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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 over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


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