Author Topic: An Indestructible Staking System  (Read 6847 times)

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An Indestructible Staking System
« on: July 12, 2017, 12:04:27 pm »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on May 25, 2007.

I have six Earthboxes. Last year I had three with tomatoes, and I bought the EB staking system for each of those three.  All three broke with the weight of the plants.  The connectors actually snapped off on two of them, and the third was bent badly.  I am sure that they will be redesigned as I have already read.  If you are a do-it-yourselfer, and want to build an indestructible cage for either the old style Earthbox, or the newer version with casters, here are the directions:

I have made the best cage for tomatoes in Earthboxes that I have seen so far.  As far as asthetics, well no good cage will be overly attractive. Take fence wire that is about 4 feet tall.  My Earthboxes measure 32 inches long and 14 inches wide.  The cage will fit the older boxes as well as the newer boxes with casters.  The only difference is you will need to cut some of the wire and slip the finished cage over the wheels.  First, make a base out of the wire that is two inches on each side longer than the Earthbox.  Cut your fence wire to about 36inches by 14 inches. This will go under the Earthbox.  Then take a section of fence wire that is 92 inches wide by the 48 inches high (this is the height of the fencing material, if you buy it at a store such as Lowe's). You will fold the fencing so that the first section is 32 inches, then the second fold will be 14 inches, the 3rd will be 32 inches and the fourth side is again 14 inches. It will take some folding and bending, but you will have a rectangular cage that you either get some low gauge wire to attach the two end sides together, or if you plan it out when you cut your section, you can have long wires left on the end of each cut that can be used later for this purpose. One note of caution. The wire is very sharp, and will cut and poke your hands and anything else if you are not careful. Wear gloves and eye protection.  As you work with the wire, be careful as it can spring back and hit you.  Ok, take the first rectangular section and slide it over the Earthbox and attach it to the base. I have found that the tomato plants grow very high, so I have made a second section just like the first rectangular section and placed it inside on the top of the first section. I then wire the two together forming an 8 foot tall cage that will not have any problem containing two tall tomato plants. The final step is to cut the wire grids so you can get your hands inside to pick tomatoes, put a hose inside to fill the spout (I have a completely automated system using an irrigation timer box, automatic valves, with Mister Mister black hose going into each box and I set the timer for one minute for each box).  I would recommend grinding and smoothing the cut ends where your hands will go thru, as the cut ends are sharp and will cut or scratch you. It will take a couple of hours to make a cage like I have described, but once made, it will last for ever.  The only thing to remember, is that next year, you will have to undo the wires that connect the cage to the base, so you can remove the cage to work on your Earthbox and replant it.  Tools used: Wire cutters, Dremel Moto tool, Heavy duty pliers, aluminum wire for joining the sections, measuring tape, gloves, and eye protection.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:54:37 am by EarthBoxDD »

EarthBoxAdmin

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 08:18:14 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, mlh. This was originally posted on May 25, 2007.

A picture is worth a thousand words  Smiley

Maybe snap a few photos of it and post on this thread.  I would be interested in taking a look.  Seems like an inexpensive solution that works.

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 08:20:56 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Active Member, MTC3. This was originally posted on May 25, 2007.

johnthomassc3
I would still call customer service and get the redesigned connectors. They really do make a big difference. You never know when you may need to use them.

MTC3

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 08:29:15 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on May 28, 2007.

Here are three pictures of the base the middle and the top.

The Pictures somehow disappeared, but I have put new pictures below.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:54:48 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 08:30:08 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on May 28, 2007.

Here are three pictures of the base the middle and the top.

The Pictures somehow disappeared, but I have put new pictures below.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:55:44 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 08:31:05 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on May 28, 2007.


Here are three pictures of the base the middle and the top.

The Pictures somehow disappeared, but I have put new pictures below.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:55:34 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 08:33:36 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, tmm99. This was originally posted on may 29, 2007.

Just curios...how do you harvest the tomatoes?

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 08:36:17 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Hero Member, ioiosotwig. This user is located in N. Illinois USA - Zone 5. This was originally posted on May 29, 2007.

Quote
...The final step is to cut the wire grids so you can get your hands inside to pick tomatoes...


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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 08:37:16 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Jr. Member, tmm99. This was originally posted on June 14, 2007.

Got it. Thanks.
Another question
(I have a completely automated system using an irrigation timer box, automatic valves, with Mister Mister black hose going into each box and I set the timer for one minute for each box). 
Do you have a photo of this also?

Thanks,

tmm
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:56:45 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 08:39:40 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on June 18, 2017.

Yes I do and my photo's are under My Earthbox.  My setup is under "my setup".  If you need anything else, I will be glad to help the best I can. Yesterday, I added additional irrigation to my potted plants.  The products at Lowe's are in the irrigation area, called Mister Landscaper.   They have fittings for about any setup you need for either drippers, or sprinkler type heads.  For the Earthboxes, I only use the 1/2 inch black tubing, and the rest of the equipment is a Rainbird timer, 3 valves, and assorted irrigation plumbing parts. In my area we have a business called W.P. Law that designs and supplies parts for sprinkler systems, and other irrigation systems.  I go there when I need something for either my outdoor sprinkler system, or my little deck irrigation system that I use for my Earthboxes. If you have people that do this in your town, and they are a part supplier as well, they are a wonderful wealth of knowledge.  They walk around with me after I tell them what I want to do, and they pick out the parts and instruct me on how to put it all together.  Years ago, I installed my own seven zone sprinkler system.  That was a major undertaking.  To do a system for Earthboxes is not very hard.  It's like playing with Legos.  The new valves that Earthbox is coming out with that will shut off the water supply, will be a nice addition to a system like mine. If your boxes are outdoors on the ground, it really doesn't matter if some water overflows out the overflow holes.  The key is to keep water in the boxes at all times.  As all Earthbox owners know, the boxes will go dry quickly when the summer weather gets hot and the plants drink water like crazy.  I have to have a system that waters when I am gone, and mine does the trick, not only for my Earthboxes, but also for all my potted plants that are on two decks.

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 08:42:24 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Newbie, Follygrows. This was originally posted on April 11, 2009.

Hi, johnthomasc3!
Just setting up a my first Earthbox and came upon your instructions for "An indestructible Staking system".  Sounds good, but the pictures are no longer visible.  I also checked under "My Earthbox" as mentioned in your post.  Must be that they are too old or something. Can you repost them?  Or direct me to a more recent post that may have photos? Thnx.

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 08:50:57 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Guest, cushman350. This was originally posted on April 11, 2009.

Follygrows
johnthomasc3 has not posted in a long while. His pics a gone, only his instructions remain. I remember his pics and of course that helps when reading the instructions. A close cousin to his cage is shown in MGM's pics in the thread below and the differences are pointed out by me. John's cage hugs the box very tightly and is tied to the base piece of wire material, the weight of the box sitting directly on the base adds to its stability. I think casters would defeat the design.

I'll include a drawing of a design from pvc ( 3/4" or 1" thick walled pipe ) that sits on rebar driven into the ground. It's a side view, put T's in the uprights and join the sides with horizontal pipes. Use like that or attach netting.

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 08:53:15 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Horticulturalist, over 45 years in the business. The EarthBox Hero Member, kathy. This user is located in the mountains of PA Zone 5, almost 4. This was originally posted on April 13, 2009.

Follygrows:  please note  you are responding and asking a question to a post and or poster that is dated June of 07. I just looked up johnthomasc3 and the last time he was active was July of 2007. I just don't want you or other new forum members to be disappointed if you don't get a response. Since we have a ton of new members.....tons of people are doing what we suggest and do reading and research of topics that interest them on this forum. The downside is they re-surface old postings....and you don't realize it.

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 08:54:21 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on April 29, 2010.

I am just now coming back to the forum. I will post some new pictures of my indestructible tomato cage.  I am now in North Carolina and have set up 6 Earthboxes on a deck and three more (with Flowers) down below.   I will put the pictures in the next post.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 08:57:41 am by EarthBoxDD »

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Re: An Indestructible Staking System
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2017, 08:59:12 am »
Disclaimer: This post was originally posted by Full Member, johnthomasc3. This user is located in Chapin, SC - Zone 7. This was originally posted on April 29, 2010.


Picture 1