Cages for More Than Tomatoes

2 Materials
10 Minutes
Tomato cages have been displayed for everything from autumn decor to protectors for garden tomatoes. They are inexpensive assets to the garden and even home decor when purchased on sale at the local home improvement store.
When we planted our first apple trees they came in a small box with a bag around the roots. They were only about a foot tall. They died after 2 years due to a heavy winter storm that broke them off. The following spring we ordered 3 more trees. This time we used tomato cages to protect them from summer and winter winds and wrapped them in bubble wrap.
We even left the plastic on in the summer to extend our short growing season on the high plains. A farmer in Iowa taught us years ago to leave the tops open in summer but use the cages and wrap to help hold in heat and give the new plants a better chance to survive. They grew like weeds this time!
Eventually they were big enough to remove the plastic wrap, but we left the cages on for further support until they grew enough they could be staked with support posts. This was a 2 year old plum tree.
When fall returned, we again wrapped the trees including the tops.
The fruit trees sometimes looked like snow cones with their snow caps, but the cold winter wind did not snap the branches or stems anymore. On sunny days they again were warmer than the outside air. The bubble wrap worked like a green house to hold in the sun's warmth during daylight hours.
Another unique faux "tree" we planted was a cage turned upside down, the top wired together, and wrapped in lights for the holidays.
This year, we have 2 of our 3 year old apple trees with so many apples we cannot count them all. Three years from a straw size to producing fruit is amazing! It was the tomato cages that made the difference. We have used the tomato cages on other new starter saplings and bushes to protect and get them established
A new cherry bush.
Four raspberry bushes,
And as we mentioned, the plum tree which has produced blooms this year, finally. Tomato cages are invaluable for gardening, for holding objects on the patio, and for decorations inside and out! This year I plan to attempt making a lighted angel from a cage for the Christmas season! On sale we paid $7 each plus less than a dollar for the bubble wrap.

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