Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Ta dah! A fruit cage!

There we go, one fruit cage fully erected and installed! We got it all built on Sunday afternoon with a little help from my Dad who popped over to help. 

Once we'd lugged all the poles and netting up to the plot (note to self, need a bigger car!) It was surprisingly simple to put up. First we laid out the top of the frame on the ground to allow us to mark where the uprights needed to go. 

Then we had to get the supports for the uprights in, this was by far the worst part of the whole thing as the ground was painfully hard and didn't seem to want the supports whacked in with a mallet however hard we tried. In the end we half dug holes with a spade and just bashed the supports in the last few inches.

Once they were finally in it though was a simple case of putting in the uprights and the door frame then, with Dad holding the roof bars in place, going round the top of each upright and screwing the mushroom caps in place securing the whole structure together.

Once it was all tightened up and looking 'right' it was time to put the side netting on. I honestly expected this to be a bit of a nightmare but it was actually really simple. Dad went round holding the netting while M and I put four cable ties round each upright to hold the netting in place. All that was needed when we got round the whole thing to where we started was to trim the excess netting off and bingo, sides done.

Last but not least was the roof. This again looked like it might be fiddly but once we'd worked out the corners (helpfully marked with white and green ties) it was just a case of stretching it over the cage and using the S hooks to attach it to the side netting pulling it taught.

Finally we attached the door latch and there we were, finished. Well, I say 'finished', we aren't quite, tonight we're going to rake over the ground and cover the floor of it with black weed suppressing fabric which we'll leave there for at least the rest of this year just to guarantee all the weeds are gone. Next year we'll probably plant things through it, make raised beds, or both, we'll see. For now though we've put the fruit bushes we've already got in tubs on the plot in there so it's officially in use right away and they'll be joined this week by a few more from home. 

It only took just over three hours to build which wasn't bad and the instructions provided by William Jams and Co were simple and easy to understand. I think I'll probably go round and tidy up a few of the ties and S hooks now it's up just to make it perfect but we're really really happy with it already. Can't wait till fruit bushes come back back in season and we can start filling it up now.


melsanford said...

Wow! Fab job! It's a lot bigger than I was expecting! It'll look great when it's full :-) Love 'n' hugs, Mel xx

john bain said...

Impressive! Don't forget to leave something outside for the birds and butterflies.

Jo said...

Wow! It's a great size. Can't wait to see it full to bursting with fruit.

LindaG said...

It looks really good. :)
I hope your weed suppressant works well. Even when I cover mine with bricks, the weeds find a way around.
Thanks for commenting. Congrats on getting rain. We could use some here.

Midmarsh John said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.
Your efforts will be amply rewarded. I built a walk in fruit cage a few years ago and now get all my fruit to myself. I don't have to beat the Blackbirds to the raspberries any more ;)

np said...

Good work bet it feels so good after all the hard work