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Using Wire Mesh in the Garden

  • Jan 8
    Wire mesh is at the top of my list of things that make vegetable
    gardening easier and more efficient. Intended for reinforcing concrete,
    the stiff 6 by 6-inch wire mesh makes perfect cages to support tomatoes
    or other tall crops. It also works beautifully for constructing
    trellises and fences. Combine it with plastic sheeting or row cover
    fabric and you can make minigreenhouses for season-extension and
    isolation cages for protection against pests or to assure seed purity.
    Using wire mesh in the garden makes gardening easier.To get more news
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    Understand: I'm not talking about woven-wire fencing. Although woven
    wire can serve many of the same functions, it is expensive (due to
    galvanization and manufacturing methods) and difficult to work with
    (because of the hardness of the wire). Concrete reinforcing mesh, made
    of softer, 9-gauge wire, is inexpensive, stiff enough to make sturdy
    cages and easy to work with using pliers and wire cutters.



    You can usually tell the difference just by looking at the mesh.
    Concrete-reinforcing wire oxidizes easily and often is already rusted
    when you buy it. Woven wire, because of its galvanized coating, remains
    bright for many years.
    Reinforcing wire comes in flat panels measuring 10 feet long, 50-foot
    rolls and 150-foot rolls. In all cases, the mesh is 5 feet wide. The
    single sheets are the most expensive, and the 150-foot rolls are the
    cheapest. Depending on where you live, a 5 by 150-foot roll of mesh
    costs $50 to $60. Given the number of uses it has in the garden, it
    makes sense to buy the longer rolls.



    The simplest method of using the mesh is for straight fencing and
    trellising to support tomatoes, beans and other vining plants, such as
    cucumbers and even melons. For instance, Scott Benson, in Upstate New
    York, grew out 100 tomato varieties on such fencing last year. Scott
    used 5 by 10-foot panels for this, because he feels it is aesthetically
    more pleasing and has safer edges than panels cut from a roll: an
    important consideration for him because his grow-out was part of a high
    school project.