Instructables
Picture of Strawberry Cages
Strawb-cage 2.JPG
Last year I put out some old tires I was given, and I put a layer of newspaper in the bottom then, I filled the tire with garden soil.  Then came the crowning touch of planting ever bearing strawberries.  I did this for my grandkids, who LOVE strawberries.  I wanted them to experience picking and eating truly fresh strawberries. Only I have a problem, the birds ate the strawberries before the grandkids did.  What to do?  What to do?  I know from experience that people have put nets over cherry trees to prevent birds from eating the cherries.  Maybe I could do the same type of thing.  I listed the requirements for this set up.  1) It needed to be solid enough to keep birds out yet be able to let in light and water.  2) It needed to be light and easy to remove from the plants yet easy to return to its covering position. 3) It needed to stay put when the wind was blowing. And 4) it needed to be affordable and hopefully wear for more than one growing season.  So this is what I came up with, please feel free to adapt it to your situation.
 
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Step 1:

Picture of
Supplies:
72” (183 cm) piece of foam pipe insulation (the smallest size, 97¢ each)
12” (30cm) x 75”(190cm) of Fiberglass screen (36” x 82” piece +/- $5)
24”(60cm) diameter circle of Fiberglass screen
Stapler with staples (not shown)
Scissors
E6000 glue ($3 a tube, I finished off an old tube)
Duct Tape ($3 a roll, always have this one hand))
3 - 30” (76cm) bamboo sticks ( 6 for $2, not shown)
Hammer (not shown)
36” elastic (had on hand)
Tape measure

Step 2:

Picture of
First I took the foam pipe insulation and made the ends meet to form a circle.  I made sure the slit in the foam was on top of the circle.  I used duct tape to tape the two ends together. 
drkstrm1 year ago
Nice work!...

question: Would taking an old hoola hoop and making in smaller, filling it with sand, and adding it to the bottom work as a ballast to keep these from flying away any better?
steel shot would also work(or ball bearings)

Probably the simplest thing would be to use a conduit strap bolted through the tire.

when making a smaller hulu hoop... remember the plastic will only bend so far before kinking. Garden hose or a bicycle innertube would work better, if you are trying to make a small version.

If you fill a tube with sand, it prevents it kinking as you bend it.

Good idea, but you wouldn't even need the hula hoop, you could just fill the tube (he showed above) with sand or something heavier.
craftknowitall (author) 8 months ago

I didn't pay attention because I am deathly allergic to strawberries. My grandsons ate as many as they could as often as they could.

bethmwl8 months ago

I like the concept here. I was wondering, how is your yield. I want to grow strawberries also, but in a contained manner. I've seen unsightly beds grown out of control, but I also want a lot of strawberries.

Interesting idea, but the screening won't allow bees in to pollinate the flowers so you won't get any strawberries. I'd make it out of bird netting instead, or hardware cloth with 1/2 inch squares so that the bees can get in and not the birds.
craftknowitall (author)  HollyHarken1 year ago
I thought of that after I made the cages. Once the berries have been picked we will remove the cages and let the bees have at it. Yeah that will work. They are easy to remove and we will keep them in the back yard shed until needed again to protect ripening berries. Thanks for your comment and for looking.
scoutsbff1 year ago
I read somewhere that old tires release some kind of poison that could cause cancer. Anyone else hear this?

A few years ago I read several studies (government and university) on the possible toxicity released from tires. I did so as I was considering building an Earthship (house built of tires, dirt and cob). I was also concerned as I planned to use tires in a similar manner as above, plus I've been using them for years to keep stock tanks from freezing (you put them in the water and the water doesn't freeze around them unless it gets REALLY cold - this is due to the sun and the black surface of the tires being heated).


I hadn't really worried about it (perhaps foolishly) until I read something on the internet. After reading the studies I wasn't worried anymore.


I just scanned the material in the link below and while it was written in a manner intended to cause people to worry it still says basically the same thing as the studies I read before -tires don't release any toxins in an amount that is high enough to worry about.



P.S. And if you're going to worry about the fact that it does release or contain some toxins (no matter how small the amounts) then you might as well just panic about everything, because almost everything contains and releases toxins. All the way from the paint on your walls to the tap water to the organic foods you grow in your garden. Almost everything contains some form of toxin that if taken in great enough amount would kill you.

craftknowitall (author)  dropkick1 year ago
Thanks, I haven't been too worried, because ground up tires are used in play ground as cushioning and my Mom used tired to grow more than one thing in, when I was growing up. None of us have had anything that would be connected to toxins from tires. I'm approaching 60 years. My Mom turns 80 this month and my dad died at age 83. Thanks for commenting and looking.
Here is a report on tire toxicity. Your mileage may vary:

http://www.ehhi.org/reports/turf/health_effects.shtml
MyBoyBuddy1 year ago
Fishing net works great! No staples, no sharp edges. Just a small groove cut into the bamboo stakes or whatever kind of stakes you will use to attach the net to the post. Also bailing twine works wonders! JMHO
Blofish1 year ago

Does any one think of toxic chemicals leeching into the plants. Tires are made with petroleum and other chemicals. I wouldn't use anything other then food grade.
craftknowitall (author) 1 year ago
It might. Depends upon the total final weight and the speed of the winds. Why don't you try and let me know how it goes. This is one of those experiment things. Once the strawberries are ripened and eaten, then I will remove the cage until another batch gets ready to ripen. Yeah that will work. Thanks for looking and commenting.