mother of necessity

I’ve been considering low hoop houses for next year’s beds. PVC pipes arched over rebar posts driven into the ground, and covered with garden fabric. But these things seem like they would be unnecessarily unwieldy and cumbersome for some of my needs; namely keeping the deer, groundhogs, birds and rabbits out of the young corn and beans, and the birds out of the strawberry bed.

For a few years I’ve just been draping bird netting over them all. And that actually works, completely. But bird netting is like an evil trap, ready to bind you up in its pawing fingers. It’s just messy to handle.

I’m told one of my grandfathers was an inventor. He had a patent on this. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. I inherited zero of his aptitude, but a little of his desire.


Why not find a way to tame bird netting, something portable and easily torn down?

The base ingredient would be bird netting, a proven performer. Add some PVC, the basis of those hoop houses.  The idea would be to make PVC ‘boxes’ covered with bird netting held down with PVC clips, something like this:

deer box
I always plant the same amount of corn, beans and strawberries, so the sizes would be tailored to each crop. I plant four successions of corn, and the corn ‘box’ could be easily moved once the plants get over a foot tall, to the next planting of young seedlings. The bean and strawberry ‘boxes’ could likewise be easily moved out of the way for harvesting. Then when they’ve served their purpose, the netting could be taken off and rolled up, the PVC disassembled, and everything could be stored in a tomato cage.

And if I get too eager and plant things a little earlier than I should, a tarp or blanket could be plopped over the ‘box’ for a little quick frost protection. Or maybe even some clear plastic for a little greenhouse thingy.

And it’s something to DO in the winter.

As always, I’d be happy to hear any thoughts about why this might or might not work for my purposes.


4 thoughts on “mother of necessity

  1. You may want to check out some of our previous blogs. I cover in the spring, fall and winter using plastic and a PVC structure much like the one that you diagrammed. Yesterday I harvested carrots beets and celery. The temperatures here have been as low as 10 degrees. The mass of the raised beds provides thermal stability and it seems to work well.


  2. I missed this post, whoops. I use the hoops with frost cloth but this is to keep off the pesky white butterflies off my brassicas. Your idea sounds great and if you can build to the size needed .. Perfect! Wouldn’t keep out my butterflies 🙂


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