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Protective Cage for a SFG

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Protective Cage for a SFG Empty Protective Cage for a SFG

Post  erbarnett on 9/17/2010, 12:24 pm

Does anyone know where I can buy a protective cage similar to the one pictured on page 70 of Mel's new book? Since I do not have the tools nor skills to build my own, I will need to buy one.

I am dealing with rabbits, a large stray cat, and ground squirrels. The bird netting I have draped over the seedlings and plants has worked well so far, but some of them have become tangled in the netting when I tried to take it off. My garden is 4 feet by 4 feet. I would like to find one that fits entirely over the bed and does not perch on top of the frame, as does the one on page 70. It could be made of chicken wire or nylon mesh or whatever and needs to be durable, as I will probably keep it on top of the frame for the entire growing season. It needs to be tall enough to accommodate broccoli plants which can grow 2 feet tall. I will not be growing climbing vegetables.

Thanks
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Protective Cage for a SFG Empty Re: Protective Cage for a SFG

Post  boffer on 9/17/2010, 1:33 pm

I haven't seen any.

But, just in case there's a little DIYer in you that is wanting to get out, here's a method that is fast and straight forward: Make 5 square frames all the same size-5 feet by 5 feet.

Tools:
tape measure
pencil
hacksaw (or any kind of saw that will cut plastic, or, splurge and spend $10 on pvc pipe cutters)

Materials:
10 ten foot sticks of 1/2 pvc pipe-it's shown on the pages following page 71
20 90 degree fittings
1 small can of pvc glue

Cut the 10 foot sticks in half so you have 20 five footers.
Use 4 five footers and 4 nineties to glue a square together. Repeat.

Cover the frames with your choice of netting or chicken wire or ? Attach with zip ties, baling wire, tape, ribbon, string, or ?

Stand up four panels for the sides, fasten the vertical sides with something from the above list. Lay the fifth panel on top and fasten.

It's versatile, light weight, and comes apart easy for storage.
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Post  trukrebew on 9/17/2010, 10:26 pm

I put together a large cage out of hardware cloth using only tin snips, needle-nose pliers, and gloves. Rolls are cheapest on Amazon. I posted pics and some info here.

http://squarefoot.forumotion.com/showcase-of-gardens-f6/wire-cover-from-hardware-cloth-t3036.htm

I don't think it would be very sturdy at 2' high, though. It is floppy in large sections without extra support. And, unlike boffer's cage, it will not store well. I'm already worried about pulling out a twisted mess come springtime.
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Post  ander217 on 9/19/2010, 8:35 am

Boffer, I think your description is exactly what we've been looking for to thwart the evil squash bugs and SVB next year. Do you have photos of one you could post? If I understand you, your completed panels would stand five feet tall? (I assume one could always make it shorter.) And you just set it over a 4' x 4' box?

Does the wind blow it over? Should one place a couple of heavy rocks on top?

If I covered the panels with mosquito netting, would that let in enough light for squash plants to grow? I realize I would have to hand pollinate them.

I wonder if a tall one could be designed to fit over a trellis for butternut squash and pumpkins. If we made a 1' x 4' box with a six-foot high trellis for vining cucurbits, and made one of your panel contraptions tall enough to go over it, and added hinges to the panel in back so one could open it to easily reach the box for planting, pollination, irrigation, and harvest, would it work? What about drilling holes in the bottom corners and setting it over rebar to give it stability?
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Post  davidclubb on 11/5/2010, 12:55 am

If you plan to have growing vines in your garden, another great way to make a protective cage is by using 4' or 5' x 25' field fence, "hog" wire or wire panels. A pair of wire cutters is necessary for cutting the wire, or you can use pliers (much more difficult). You will need plastic tie straps for this one. Use you wire cutters to cut the wire into 5 4' x 4' or 5 5' x 5' panels. Tie the panels together using the plastic tie straps, and set the cage on top of the box (if using the 4x4 method), or around the box (if using 5x5 method).
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Post  Joyousch on 4/4/2011, 1:29 pm

Can you post pictures, please? There are several great ideas on here, but since I'm a visual person, I will be able to replicate much easier if I can see them.

I actually made a cage the way Mel described in the book, and set it on top of my 4'x4' box...but I found that the critters just nose their way in between the top of the box and bottom of the cage! I either need to find some hooks (or something) to keep the cage attached to the box or start over with something else. I like the sound of the 5'x5' tall cage...my wheels are turning on figuring this out! Protective Cage for a SFG 27650 So far I've only got broccoli transplants in there and and I guess whatever critter got in didn't want that because they seem unharmed. Once I get some lettuce and more in there, though, I can't imagine they'll leave it alone.

Last year, pre-SFG, I had tomatoes and basil only, and no critters bothered those...but I did have dahlia & caladium bulbs and entire hosta plants get eaten (probably by different critters, since that's both above and below ground).

Any ideas on ways to attach the cage to the box? Or pictures to help me replicate some of the ideas already mentioned?

Thanks!
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/4/2011, 6:44 pm

I don't have any cages yet, but I'm bumping this up so maybe someone who does will see it and post.
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Post  scubadoo on 4/14/2011, 1:55 am

Protective Cage for a SFG 102_1811
New to posting on this site, so hope the picture comes through...I have tons of squirrels, so instead of doing several small cage tops, I decided to enclose my whole SFG...maybe this will work for you, as well!
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Post  trukrebew on 4/14/2011, 6:01 am

Scubadoo, does the chicken wire also keep out chipmunks? They outnumber squirrels in my yard 5 to 1.
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Post  Furbalsmom on 4/14/2011, 6:37 am

Scubadoo, that cage is great. An with the configuration of your beds (either 2 ft or 1 ft wide) you can reach everything,

Congratulations!
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Post  Goosegirl on 4/14/2011, 7:44 am

Love it, Scubadoo!
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Post  scubadoo on 4/14/2011, 11:10 pm

Thank you for the compliments! A little thinking "outside" the box never hurts! I don't know if it will keep chipmunks out...as we are fortunate enough not to have them down here...last time I saw saw one of those was when I lived in Arizona and was camping in the mountains...they like to steal dog food, by the way.

I wanted to stick to Mel's recommendations of being able to reach in 2 feet, with the exception of my 2' wide aisles. (I may pay for that down the road, but I'll live with that decision.) While I was thinking of how to keep the tree rats out I came up with this design...as it allowed more squares for vining plants than the 4'x4' box. My original plan was to have the two end rows be an extra foot longer, but my sweetheart decided to jumpstart the building according to my planting plot layout before I got home, bless his heart, which would've given me 6 sq ft more planting space than three 4'x4' boxes...but, oh well...

I'd love to see some other interpretations! This is my first SFG and first time even attempting a garden down here in LA....I was hoping to get some imput of what people are planting when...as we are not located in the midwestern states where we only have 2-1/2 months of summer....any suggestions?
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Post  FarmerValerie on 4/15/2011, 8:36 am

scubadoo try this link for a more local "what to plant". I'm also going to start a thread in the Lower South forum with this link in case you misplace it or someone else from LA comes along.
http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/lawn_garden/home_gardening/vegetables/
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Protective Cage for a SFG Empty Re: Protective Cage for a SFG

Post  Komanui on 3/2/2012, 4:34 pm

Aloha -

I'm installing a protective dome, found on ANSFG page 72 - I want a lightweight covering that does not restrict light. It's mainly to keep out roosters, but I'm wondering if a smaller mesh would help keep out leaf eating bugs.

Mel suggests cheese cloth or shade cloth; I've seen mosquito netting mentioned, but not commented on. I'm considering window screen.

Any suggestions or comments?

Thanks !
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Post  bakermtb on 3/2/2012, 5:20 pm

8" foot high cage for my corn. I started with 6' but had to add 2' onto the top. Could not believe it!

Protective Cage for a SFG Img_2014
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Post  Furbalsmom on 3/2/2012, 8:21 pm

komanui

I have used tulle (bridal veil material) which is great for keeping bugs out as long as the plants do not need insect pollination. However, I am not sure it would keep out a determined rooster. P.S. this was a very windy day before I retied the matierial to keep it down around the base.

Protective Cage for a SFG P1010011
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Post  Luci Dawson on 3/3/2012, 3:35 pm

I can see combining the two ideas from Boffer and Furbalsmom. Sew up hems almost to end of all four sides of the tulle into which you slip the PVCs before gluing them to the 90º corners. That way you won't have to re-tie the material if heavy winds occur. (We've had gusts for the last two days of 60-60 MPH...just normal Spring winds in NM for the first couple of weeks in March.)
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