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Wire cover from hardware cloth?

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Wire cover from hardware cloth?

Post  Shoda on 6/23/2010, 1:56 pm

Has anyone built a wire cover from hardware cloth? I think some mice are getting through my chicken wire covers. I was thinking of building a better cover sort of like the one they used to sell at the SFG store but would use hardware cloth instead.

Would 1/4" hardware cloth provide too much shade for my plants?

Did anyone ever purchase one of the SFG covers that they discontinued in March? I would love some pictures of it so I can see how it went together. I remember it had a wood frame that extended up and maybe it was made with panels?

I have to do something... I am not getting any strawberries.
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Wire cover from hardware cloth?

Post  trukrebew on 6/23/2010, 11:41 pm

I bought a 12' x 3' length of hardware cloth in March and built a sturdy cage to protect my seedlings. They were hardening off for a week when something decided it was a salad bar and ate nearly all of the tomatoes down to the stems!
I got it that afternoon and spent 2 hours bending it to shape. It would have been faster if I wasn't also watching a movie, lol! The main cage I made was just under 2' wide x 4' long x 2' high. It used up most of the roll. But with planning I was able to also make two 1'x1'x1' cages and a small 6"x1'x3" cage from the scraps. Each cage is short about 1/2" on each side so that they can fit into the boxes and in between the grids. You can see the littlest cage in the photo below, protecting my radish sprouts.



To get the most out of the roll, I sketched out different folding patterns onto paper, with 1x1 grids...a la SFG planning. Then, wearing gloves, I cut down the center of the rows with tin snips so that there were little barbs left. I 'folded' along the lines using scrap wood to bend around and get a clean, hard edge. Then used electrical pliers to bend the barbs to secure the seams. The cage is strong enough to hold up some weight without buckling, but the edges around the opening are not rigid b/c I did not attach them to a frame (Next year! ).



This flaw proved fatal when I used it to cover my strawberry bed. It's non-SFG, so I just put the cage over the plants on the ground. I thought I had put enough rocks around the edges to 'seal it' (see photo above), but the chipmunks still managed to push their way under the loose edge of the longest side around the back. I lost every single strawberry from 18 plants!
Now that same cage is over my 2x4 corn box and it fits very snug inside the walls of the SFG box. There will be no way those critters get in for those corn roots!

It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't too expensive either. I paid about 2.65 per linear foot, or just over $30. And it is strong enough to withstand a number of years of use, as long as I can store it somewhere safe...far away from the kids, LOL!
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Re: Wire cover from hardware cloth?

Post  Shoda on 6/23/2010, 11:59 pm

Those look great! Since my strawberries haven't been moved to a raised bed, I suspect even hardware cloth wouldn't keep out the mice. Since I am not getting ANY strawberries, I might just bit the bullet and move them to a SFG bed earlier then I had originally planned. With hardware cloth under the Mel's Mix and a hardware cloth cover over the top, they should be safer.

I like your design a lot -- clean and neat. It also doesn't look like it affects the light that much. I will have to give it a try. Thanks.
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