blzzrdqueen
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Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:23 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Poultry Wire to protect my garden.

Hello all! I want to do a raised garden in my inner city yard this year. But I have a problem. Squirrels and crows. Lots and lots of them. I plan to pot everything, hoping to do green beans, tomatoes, spinich, and maybe a few other veggies if I decide to get more seeds. I'll germinate everything in doors and then pot it all. I'll be moving pots outdoors during the day and back indoors at night until the danger of frost passes. I'm in Albany NY. I bought a 24inch x 50foot roll of poultry wire yesterday. I want to know how I can build a "cage" for my potted garden so the squirrels and crows can't get to it. I understand I may have to make it higher than 2 feet. I do not have to worry about underground animals, at least I never have in the past. I do not have much money to work with, if any at all. So I need to work with things that are very inexpencive. Can anyone help with a design idea? The "cage" also needs to be closed off at the top so the squirrels don't climb in.

Thanks in advance!
Jennifer
Wife to Matthew
Mommy to Angela (5/20/99)
and Abigail (5/24/08)

https://onequiltersadenture.blogspot.com/
www.justanotherday.freeforums.org

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

PVC is pretty inexpensive and light weight. You could contruct a frame from PVC and then twist tie the chicken wire to the frame. The covered frame will be light enough to easily lift and replace.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I have squirrels too, up to 9 at a time in the garden, but they've never bothered my veg garden (so far, knock on wood, etc.) They do steal my pears and apples though... Anyway, I'm going to assume that squirrel and crow predation is a given in your garden.

Now, first obvious considerations is that you're going to have to group your plantings by mature height. Tomatoes, for example, are going to get pretty tall unless you're planning to grow shorter determinate varieties. I guess another option is to meticulously train the growing stems -- the cage will probably provide a handy support/ trellis UNLESS you're planning to lift the entire cage off.

In my garden, I find 2'H fences sufficient to keep out rabbits -- my main concern. Cats can easily jump over them and GroundHOGS climb over them, but that's another story. 2'H fences are low enough to reach down and plant, work, or harvest, as well as step over as necessary.

My idea would be to build a semi-permanent 2'H surround, then build 2'H extension units to fit over that, possibly secured in place with easily removable fastenings such as latch plate-over-eye-bolt. If removability is not a concern during the growing season, I guess you can just fasten them together with tie-wraps or something like that. I would build rectangular frames of wood, cross braced as necessary depending on length. Hinge 2 frames together into L-shape, and use hook-and-eyes (or tie-wraps) to attach the 2 L shapes into rectangles. This way, they can be folded away.

My idea for the top would be 2'W frames that are hinged together to fold up out of the way, or accordion fold if they are wider than 6'.

If you decide to use the PVC pipes, you could probably use tie-wraps for similar hinging effect, but I'm not sure what is available for easily removable but secure fastening. Oh! I know! The loop-and-hook (e.g. velclo) strips used by electricians to bundle cables together! BTW I mention tie-wraps because I find them to provide a good secure hold for the season (they do weather and become brittle after a full year) but they tend to be rather VISIBLE and so not as elegant as something more discreet.

Good luck! :wink:

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hendi_alex
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

I find the various discussion of squirrels to be very interesting. In my case, the yard is loaded with the animals, but they rarely bother anything. They eat a few blue berries and eat a few pears, but both of those plants over produce like crazy for our needs, no sharing is no problem. The squirrels will dig in planters and sometime disrupt a new plant when burying an acorn or trying to dig for one. In extreme drought they have munched on tomatoes or an occasional melon, but this is very isolated and certainly no real problem. The occasional bird pecking tomatoes is a somewhat greater, but still very manageable problem.

From so many others I hear these nightmare stories of how destructive the squirrels can be. Eating almost all of the tomato crop, and eating most anything and everything else. Most people tell of moderate damage from the squirrels, but anyway, the variable nature of these animal's habits from location to location, is pretty interesting to me. It would seem that if tomatoes are a favorite food of squirrels, that anyone having squirrels in the yard would have trouble protecting the tomato crop. That simply does not seem to be the case however. My yard is dominated by large oak trees making huge crops of acorns each year. I wonder if tomatoes and garden vegetables are a secondary food, only sought after when the acorns and nuts are not available, or for water content during drought.

If I had a problem with critters, I would build a large walk in enclosure of treated wood and weld wire with a gate. But thankfully, so far, the squirrels and the deer usually don't bother things too much on my very rural 130 acre homesite.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.
Alex

blzzrdqueen
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:23 pm
Location: Albany, NY

Living in the city, as I do, the squirrels here eat everything and anything they can get their little paws on. I had a green bean plant that my daughter had started in school, and I put it outside Saturday to get sunlight, but when I went back out to get it before dark, half the leaves and what would have eventualy been bean sprouts were gone! That's why I want to enclose the garden...

So far I like the idea of PVC pipe, my husband has mentioned that. We had not thought of a seperae frame for the top.

I'll be having my husband read these later tonight, and so far I like everyone's ideas!

Thank you so much for your help so far.
Jennifer
Wife to Matthew
Mommy to Angela (5/20/99)
and Abigail (5/24/08)

https://onequiltersadenture.blogspot.com/
www.justanotherday.freeforums.org

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