DeborahL wrote:How high is the mesh roof? Does it cause your tomatoes to bend at the top?
Great idea !
Well, I made it about 4 feet tall, though I'd have liked to make it much taller. I have tried to keep them trimmed to that height but that didn't really work out lol! They actually grew through the fencing, some of the branches did bend a bit but it just wouldn't stop growing through the 'roof'.
The fencing actually helped to support the plants a lot, at least below. Above, they did grow another few feet and eventually started to bend a bit toward the edge. I just kept the growth cut to just above the 'roof' after that.
I do have a few fence posts set underneath to support the roof, and tie strings to support the plants as well. That has worked out nice for me, since I do not have a whole lot of room.
Also, right now I cut down a couple of the tomato plants that needed to, but I have a 4 foot tall cherry tomato plant growing, and two beefmaster seedlings that are starting to get taller than 1 1/2 feet now.
Here's a pic of what it looked like earlier this year:
As you can see in the image, I just put up the fencing and was hoping that would be enough, but small birds were able to just fly right through it. So I got some cheap plastic fencing that was smaller to cover the metal fencing.
There in this image you can see my pepper plants, and how much they've grown. Actually, they have grown out the back side of the fencing as well, and didn't seem to have any problems doing it. Even growing peppers lol.
Another plus, at least for me, is that I can put shade cloth on top or around the fencing, since the sun over here gets extremely hot and ends up nearly killing my plants. I'm hoping it doesn't get too cold this year either, or I may get some plastic to wrap the fencing to protect against the cold as well. I think the position of my garden helps with that as well, being 2 sides have walls to protect it from wind, and one side with a wall of bushes. My sister lost half of her basil, and other plants to a sudden drop in temp. I haven't lost anything to the cold yet, thankfully.
There are taller fence posts that could be used, or even a frame could be built to make something similar, but higher. I originally wanted it to be tall enough for me to stand in, but I don't have the money to do everything I want lol. Oh, another thing, yes I did build a door! haha, wouldn't do me any good with a huge gaping hole in the fence!
Anyway, this is what is working for me, bees, ladybugs, ants, aphids >.> had no issues traveling through the fencing or mesh in the least. But at least I no longer worry about the squirrels or birds ;3