USING CONCRETE WIRE MESH TO TRAIN YOUR PLANTS: HOW-TO, PROS AND CONS
Does using remesh to train your plants really work as you expect?
Concrete wire mesh (remesh) is a very strong material which is usually used for construction, but gardeners have seemed to give it another use. Surprisingly, wire mesh has become widely adopted in gardening, due to its low cost, high resistance and durability. It can easily be found at hardware or construction material stores and generally comes in 48×84 inches panels, or 60 inches tall per 150 feet wide rolls. When rolled, concrete wire mesh is difficult to flatten, so they are commonly used to build tomato cages.
It is true that prefabricated cages for tomato can be found at gardening stores, but they are made of thin wire and because of this can only be used to train bush tomatoes. For bigger tomato varieties it is need a sturdier structure; that is why many gardeners go for building concrete wire mesh cages by themselves. Cages need to be at least 6 feet tall (1, 82 m) and 18 inches (45 cm) in diameter, but that will depend on your necessities and particular preferences. Tomato remesh cages are also ideal for containing berries plants, which if not limited, will occupy all the space they find in their path. It is better to place cages when berries are still young or if you have pruned them recently. There are gardeners that assure they have used cages for training zucchini, cucumber and eggplants as well, but this would require constant pruning and would make of picking up crops a very difficult job.
Panels, unlike rolled wire, are perfect for trellising and can be supported with deeply nailed in the ground posts, to guarantee the structure will withdraw strong winds and stormy weather. Concrete mesh panels are not only ideal for tutoring tomatoes, but heavy vegetables like squashes and cucumbers as well. However, if you place them like a wall or a fence, crops will be more likely to rip off vines when they become too heavy. For this reason it is better using two panels, well secured to the ground, leaning on each other in an A-shape. This way it will not be so easy for crops to pull off the plant from the support structure. This disposition works amazingly with any type of pole beans as well, and in addition to the great support it provides, it looks very clean and aesthetically pleasing.
Alternatives to concrete wire mesh for trellises.
Although using remesh for trellises seems like a very trustworthy method, it may bring you complications in the future. For example, if it is used in very hot zones, you cucumber plants would run the risk of getting burned when the wire reaches high temperatures, causing severe damage to the plant. Another clear disadvantage of wire mesh is that it easily gets very rusty. This may not seem like a problem, but it will leave rust marks on your plant’s leaves and fruits. Other con would be that these structures have to be made by you, which takes a lot of time and hard work, since this wire is very difficult to mold and cut.
Fortunately, there are other clever methods out there that can make you have more improvements in your yield, and one of them would be using plastic trellising. If given an appropriate support, plastic nets structures can hold vegetables plants, prevent diseases, they are reusable and end up being cheaper.