How To Build Your Own Fruit Cage

How To Build Your Own Fruit Cage

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to build your own fruit cage from scratch. Expert advice from the UK's leading supplier of fruit cages. Get started here!

A fruit cage is a highly effective vegetable crop protection system used to protect fruit trees, vegetables and your favourite plants from pests and damage. That's why fruit and vegetable cages are hugely popular with allotment owners and gardeners in the UK - and you can DIY your own!

Luckily, you only need a handful of parts and tools to build your own fruit cage, which we'll discuss and link to in this post.

So, if you're ready to start building your own fruit cage for your vegetable garden or allotment, let's jump straight in.

Building A Fruit Cage - Essential Equipment List

Before you get started on assembling your DIY fruit cage, you'll need to make sure you have all the necessary fruit cage parts and components.

Use this as your checklist to make sure you've got everything ready.

1. Fruit Cage Frame Components

Most of the time, the frame of a fruit cage is constructed using some form of tubing, either metal or plastic. These tubes are then secured together using joiners or balls.

Next, a net is fitted over the top, and the whole structure is secured by pegs.

There are other forms of fruit cages, which are made out of wood, and the netting is then nailed to the post. They are more stable and often don't need securing because they don't tend to be moved often; they stay where they are erected. 

But wood is prone to rotting when it gets wet over long periods of time, so bear this in mind.

2. Fruit Cage Netting

There are a number of different options when it comes to choosing fruit cage netting for your fruit cage. Your choice will depend on the pests that you are trying to deter. Some people use different size netting in the construction of their cages.

For example, the sides might have a smaller mesh on the sides than the top. There is also heavy-duty netting which can withstand assaults from pests with teeth. 

3. Netting Pegs & Weights

Fruit cages tend to be incredibly lightweight, which means that if they aren't secured properly, a stiff wind can take them away.

This is where the pegs and weights come in. They keep the fruit cage weighted down and secured in place, so they're an essential part of this kit list.

4. Tools & A Spare Pair of Hands!

The tools that you need will depend entirely on the form of fruit cage that you choose. Some of them can be constructed relatively easily using the same principles that you would to build a tent.

In that case, you would only need a mallet or something to knock the pegs into the ground.

However, if you are opting for a wooden structure, then you will need other tools like a hammer and nails and possibly a bit of DIY know-how.

Either way, an extra pair of hands will come in handy!

fruit cage DIY

How To Build Your Own Fruit Cage Step by Step

Building a fruit cage doesn't have to be difficult. In some cases, you might even be able to purchase a kit that comes with instructions. 

Of course, the construction of your fruit cage will vary a little depending on the materials you have and the design you are going for.

However, below is a general guide that you can follow and apply to your efforts.

Step 1: Choose the Best Position for Your Fruit Cage

The best position for your cage will depend mainly on where you have the room to put it.

You also need to consider what you are growing. Does the plant do better in the shade or the sunlight? Assess the space that you have available against these criteria when deciding where to place them.

Fruit cages can be put up in both gardens and allotments, but making sure you have the space is really the most important thing.

Step 2. Order the Best Fruit Cage Parts & Netting

The quality of the cage will affect its durability and, therefore, its longevity. Measure the space so that you know what size materials you need to order.

You can order the materials online, or you can take a trip out to a garden centre to find the parts in person.

WM James Fruit Cages Parts

At WM James, we've been manufacturing and supplying whole fruit cages and DIY fruit cage parts for over 30 years - and we're the UK's leading supplier

All of our fruit cage parts are made using high-quality materials that are sturdy, durable and reliable. 

There's no better choice for your fruit cage.

Step 3. Assemble The Fruit Cage Frame

The assembly, again, will depend largely on the type of fruit cage that you have ordered or want to DIY.

You should already have decided where you want to put it and cleared the space out. Get the tools that you need and begin assembly.

Most of the time, the kit will come with instructions; if not, there are a lot of resources online that you can use to help you, like our fruit cage installation video.

 

 

Step 4. Install the Fruit Cage Netting

If you have chosen a wooden frame, then your netting will likely need to be nailed to the frame itself. However, if you have chosen to go another route, using a tubing frame, then the netting can be secured using something like cable ties or string.

Ensure the netting is attached securely - the last thing you want is for the netting to fall off, leaving your crops vulnerable.

Step 5. Incorporate a Fruit Cage Door

Fruit cage doors are an important consideration because they will give you easy access to your fruit cage and crops.

We sell fruit cage doors that are 1m wide to allow for easy wheelbarrow access. A fruit cage door can be as simple as a sliding door or a door with hinges. 

fruit cage door

Step 6. Secure the Fruit Cage Netting to the Ground with Pegs

The final stage in building your fruit cage is securing it to the ground.

As mentioned above, some forms of fruit cages won't need securing with pegs. The ones that need to be secured properly; otherwise, the pests you are trying to deter will likely find the weakness and exploit it, or the whole structure can be compromised.

Remember to secure the netting on all sides, using pegs at regular intervals.

Step 7. Design Your Allotment & Start Planting!

Your allotment design can work around your fruit cage, or your fruit cage can fit into your existing design. All that is left is to decide what to grow in your fruit cage.

Think about your capabilities and what your plot is best suited to. 

How To Start Your Own Allotment

 

Buy DIY Fruit & Vegetables Cages Online at WM James

If you have a size in mind or you have measured the space, then there is, in fact, no need to take a trip to your local garden centre.

You can buy everything you need online from WM James, including the frame, the netting and the pegs.

As the UK's leading fruit cage supplier, we know a thing or two about fruit cage gardening, so you can trust that our parts are the best around.

If you have any questions regarding the assembly of your WM James fruit cage, or you'd like some more advice on your DIY cage, feel free to get in touch.

FAQs

How Do You Make a Fruit Cage for an Allotment?
You can purchase a fruit cage kit that comes with all the necessary part, or you can DIY a fruit cage and source all of the components yourself. Start with constructing the frame, which can be made from aluminium, steel or wood. Then attach the netting around the frame, and use pegs to secure it in place.
What is the Best Size for a Fruit Cage?

There is no 'best size' because fruit cages can be bought in various heights and widths. You'll want to think about the crops you plan on growing. For example, fruit trees will need a taller cage, while smaller crops like strawberries and raspberries can be grown in shorter cages.

Can You Use Chicken Wire for a Fruit Cage?

Chicken wire can make a good fruit cage barrier, but make sure the mesh size isn't too big so that the birds and pests can't get in. You could use separate netting inside the cage to drape over the pants if needed. The wire netting might also need replacing every year or so, which might make our plastic netting a better option.

What Kind of Netting Do You Use for a Fruit Cage?

Plastic mesh netting is ideal for fruit cages, and WM James manufactures the most reliable and durable netting around. Our fruit cage nets are UV, rot and weather-proof, making them ideal for prolonged outdoor use. Our knotted polytethylene netting is also extremely popular, and we use it in our fruit cage kits.