Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Simple Fruit Cages

Just in the nick of time L made two lovely fruit cages for red and black currants. Two redcurrants had come from pots in our present garden, uprooted from our previous garden, and they look extremely happy to be planted out; there are several blackcurrants with a similar background, although some are accidental cuttings, after I'd used them as clematis props; and one, well-laden currant was already on the plot, and we've yet to find out what it is. 

So- these are simple structures, but sturdy and quite subtle in looks, achieved with skill and a soupçon of fruity language.  The wood is all reclaimed from the plot. The net was a 10p-a-pack bargain, bought the same weekend we became allotmenteers. Given the cost I bought up the whole shelf load of about 20 packs.  We haven't even got through one pack yet.

 Step one: the uprights go in

Step two: across bits are measured and screwed/ hammered in. The cost of the netting is gloated over by me

Step three: once the (cheap) netting is wrapped around and pinned in place the cage is complete. In the middle picture you can see the gap left for the door, which is made of net on a bit of bamboo, which can be rolled up or down as required.

Did I mention that the netting was very cheap?

At the front of the plot L made a mini cage for the currant

More net (bigger gauge, same cost) was stretched between 2 ash trees to give support to the French Beans (Cobra). I eventually decided to put these in the ground, despite the lingering doubts over frost. They are surrounded by cat litter- the reason being that we bought some (very expensive) slug barrier which looked exactly like cat litter (that the cat refuses to use), so thought we'd give this a go instead.

You can't see the net from a distance, and I'm hoping if the beans actually grow they won't totally  obscure the stripy greenhouse base.

So, with a last look across the front of the plot, past the onions, to the front border and the water tank, we bid adieu to this fruit cage issue. Total cost of build = 7.5 p. I'm happy with that.


  1. Hi chaps! (Now I've finally worked out how to leave a comment) I must say your plot is looking amazing! A bucolic idyll in the big city. And I'm delighted to hear of the bargain-buy netting. We didn't have such luck with our netting purchase and skimped on our fruit 'cage'. As a consequence the birds got in and that was that! Yours looks very impressive and quite impenetrable!

    Em xx

    1. Hi Em! And welcome to the blog comments section- great to hear from you, hmm must look at how the comments work- sounds a bit of a pain. Glad you like the look of the plot, you must see it for real sometime! In case you are concerned Dino has disappeared for a while- not sure where she's been, but I reckon we will see something of her and Motorbike Boy soon.... XX

  2. Can I make a plea for the birds? Make sure the netting isn't loosely fastened around the base as when we first made ours we didn't realise how dangerous this was for the birds until we found a dead blackbird that had become entangled. I was devastated to think we had caused its death!They love redcurrants and will tr anything to get to them. This is why we now use chicken wire around the base of our 'cages'

  3. Yes I must admit I really worry about the birds. We couldn't find any chicken wire, so we wove string through the bottoms and them made them as taught as possible and then pegged them down too. We eliminated any other flappy bits. However I will review the situation, as I would be horrified to cause bird death- so thank you for the advice.

  4. Hello, thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog today. I have had a brief look at your blog, I live in East Ham, where do you live? It must be wonderful to be able to maintain an allotment and be able to grow your own food, my garden is not really suitable for vegetable growing, it is far too small so I have just a few window boxes.

    Would be nice to hear if your cat litter is successful in keeping the slugs away, I am using slug pellets myself, it’s the only thing I have found to work so far.

  5. Hi Helene, You've got a great blog and a lovely garden! I'm only just starting out with the blog really, and the allotment. I am very fortunate in having 2 keen co-allotmenteers who do the hard work- I tend to sit in the greenhouse and direct!! We are in Walthamstow- and I'm just 4-5 mins away from the plot (Cheshire Fields). Greetings to you in East Ham! The real joy of the allotment for me is that we have always lived in rented accomodation, which has made making a garden difficult at times and a bit heartbreaking when we've moved on. In terms of veg we have only ever really grown tomatoes in the garden due to their ease and relative slug-free-ness. I don't know if we'll achieve anything else at the plot! I'm sure us London gardeners have more than our fair share of slugs and snails! I will read your blog in the future now I have found it, and will update re the cat litter/slug-away issue! All best Jill