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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
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Post  jbrad627 Sun 14 Oct 2012 - 9:00

My first beds are 2'X8'. I wanted to add a wire cage to keep out the animals. Went by the book (1X2 bottom frame with the wire zip tied together), not really thinking through it. I wanted to make them 3' tall to accommodate both large and small plants. The problem I am running into is that 8' long is too far for the 3' tall wire to have any structure. It just falls over. In the short term, I just zip tied a 1X2 at the 4' mark on each side and put a small one at each end of the top to hold it open (I zip tied those to the wire lid). Looks really bad, but is working for now.

I really need some ideas how to build something that will work better.

Thanks
John
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Location : Sanger, TX (North Texas)

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Post  llama momma Sun 14 Oct 2012 - 9:41

Hi
I use critter cages, by the book and the first box was a 4 x 8. So like you I had a length issue. I use two regular cages next to each other.

I've seen pictures of vertical corner reinforcements using PVC and another option is wood corners made of 1 x 2's. Also saw a cage made entirely large enough to fit not on top of the box but large enough to place around the box, that is, outside the box, resting on the ground.
I'd say make two for an 8 ft long box. This way you could make a box that is sturdy and square and fit entirely over your rectangle shape box. Again, two of those because of the length you are dealing with. But you would need to make it taller to keep it at three feet high. You lose the original height by placing it on the ground. Hope this give you some ideas or can help you think of new ideas. Anyone else???
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino Sun 14 Oct 2012 - 10:04

What kind of critter(s) are you trying to keep out? Moles/voles, gophers, raccoons/possums, neighbors' dogs/cats? Personally, with the length of your beds (and we assume you've lined them with hardward cloth--so digging critters can't come up through the bottom), I'd get me some cattle panels. Cattle panels come in 16 foot lengths, so could be bent so as to line both the ends and one long side of your bed. A couple of T fence poles would add stability along that long side. If critters are small enough to climb in through the squares of the panel, line it with common chicken wire. On the open side where you want to be able to reach in to weed and harvest, my first idea would be simple 4'x4' squares lined with chicken wire, and "hinged" to T fence poles driven in at the corners of the long side with your Zip-ties. Drive a third fence pole, or electrical conduit in the center of this open long side, and use it to fasten the opening side of the gate to when the frame is closed. A simple fastener would be a simple screen door latch, with corresponding "eye" on the facing gate past the middle pole.

Now's the time for you real carpenters to chime in and tell me where the idea would or wouldn't work. Nonna
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Post  Hoggar Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 8:28

John if its just a fence your looking for you could make a PVC frame and ziptie your fencing to it. Then when you needed it out of the way you could just lift it off of the box.

Just buy your parts and cut them to the proper length you can glue them to make it a permanent box or you could screw the joints together so it could be taken apart for storage.

Some thing like this...
Wire Cage Problems Boxfence

Or this
Wire Cage Problems Poultry9
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Post  jbrad627 Mon 15 Oct 2012 - 8:57

Some very good ideas. For now, looking to do an the cheap, so the panels don't fit that, but I really like the idea. No lifting off the cage to get in.

I have tons of pvc, so that may be an option. Just need to see if I have any of the odd 3-ways for the corners.

Tying to keep out cats, rabbits, skunks, birds, etc. The one I made has 2ft wide wire as a top to keep out the birds, so it's not just 4 sides.

Came across this at Tractor Supply. I wonder if it might work. If it does, maybe I don't have to have a cage? Any thoughts?
Bonide Repels All

Thanks... John
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