Which screen to use building enclosed tomato cage?

dancinglemons(7B VA)August 3, 2010

Hello folks,

Well last night the squirrels demolished my Lady Lucy plants. About 15 or so huge one pound tomatoes gone - one plant is now void of all tomatoes. All tomatoes even the completely green tomatoes!! I will kill all of the squirrels!!!! DH has promised to build me a screened tomato house. Does anyone have suggestions on which type of screen to use? Will fiberglass be better than aluminum screening? Should I stick with chicken wire? The plan is to literally build an eight foot tall 'house' with screened/wired walls and roof for the tomato plants to grow inside. I grow almost exclusively in Earth**Box (Self-watering container) and other containers and the containers will be inside the 'house'. I know there were previous postings with photos of enclosures for tomato plants but in my search I can not pull them up.

Anyone know which would work better??

Screen -- and if so which one aluminum or fiberglass??

Chicken Wire??

DL

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Bets(z6A S ID)

Hi DL,

If I were you I would consider using galvanized hardware cloth, it is sturdy, comes in a variety of hole sizes and will last a long time. I think the thread you were referring to was one that Ladon posted, and he used hardware cloth. (See the link below.)

If you build it right, you could cover it with plastic to extend your season too, or shade cloth to reduce the heat in the summer time. You might even find you'll want to put a chair in there for times when you want to commune with your 'mater babies! (If your hubby will build it that big.)

Good luck with the project!

Betsy

Here is a link that might be useful: Ladon's Critter Solution. . . .

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 6:53PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)

Betsy,

You are an angel!! Thanks for the link. Hardware cloth covered with plastic sounds like something even the neighbors could come to love!

DL

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 1:02AM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Try putting out some nice, ripe tomatoes in a shoebox-sized cage made of hardware cloth, and see if the squirrels get them. I built a vole barrier of ¼" hardware cloth, and they bit (or tore) through it in numerous places. I ended up having to order a heavier grade.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 1:40AM
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t-bird(Chicago 5/6)

I had a crazed squirrel a few years ago - son left a bag of bagel on the countertop - squirrel chewed through screen. closed that window - he came in over the sink the next time, closed that window.

then he was trying to get into the house through the parlor window! No food in sight in that room! I caught him in the act and bum rushed the window growling/screaming. 2 times of that and he hasn't been back.

Good luck with your screen house! Get the best animal resistant screening you can - they are incorrigible!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2010 at 9:22AM
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nhardy(5b)

I built a tomato coop out of chicken wire & a few other things that I had on hand. One tip is if you have free time to start to construct before you need to put it up. It is always a rush to do the clean up of the plant beds in the spring & to get everything in the ground.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2010 at 10:30PM
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cindy_7

If you build it with small enough openings, you will be 'bagging' blossoms and have seeds that you know are not crossed.

Just another thing you might want to consider.

Cindy

    Bookmark   August 13, 2010 at 9:10AM
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