In my experience, the pollinators, honey bees and ground bees seem to come out early in the morning. I've never noticed vine borer moths in my garden before the sun gets really hot. I simply hand pollinate before the borer moths start their day.
I designed the hoops where the cloth hanging down is attached and rolled up on a light weight board and they are held in place with two bricks. I simply remove the bricks, lay the boards over the top, do the harvesting, and pollinating. Drop the board back into position, and replace the bricks. I then go to the other side and do the same thing. No mess, no fuss.
It isn't a perfect method, and I have never tried it. I really thought about using spinosad to prevent borer damage, but if not used correctly; it can also kill the honey bees. I looked around and didn't see any at local garden supply stores and didn't want to order it. I simply decided to try this method because it is potentially less harmful. Another reason for the hoop tunnels is the fact that they can also be used for other purposes in the off season simply by replacing the netting with clear, heavy duty plastic. They are also easily removed and replaced. I think I mentioned in an earlier post that they are constructed by tying everything together with that cheap, green, plastic coated; gardening wire you purchase in little rolls.
I suppose if you tried to use them outside of raised beds, you would probably have to drive some stakes into the ground to prevent the hoops from blowing away.
I'm also using the tulle netting which has larger holes in it than regular tulle. I'm not sure the netting will stop aphids, but I will know by the end of this season. I would have preferred to use the regular tulle, but it only comes in 54" widths. I made my hoops pretty tall to easily accommodate
my large size 6'3", 240#. The netting comes in 72" widths which worked great. I did have to attach a wood strip to the top of the hoops and drape and staple the tulle to the strip for each side. Each bed required ten yards of tulle cut into two five yard pieces.
You could cut the ten foot long, 1/2" pvc into five foot lengths and make smaller hoops, pushing them into the ground over more narrow rows and a single width of regular tulle or tulle netting would fit over it.
You could also construct rectangular wooden frames of any desired width, construct the hoops; attaching the hoops to the lightweight frame. You then could simply move the hoop tunnel around as you please or flip it onto a side in order to work on the plants under it.
You could also purchase the ten foot lengths of pipe, a good supply of 1/2" pvc tees and four 1/2 pvc 90 degree elbows and cut and glue the pipe pieces to a pvc frame. You might want to make the frame out of 3/4" pvc with 3/4" to 1/2" tee reducers for the hoops.
Lots of possibilities.
Last edited by tedln
on Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.