Sometimes you need to balance functionality with aesthetics. About ten years ago I bought a roll of concrete reinforcing wire, the kind that’s 5′ tall with 6″ openings, and knocked out 8 tomato cages. The wire literally and figuratively became the backbone of the garden.
After using them I decided more were in order, because they’re so perfect; they keep the fruits off the ground, which limits disease and gnawing by insects, and they get the plants closer to eye level for easier inspection and care.
So what to do with the rest of the 100′ roll gathering dust? Two light, effective cold frames. I cut a tomato cage in half lengthwise. One is covered with some translucent fiberglass siding that I had lying around, zip-tied to the wire ribs, and cracks filled with expanding foam. The other is just covered with agricultural plastic cut to size and hot-glued. And yes, they’re durable.In fact, I picked these greens just last week…And to finish off the roll of wire, several seasonal fences that are supported with T-posts (another must-have in the efficient garden) and taken down in the fall. They’re perfect for climbing vegetable plants like cucumbers, beans and squash.