Hello! My mother had a netted cage for soft fruit, that was built from wood. It eventually rotted and the area became overgrown. We would now like a new fruit cage, for raspberries, gooseberries and black currants. I'm thinking a metal framed one, with net. We'd be looking in the low to medium price range. Can anyone recommend one they have? I think it would need to be fairly tall for easy access for weeding etc. Do you have one you love? Is it sturdy?
This makes me sound competent at DIY. I am not. It took me ages and ages to do because I am shit at such like things. However, if you or someone you know is competent, I think it can be done quite easily and rapidly.
I put gravel boards around my fruit bed to start. (I actually used the wooden fascias off my house, but you could use any wood of the right kind of size from gravel board to scaffolding board to stuff pulled out of a skip).
My neighbour was chucking out some hollow stainless steel poles so I grabbed these. But you could use any metal or wooden post. I drilled holes in the top at 90 degree angles from each other at the top and in the middle. I then postcreted these into the ground around 3 metres apart.
Then I got some plastic rope, and I tied it around the centre of the cage and around the top. I also put rope in a cross over the middle at the top.
I bought two pieces of inexpensive stretchy netting online. I used one for the top and one to go around the edge. I fastened these to both the poles and the ropes with cable ties. I made sure that on one side there was plenty of overlap, so I could make 'curtains' (like in a theatre, but out of netting).
I then put hooks into the gravel boards at the bottom of the bed and hooked the netting over.
The whole thing cost me about £25 for the netting, rope and ties and a bag of postcrete.
Shovetheholly, sounds like a great fruit cage! The wooden one we've just dismantled was a home made one too, and stood the test of time for a good ten years. However, my parents are getting on a bit now, and we really need one that is easy to assemble and quick. I don't have time to build them one either, or I would follow your good example. My dad probably wouldn't bother at all now, but my mum does love growing fruit and I'd love this to continue. Anyone else got a ready to buy fruit cage?
Wow, thanks agoodbook, that's a very useful article. I had heard of the company Two Wests and Elliot, but your article doesn't recommend them. Plenty of others to choose from. I'm trying to do the research to make this as easy for my mum as possible. I spent the whole day in Sunday clearing away the old rotted one and digging up rabbit fence. The brambles and ferns were way higher than me. Still got lots of clearing to do before we can even think of preparing the ground, but it would be nice to know which frame we are aiming for. I think the black finished ones look nice rather than shiny metal.