Home > Eco Projects > Make Your Own Fruit Cage

Make Your Own Fruit Cage

By: Lucy Debenham BA (hons) - Updated: 30 Nov 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Fruit Cage Fruit Frame Door Mesh Rough

Growing your own soft fruit is a great way to enjoy fresh, succulent fruit for a fraction of the price of the supermarket equivalent. Homegrown fruit can picked and enjoyed straight from the plant, or is easily frozen and used at a later date in homemade pies, desserts, cakes and bakes.

Growing your own fruit also helps you to obtain more control over what you eat, as implementing organic methods on a domestic scale is a fairly easy process. Pest control is easier to manage, reducing the need for pesticides that can leave a residue on the fruit that is eaten.

However, one of the main challenges facing those who choose is grow fruit at home is protecting the crop from the beady eyes of wild birds and squirrels. A few seemingly harmless looking birds can almost decimate a much-anticipated fruit crop in a matter of minutes.

Luckily there are ways to protect your fruit from hungry beaks and mouths, the most common solution being the construction of a fruit cage. Although fruit cage kits are available, you can also easily make your own. Below we summarise how to make a simple permanent fruit cage for cane fruits such as raspberries to help you enjoy a heavy yield of fruit throughout summer and autumn.

Getting Started with a Simple Design

The first thing you need to consider is the height of the fruit cage. Raspberries grow pretty tall, and to pick from the bushes you’ll need to be able to stand up. With that in mind, ideally your fruit cage should be around 2 metres, or 6 and a half feet tall. Remember that you’ll need a door to your fruit cage, so find the most appropriate and accessible place for this. The length and width of the cage obviously depends on your bushes – be careful to give the new canes enough room to grow without poking through the cage netting.

The cage will need to be constructed with firm posts in all four corners. If opting for wooden posts, make sure that they’re pressure treated and coated in preservative to prolong their ‘life’. Other options include recycled scaffolding poles or aluminium tubes and copper piping. If your cage exceeds 6ft in length, you’ll have to make sure that you have an upright pole placed at 6ft intervals.

Set the poles or posts firmly into the ground, using a spirit level to ensure that all posts are at equal height and set perfectly vertically. You can then install an extra post around three or four foot from your chosen corner post. This creates the frame for your fruit cage door. Using additional poles or rough sawn timber, you can create your crossbeams, making sure to firmly fix in place with galvanised metal brackets.

Making the Door

The door to your fruit cage can be made from a very simple frame constructed with more rough sawn timber. To strengthen the actual door, you will need to cut and fix horizontal lengths of rough sawn timber at intervals down the door to create ‘sections’. You should only need three or four of these to create a sturdy door, further reinforced with a diagonal strut on the top and bottom sections. Before fixing the door to the frame, you can staple chicken wire across the frame, laid over with a fine mesh for extra protection. Then attach the door to the doorframe with hinges, using a hook and eye to secure the door in place once fixed to the frame.

Fruit Cage Mesh

It’s at this point that you can then start to fix your chosen netting and wire to the cage structure. Chicken wire is ideal, and an extra layer of fine mesh will add protection from smaller fruit-loving mammals. Make sure that you choose responsibly – some mesh can trap small and determined birds, which may result in a few rescue attempts!

The roof of your fruit cage can be fixed permanently in the same way as the sides. However, if you live in an area that experiences regular heavy rainfall or snowfall, you should consider the benefits of having a detachable fruit cage roof. This is because a build up of heavy snowfall in particular, can stretch and damage a fruit cage roof. The ideal situation is to have an interchangeable mesh for the roof, one finer for good weather and one larger span for extreme weather conditions and during pollination.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Dear Making your Own, I really like the concept of your site as well as the contents, but Honestly ... if you are not going to upload a few photo's for each little project then how can you expect anyone to really get the idea of what they are going to make ? Instructions are not enough as I have gone through many of the projects here and find it hard to visualise what the end result will be as well as the steps.
josh G - 26-Oct-12 @ 9:23 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • JanPez
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I’ve got some damson gin on the go, which I intend to leave until next year. In fact I have a few different convictions on the go. My…
    11 October 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Washing Powder & Fabric Conditioner
    Jo - Your Question:I would like to know how much gram of soap do you use?Thank uOur Response:An
    3 July 2017
  • Cornish
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    I have dregs of bottle of homemade sloe gin; can I top up with more gin and keep it going? If so do I need to add sugar as if starting…
    20 June 2017
  • Tanya
    Re: Make Your Own Periscope and Kaleidoscope
    Very easy to make and interesting.
    8 June 2017
  • Parrot
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    Hi, I've just decanted sloe gin and slodka made in 2013. It is natural, unsweetened and the gin is delicious, and the vodka is much…
    6 June 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    GVallen - Your Question:This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't…
    27 March 2017
  • GVallen
    Re: Make Your Own Fudge
    This is quite honestly the WORST fudge recipe I have ever come across, it completely ruined our best pan and didn't even work! Even at over…
    25 March 2017
  • Barry
    Re: Make Your Own Tea
    I would like to make and package my own earl grey tea. Am I able to buy the ingredients from you or do you know where from?
    4 March 2017
  • sally
    Re: Ten 'Make Your Own' Uses for Lemons
    I want to make my own cleaning products,,dishwash and everyting,need recipes and help
    15 February 2017
  • MakingYourOwn
    Re: Make Your Own Sloe Gin
    AnneN - Your Question:I made some sloe gin last year and have left the sloes in for over a year. They look fine, it's a good colour and…
    14 February 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the MakingYourOwn website. Please read our Disclaimer.