How To Build Your Own Fruit Cage

How To Build Your Own Fruit Cage

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.

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

If you embark on a gardening journey in the new year and are serious about growing your own produce, you should think about constructing a fruit cage. They do take up a little room, but they protect your efforts. There is nothing worse than seeing your hard work ruined by marauders. 


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 cage, which are made out of wood that 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. 


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 cage.

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. Pegs & Weights

Fruit cages are not the most stable structures. This is because they 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.


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!




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. 


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.


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.


3. Assemble The Fruit Cage Frame

The assembly again will depend largely on the type of fruit cage that you have ordered. 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.


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.


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. 


6. Secure The Fruit Cage Netting with Pegs

The final stage in building your fruit cage is securing it to the ground. As mentioned above, some forms of fruit cage 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, or the whole structure can be compromised.

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


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. 


Buy DIY Fruit & Vegetables Cages Online

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 – unless you want to, of course. You can buy everything you need online from WM James including the frame, the netting and the pegs.