Ideas for inexpensive corn protection?
Okay, so fresh corn on the cob is my absolute favorite and I would really like to grow a 3.5' x3.5' box of it. I have seen deer in my neighborhood (but not my garden!) but I have a huge number of birds and squirrels, so I know if I plant it I'll be at war with some critters.
So, the book (All New Square Foot Gardening) says to put in 5-6' fence posts (4 would @ $5/post) then wrap with 4' of 1" chicken wire when the corn gets to 4' tall then throw a chicken wire top on the top (which would be 18 ft, and the metal version is $25 for 25ft.) I already have the box and the Mel's mix installed as well as bought the seeds so I'm not including that in the total cost, but basically I'm looking at $45 just to protect the corn and I'm thinking I can buy a lot of corn at the farmer's market for that price, although maybe I can find a better price for some of the materials somewhere other than Home Depot.
Anyway...does anyone have any more cost effective ideas? Or do I risk it and try to grow it without critter protection? Or am I going to the farmer's market for my summer corn? Any advise would be appreciated!