Protecting your garden

twolips(z6AZ)January 6, 2014

I have a question to ask of you gardeners, especially those of you that have problems with critters getting into your garden. I attached a photo of some type of garden tent from the UK. I would like to try and make one myself, but looking for some opinions. The picture I attached looks more like it's plastic. I want mine to be a mesh, so air and rain can get in. And maybe a little taller.

My concerns would be:
1. Would I want the top, solid or mesh?
2. Square or rectangle? Would one have an advantage, one over the other? Say 4' x 6' rectangle, or a 6' x 6' square?
3. I like the idea of having a zippered opening at each end, so I can put them end to end in longer areas and walk right through.
4. Make the bottom of the screen, from the ground up, say about 12-18 inches solid, to deter some of the smaller critters.
5. At the bottom of the tent, have material to come out across the ground, to be buried. That way when critters try to dig at the bottom of the tent, they hit this piece, plus added stability. I know, it will have to be quite durable!
Posting on a few forums, hoping to get more input. Sorry if you are seeing it more than once.
Those are my thoughts, I would appreciate your input..TIA!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hmmm, not sure how this is relevant to this forum about canning and food preservation.

Have you checked out the Greenhouses & Garden Structures forum here? That is what this is in your photo, just one of the many models of mini-greenhouses on the market. They come in all sorts of sizes but in your zone trapped heat would quickly cook and kill your plants.

Even our GHs with full auto venting systems and screened sides can easily reach internal temps of 120 degrees in June in my zone.

You would most definitely want one with an open top and full open sides and it will cut your sun exposure to the plants when made with screening/mesh.

Just some thoughts to consider. Hope you get some better data from the more relevant forum.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 6:37PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

The name of this forum is a little misleading to newbies imo in that it deals with preserving the crop rather than harvesting it. There are many threads on crop protection over on the Vegetable Gardening Forum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vegetable gardening

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 10:05AM
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Sorry guys, didn't mean to mis lead anyone and I did post on those other forums as well as a few others, 6 in all. I was looking for threads that had activity, and I need my stuff protected if I want anything to harvest. Does that help?

I can look to see if I am able to delete the post. Again, my apologies.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:56AM
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Don't worry about posting on the wrong forum: it is not that important. There should be no reason that someone here doesn't have some suggestions, so...that being said. I think I would go with some other kind of critter control instead. I've had plastic-covered green houses and they don't last really well. They are actually kind of temporary and one or two seasons, IF you don't have high winds or hail, may be all you will get out of them.

I would suggest any of the options at this link instead. They are all humane. With a plastic-covered structure you will have to worry about venting so things don't get too hot or stay too moist. I think it will be more costly in the long-run.

However, if you like the greenhouse idea, I would definitely invest in an actual greenhouse...not a diy one. They are meant to last and have everything built in for venting, shade, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Critter Control

    Bookmark   January 16, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Thanks G'ma! I definitely want a mesh, not looking for greenhouse affect at all. My temperatures fluctuate, too much and too fast to have a GH, rarely is it perfect for that that. Either it's too cold and I would need to heat it, or too hot and I would need to cool it, never in between.

I have a building with clear plastic roof and front, and it has melted stuff in there! Had to put an additional window in to keep that from happening again.

Birds are my biggest destroyer, pecking at the tomatoes. So I found a huge thing of red Christmas bulbs at Big Lots, for just a couple dollars, going to try that trick and see if I can fool the birds!

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 12:33PM
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Anything covered with plastic MUST have ventilation. Without it, the heat will be higher than most anything would want to live it, including catcus.

You could take the plastic off and cover with mesh. You can now mesh tarps at many hardware stores. They are also called shade cloth.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2014 at 2:11PM
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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

I have what the British call a "fruit cage" that I built around my blueberry patch. I used PVC Pipes to build a frame (painted it black to make it disappear since my bushes are in the front of the house) and then covered the entire thing with bird netting. I used PVC T-connectors so that the frame snaps together without glue. I drove 18 inch sections of a larger diameter pipe into the ground and then the upright posts of the cage drop down into those. The pieces in the ground are permanent, though they are merely driven in. The "roof" is covered with the netting too. I was primarily working to keep out birds. The netting allows insects to get in for pollination. The netting comes all the way down to the ground and I lay pieces of wood or stones on it to weight it down. Once the fruit is picked, I take it down and store it in our basement. If you are trying to keep out critter like deer or coons, you would need to use something heavier like maybe some kind of metal screening.

I'm not exactly sure this is what you have in mind, but maybe?

Territorial Seed Catalog has pre-fab fruit cages listed, but they are pretty expensive.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Thanks Donna, smaller critters are what I'm aiming at, as well as the birds. Being able to take it down/apart/store, easy to get into for harvest, and still allow for sun and rain.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 12:00PM
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