X2 for cattle panel. I still have them in flats but between them and metal studs I can trellis which has benefits here in the land of liquid air and no drainageDefinitely a knife. Chickens really like when you open their food for them. Or if you plan on eating it yourself you're probably going to peel and slice anyway.
Recently had a conversation on here about how the best tomatoes like to grow inside wire mesh like that and cut themselves in two. That's one reason I went to cattle panels to cage tomatoes.