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Patti Schiendelman, Maker Media index, and New World Geek, posted a piece about using Cat-5 cable to create a garden trellis on her fence. She writes:

Last year I did a webby-looking twine support for my green beans – it worked really well, plus it was entertaining to look at while waiting for the beans to grow. When the season was over and I took down the dead vines, the twine had rotted and came right down, too. This year I decided to make my supports out of wire. I found a bunch of Cat-5 wire at the RE Store; Cat-5 has eight strands of wire (four twisted pairs) in an insulation jacket. I tried the usual wire stripping technique – cutting the circumference of the insulation at intervals and pulling it off the end, like you’d do for a smaller wire – but it didn’t work for the group of wires, plus the length was about 65 feet. Kaden suggested I split the insulation lengthwise for about 6 inches, then pull the wires and insulation away from each other – it worked like a charm. It’s still hard on the hands, though; I couldn’t have done it without wearing my cat-herding gloves.

Garden pea/bean supports

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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