Be Frugal in the Garden with Tips for Pallets, Perennials, Tomato Cages and More


Thrifty Garden Tomato Cages

Photo by Rex Hammock

Saving money where you can is always a good idea and the garden is no exception. Pennies saved here and there can all add up.

Don’t get me wrong, there are always new gadgets and new methods that prove worthwhile. However, it is easy to be taken with the “latest and greatest” to the point where we think that our garden just has to have them. Sometimes, what you have on hand or what you can fashion from materials on hand work just as well or better than some new products that gardening centers and seed companies would like you to buy.

DIY Tomato Cages

A good example are tomato cages. Most of those three-pronged ones that you buy just don’t last. They get bent and are not strong enough to hold the plants up in the first place. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to stumble onto collapsible ones at a greenhouse that are sturdy enough to hold up the most robust plants and also fold for easy storage. But, you guessed it, they are also much more expensive than the regular ones.

With a couple livestock panels and a little ingenuity, you can make your own. Simply, take a panel and cut it lengthwise to the desired height that you want your cages to be. Don’t discard the piece you cut off — another use for that later. After you get the height, cut the panel into four equal sections just as wide as you want the cages. Using zip ties, secure the four panels together and you have a cage that is sturdy and made from something that was probably just taking up space in a barn.

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