seen any of those square cages for tomatoes. Today I am going to put up a fence along my tomato plants for them to rest upon. It worked quite well last year. Those funnel cages are not big enough, in my opinion. I wish I knew more how to keep the tomato plants trimmed back where they didn't grow so big. Have to do some research.

    1. Two kinds of tomatoes: indeterminate and determinate. The "indeterminate" grow until they get tired (never), while the determinate just go up to where the rules say "stop." I've always grown the rangy ones. Tomato fence sounds perfect--they just need something to be fastened to. I've seen cucumber fence--the cubs just hang out ready to pick!