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Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

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Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  casey on Tue 5 Oct - 19:04

Finally, my beautiful boxes arrived. They were filled with Mel's Mix and arranged perfectly level on the sloping driveway (one side of each propped up with leftover kitchen tiles). The new little broccoli, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, and chard babies were nestled into their beds. My first Square Foot Garden! Success!!! Until... the pretty little yellow cabbage moths arrived.

First I thought the holes were from slugs. Till, finally, one day I discovered a thousand tiny green caterpillars camaflouged all over the leaves. The kids and I had fun picking them all off and putting them into an aquarium to observe. Then all was well... until the flock of 25 wild turkeys arrived!

This was no big surprise -- they live in the neighborhood and are very tame. I'd always thought they were cute... till now. Whatever the caterpillars didn't eat, the turkeys finished off, and trampled the leftovers.

Then two squirrels visited and dug holes. My poor bedraggled garden!!!

Oh, well. It's all for fun. We'll start over. Try onions and garlic this time. Maybe get a scarecrow. Sigh...

~Casey

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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  boffer on Tue 5 Oct - 19:27

I'm glad you can laugh about it now-you had me laughing, too! sfg smile You can find Mel's solution on page 72 of his book. Most any type of netting will work. I doubt your kids will find a whole box of onions and garlic to be much fun!
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Re cabbage moths and turkeys

Post  bettyd_z7_va on Tue 5 Oct - 19:33

I know the feeling. Only my problem was deer. No tomatoes for us because the deer ate them all.

That's why I'm excited about SFG. I can protect my tomatoes without fencing in a huge garden.

Betty

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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  casey on Wed 6 Oct - 0:21

Thanks for the encouragement, and the tip about Page 72. My boxes are all 2'x2' except the one that is 2'x4'. Would the 1/2" PVC pipe work for these smaller boxes? I'll check at the hardware store and see what they suggest.

You're right, the kids would not eat the onions and garlic. But then, they never eat anything I grow anyway, except the tomatoes. However, they do love to help me in the garden -- especially when they get to mix a big pile of Mel's Mix and jump in!

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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  boffer on Wed 6 Oct - 10:42

There have been some fun stories posted about how kids suddenly start eating the veggies that "they" grew! Maybe you'll be surprised, too.

I've got hoops on a 30 inch box. I suppose you could get them on a 24 inch box with a little muttering under your breath. I think you might be happier with a free standing cover. Something along the line of what Mel did with his chicken wire cover.

Another option is this almost toolless construction pvc frame that's fast, easy, and versatile. It's a cube with the bottom missing. Just change the dimensions to fit your size box.


Tools:
tape measure
pencil
hacksaw (or any kind of saw that will cut plastic, or, splurge and spend $10 on pvc pipe cutters)

Materials:
10 ten foot sticks of 1/2 pvc pipe-it's shown on the pages following page 71
20 90 degree fittings
1 small can of pvc glue

Cut the 10 foot sticks in half so you have 20 five footers.
Use 4 five footers and 4 nineties to glue a square together. Repeat.

Cover the frames with your choice of netting or chicken wire or ? Attach with zip ties, baling wire, tape, ribbon, string, or ?

Stand up four panels for the sides, fasten the vertical sides with something from the above list. Lay the fifth panel on top and fasten.

It's versatile, light weight, and comes apart easy for storage.


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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Mikesgardn on Wed 6 Oct - 12:39

I agree with Boffer's suggestion of using a free-standing cage. It also helps if the cage is larger than the box, to allow the plants to splay over the box. Here is an example of what I do:
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Mikesgardn on Wed 6 Oct - 12:42

One other thing. For smaller cages, I use 1/2" cpvc instead of 1/2" pvc. Believe it or not, 1/2" cpvc is narrower than 1/2" pvc, so it is easier to bend into a hoop for small boxes.
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  camprn on Wed 6 Oct - 20:40

@Mikesgardn wrote:I agree with Boffer's suggestion of using a free-standing cage. It also helps if the cage is larger than the box, to allow the plants to splay over the box. Here is an example of what I do:
I like this, a lot. Very Happy
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Shoda on Thu 7 Oct - 2:22

Sounds like you have had a lot of challenges so far. Congrats to you for keeping your good attitude!

We also have wild turkeys although I haven't seen them yet this year. They usually are in our yard around November. In fact, one Thanksgiving day we had 15 wild turkeys all over the roof of our house. My husband ran outside with the turkey baster and tried to scare them away. (Don't bother trying it, it didn't work!)
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  boffer on Thu 7 Oct - 10:09

@camprn wrote:
I like this, a lot. Very Happy

See another of Mikes's creations here.
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  casey on Thu 7 Oct - 15:31

Thank you all for your wonderful advice! I'm printing out Boffer's instructions -- just learned to use a drill for the first time, and am feeling empowered! Next I'll get PVC cutters (now I'm really cookin'). And I *love* Mike's free-standing cages. That helps me visualize. Yesterday I bought new plants and some netting. Hope springs eternal.

Also, laughed out loud at the turkey baster! Hmmm... if we just weren't vegetarians... Oh, well, the neighbors would get upset. Everyone loves the turkeys. The latest flock to show up was a small juvenile gang. My 8-year-old is not allowed to chase the adults, but I let her chase these teenage thugs all the way around the block and back to the greenbelt where they live.

Will keep you posted on the cages.

~Casey (AKA Mom)

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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Furbalsmom on Fri 8 Oct - 11:58

Mikesgarden, how did you attach the crossbars on the top of your cage? Looks like you used elbows to hold the lower frame. Did you drill the hoops and crossbars and then secure with bolts or something like that? When we built the enclosure this past May, we used some saddle clips that fit over the hoops and have either one or two places to insert your crossbars, but did not glue them on my garden frame, so a couple have fallen in. The hoops are still standing pretty good, but not as secure as before. We originally built the frame to hold deer netting, as the deer had found the wildlife buffet served up in our garden just too tempting.
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Mikesgardn on Fri 8 Oct - 12:28

I have found that pipe fittings aren't strong enough to use in the middle of the hoop. They don't hold up well due to the pipe bend. So rather than using pipe fittings to connect the cross-bars, I drill a hole through the cross-bars and the hoop. I then connect them with a bolt or a piece of vinyl coated electrical wire (12 or 14 gage, solid, not stranded) that I put through the hole and wrap around the pipes.
When I build large hoops that require two pieces of pipe to make the hoop, I don't use pipe fittings either. I use a 12" piece of larger diameter pipe, one that is large enough to insert the hoop pipes into. I then drill holes and connect them with wire or bolts. Sort of like what you did a the bottom of your hoops.
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Re: Cabbage Moths & Turkeys

Post  Furbalsmom on Fri 8 Oct - 19:51

Thanks for the info on drilling and wires or bolts.
These were 20 ft pipes, so the saddle clip piece was just for the crossbars.
Should have seen us driving down the road with the pvc tied to the front of the truck and the back end of the pvc pipes curled up in the bed of the truck. I was worried that we would hit a bump that would cause the pipes to bounce out of the bed and unwind behind us. affraid
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