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Protecting crops (or, any cheap alternatives to chicken wire?)

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Protecting crops (or, any cheap alternatives to chicken wire?) Empty Protecting crops (or, any cheap alternatives to chicken wire?)

Post  arla on 10/19/2011, 11:54 am

Went out to check my garden this morning and found that some miserable critter has eaten most of the lettuce I planted, hoping they don't move on to the Radish's before I can put in some protection.

I know in Mel's book he uses a chickenwire cage, and I'm thinking of something like that, but chicken wire seems a might expensive (looking on HomeDepot.com I found a role 4ft by 50ft (I'm estimating I need at least 24ft in length) for about $40) anyone have other recommendations, or is this the way to go. I'm thinking of using the remains of my broken hoop house to hold it up (my 10ft poles all snapped in the middle because I'd drilled the hole for the screw in them) and can envision something quite good, but just wondering, seem to be spending a lot of money on SFG stuff right now.
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Post  gwennifer on 10/19/2011, 12:47 pm

Awww, sorry about your lettuce. Sad

What about just tulle on your hoops (if you can salvage your hoops, that is)? That's got to be the cheapest cover and I see lots of people on here use it. Hopefully one of them will chime in and let you know if that works on pests other than the flying insects.
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Post  southern gardener on 10/19/2011, 12:51 pm

maybe check on your local craigslist? I'm amazed at the things people sell and often GIVE away! You can even post a "wanted" listing. I use hardware cloth, it's NOT cheaper, but it holds up so well, doesn't require any frames and keeps the critters out. It should last a looong time too sunny
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Post  arla on 10/19/2011, 4:19 pm

Yeah, unfortunately living in the Bay Area free stuff is rare, and hundreds of people want it. I can find a few posts for chicken wire, but it's actually more expensive than hardware stores sell it for new.

Hardware cloth is more than chickenwire, what's the advantage? Anything or just you happened to have it around?
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Post  southern gardener on 10/19/2011, 5:42 pm

hardware cloth is much more expensive affraid than chicken wire, you're correct. I like it better because it stands by itself, no frames are required. it doesn't "cave in" if a bird lands on it. The holes are smaller, and keeps the cabbage moths out. I used the chicken wire, but got tired of the frames and "cave ins". I had a hard time justifying the cost at first, but have had such good results, I think it was worth it. Smile
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Post  arla on 10/19/2011, 5:58 pm

So, since you brought up hardware cloth, what size do you use? Just looking at while it is MORE expensive, for the amount I need it's not too bad, so... I'm sort of assuming 1/4 inch?
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Post  Patty from Yorktown on 10/19/2011, 6:19 pm

Hi,

I had a problem with rabbits and the neighbors cat a few years ago. I was surprised that a 2 foot tall fence was enough. Until you know what you are dealing with, I would not cut the hardware cloth in half. But keep the idea in the back of your mind. It might make things cheaper. Happy gardening.

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Post  southern gardener on 10/19/2011, 6:23 pm

Mine is 1/2" mesh. I have 8x2 beds, so they're long and narrow. My covers go 6" above the box, so I got 3' wide and cut them 9' long. I then "bent" the sides 6" all around, (you have to cut out corners), and used "hog rings" to connect the corners. I hope this makes sense. If your beds are 4x4, not sure they wouldn't "cave in", but mine are 8' long and don't. If i could figure out how to upload a pic, i'd post one! good luck!
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Post  southern gardener on 10/19/2011, 6:30 pm

Protecting crops (or, any cheap alternatives to chicken wire?) Img_0217 im hoping this is a pic of my cover. i can't get this pic thing right ;./
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Post  arla on 10/19/2011, 6:34 pm

Okay thanks, it makes sense, looking into it, but it might be worth the hardware cloth route instead.
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Post  southern gardener on 10/19/2011, 6:43 pm

hey! i guess my picture did upload. That's the cover we made. It's 1/2" mesh hardware cloth. We used it here to protect seedlings from birds. But you can get the idea. If you come up with another idea, I'm all ears! Good luck to you bounce
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Post  arla on 10/19/2011, 11:58 pm

Well, given that I had no way to get to the hardware store tonight, nor time to really make something more than a quick thing, I threw this together with some stuff I had leftover from fixing my screen door (which then feel apart for other reasons).

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Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 10/20/2011, 9:11 am

That's not too bad an idea, either. I just covered my spinach with the clear plastic top to a seed starting tray. I can cover two squares at a time per cover. I actually have sprouts for the first time in months. Damned varmits!

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Post  southern gardener on 10/20/2011, 10:09 am

great ideas! I use the trays that the six packs come in as covers too. They keep out the critters at least until the sprout have a chance cheers
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Post  Saskia on 10/20/2011, 10:33 am

I guess our solution will probly not help for birds but it does help for cats (who love to use our freshly prepared beds as a toilet...)
We use a bunch of plastic forks we had left from a party and stick them in and around the squares that hold new seeds or little seedlings.
We also use the plastic containers in which fruits are sold in the supermarket and secure it with the pins we use for camping. Anything we have handy!
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Post  boffer on 10/20/2011, 11:54 am

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Post  arla on 10/20/2011, 3:24 pm

Thanks Boffer, think my brain gets stuck on a particular idea at times, and Chicken wire was it, will look more at the hardware stores this weekend and see what they have in the way of netting, otherwise maybe maybe online and get something like this, after all since I'm stringing it between posts I don't need it to be rigid (where the way Mel did it it did need to be rigid)
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Post  janezee on 10/21/2011, 1:10 am

Arla, the netting works wonders, and comes in several different sizes, I use a 3'x50' for my strawberries, and the 7'x100' for my garden and tomato bed. Keeps deer and rabbits out for me. Ace sells it in my town, as does the feed and grain store.
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