Posted: 17/06/2013 at 20:19
For the netting, you want insects to get through to pollinate the fruit but not birds so holes need to be about 20mm (=2cm, 3/4"), which will let bumble bees through. As far as the supporting structure goes, it's all a matter of how long it will last. Canes will be only be good for a couple of years or so before the section in the ground rots. Making fruit cages can be tricky as you need to secure the netting to the frame and make a door or other way of entering but if you're good at DIY then you can certainly save some money. You could use something like cheap PVC overflow pipe (about 50p per metre) for which you can buy various connectors (eg 90 degree bends, T-pieces) to form a frame and perhaps wire ties (or a hot glue gun?) to secure the netting to it. Some folk use this stuff to make polytunnel frames, too.