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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered up 10 tomato climbers from Jeff Bozos, $8 each. Then I got to thinkin, why send money to that weasel if I can build my own objects for the tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers to climb.

Voila, a look around the old ranch, a call to a neighbor, and zero dollars later we have one tomato bed ready and planting, plus the cucumber bed all ready for next week.

Cattle ranchers have a LOT of this stuff lying around. The locals call it Cattle Wire.


Once it's old, cut, and bent up, they may hang onto it, but rarely use it. My neighbor gave us an 18' length of it, just high enough for cucumbers. All we had to do was stand on it, straighten it out, then bend it into a big zzz form. Then we stood it on end and staked it down firmly.


Isn't that a nice climber for cucumbers?


Here's how we staked it down to support it.


For the tomatoes, I found some old movable cattle pen sides that were rusting out in our field. They might not be strong enough for cattle, but they're fine for tomatoes. They have their own feet at the bottom, so all we had to do was step on the low rail and drive the pipes into the tilled ground. Check it out.

Zero dollars spent.

The Amazon stuff arrived, and we'll use it for the next bed over. I'll let y'all know which work best, Bezos stuff or recycled free stuff. The old stuff was rusty, the new Bezos stuff was very dirty.
 

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Scraps of weld-wire fencing or chicken wire can be used too. I use scraps like that to make cages for oak saplings to protect them from marauding deer. Downed tree branches trimmed up make excellent stakes to tie tomato vines to-- By tying them back, more sun gets in to fruit, as opposed to cages allowing leaves to shade fruit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Reminds me of a revelation made by the French magazine Que Choisir (like Consumers Union in US). They tested inexpensive stainless cookware and found that it was ... radioactive! They'd apparently been made of recycled metals from nuclear power in France or China, God only knows where. So now we need personal Geiger counters?

These Bezos cages are so dirty, it made me think of that.
 

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Where can I get some of that cookware?..Not only is it cheap, but think of all the LP I'll save-- I can just let a roast sit in it like a slow cooker with no need to light the stove!
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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Thanks I’ve used cattle panels but never thought to arch them into tomato and cucumber arbors.
It's a thing of beauty once the vines have covered it. Nice shady place for a lawn chair and a break with iced tea on a hot summer day.
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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I like the arch idea I d got some panels to try it with. How tight an arch do you do?i guess I mean how many feet apart are the bases?
It was quite some time ago, at my old farm in MO. I'm afraid my aging mind no longer hangs on to numbers and stuff like that. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say about four feet apart at the base.
 

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We tried arches but makes them hard to pick. So just stand up the panels with 3 fence posts. For the tomatoes we use 2 panels about 8 inches apart. I have a panel set up every 6 ft Just use the small tillers along it to plant. Raid garbage cans at carpet shops for jute backed carpet to put between each one to keep the weeds down. Each trellis has drip irrigation.
this yr I am even getting lazier. I cut some carpet in 3 ft wide strips then built a branding iron type thing to heat up and burn a 6 inch round hole every 18 inches to plant in. So even less weeding.

The carpet is also easier on the knees when getting low to pick stuff. Keeps you out of the mud too.
 
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