Garden Structures forum→PVC frames for shade cloth or bird netting

Views: 1715, Replies: 9 » Jump to the end
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Jun 19, 2020 9:00 AM CST
Has anyone ever built a frame to go around at least part of a garden or bed? I've got strawberry beds needing squirrels kept out, a few pots I have to keep squirrels out of, and an area or two needing shade cloth (turns out good windows reflect a lot of sun back outside burning the plants nearby if they're facing a certain way).

I'm thinking of making simple PVC structures that can just be lifted up for the smaller areas and maybe have hinged doors for the largest area (especially if I completely enclose the raspberry/ strawberry patch). Would 1/2 pipe work or should I go for 3/4? I've got stakes that can keep it in the ground. I'm also debating getting a color (they had white, black, clear, yellow, and red, maybe green) or even spray painting it to make it look nicer. Birds aren't too big of an issue, mostly just squirrels planting peanuts everywhere (I've pulled at least 1 peanut plant from our property every day for the last week and lost track of the number of peanuts I found in my pots when I prepared them this spring).

Basically, if anyone's got tips, tricks, ideas, I'd love to hear them. Next spring squirrels will likely be a bigger issue since I doubt I'll be working from home like this spring (my dog spent way more time in the yard this year keeping the squirrels out and they still managed to do damage).
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pirl
Jun 19, 2020 9:22 AM CST
My wonderful and talented late husband built a "tomato room" using copper piping and it included a "door" for entrance/exit. Bird mesh went over the entire top and sides to keep the birds out.
Thumb of 2020-06-19/pirl/3a5ad8 Thumb of 2020-06-19/pirl/0896bd

In the winter of 2012-2013 we had a major snowstorm and the weight of the snow on the mesh bent the piping at the top. That was the end of that garden but the pipes are still used for dahlia stakes.
Thumb of 2020-06-19/pirl/f4cc09

Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Jun 19, 2020 9:41 AM CST
That is awesome! If I had a larger garden, I'd definitely go for something like that (maybe if I ever get my dream property). Right now my areas are much smaller and my terrier mix does a good job of running out any critters (only 1 rabbit has come in the backyard this year despite them overrunning the neighbors yards). Here's the things I'd like to cover.

Raised beds. The one on the right needs a shade cover since light reflects off the window and overheats it.
Thumb of 2020-06-19/Ceckery/96948c

Strawberry/ raspberry patch. Mostly just need to keep out squirrels. Birds don't bother the raspberries since they're black raspberries.
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Pots. Right has carrots (they don't grow well in ground here). Other 2 are dwarf blueberry.
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Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pirl
Jun 19, 2020 10:26 AM CST
What is growing in the bed with the reflected light? Any chance of covering the window from the outside?

Keeping squirrels out is a major undertaking. I have them in all gardens.

Are the pots also being attacked?
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Jun 19, 2020 11:24 AM CST
Strawberries were in that bed but they died. Tried petunias but they nearly all died before I figured out what was going on. Ideally it will be a strawberry bed for ever bearing strawberries. The strawberries in the far left are surviving but the rest all died. The squirrels wouldn't be as big of a problem if the neighbors didn't feed them unshelled peanuts. They really like digging in the loose soil of my pots since ground here is a lot of clay. They dug my carrots up twice.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Dahlias Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
pirl
Jun 19, 2020 12:15 PM CST
Trying to outsmart them could be a lifelong hobby.
Name: tropicofcancer
SW-PA (Zone 6b)
tropicofcancer
Aug 11, 2020 10:14 AM CST
Found your post a bit late for you may be. But I have some experience with this. If you are using plastic pvc pipes go for at least 1 inch or 1-1/4 inch pipes. Otherwise they will not will hold up. Paint the pipes to protect them against UV. Unpainted will probably still last 5 years or so. There are several websites that sell many types of connectors specifically to make garden structures. Eg: http://www.littlegreenhouse.co... . There is also furniture grade PVC pipes available - I have not used them but they are more durable I believe. This is our PVC trellis made with 1 inch PVC pipes

Thumb of 2020-08-11/tropicofcancer/94a550

If you want a more durable structure use 3/4 to 1 inch EMT conduits that they use for running electrical wires. The fittings are available for a reasonable price on the net. Look for EMT canopy fittings. I made a small 10x8 structure with 1 inch tubes and fittings some 10+ years back and it is still standing intact. Even survived a 15 ft crabapple tree that fell on it. In summer it protects my veges from critters. I use a plastic fence around it with two PVC doors. In winter, with plastic cover, protects my outdoor bonsai plants.

Thumb of 2020-08-11/tropicofcancer/2adb2f

Any questions let me know.
Bellevue, NE
Ceckery
Aug 11, 2020 11:00 AM CST
tropicofcancer said:Found your post a bit late for you may be. But I have some experience with this. If you are using plastic pvc pipes go for at least 1 inch or 1-1/4 inch pipes. Otherwise they will not will hold up. Paint the pipes to protect them against UV. Unpainted will probably still last 5 years or so. There are several websites that sell many types of connectors specifically to make garden structures. Eg: http://www.littlegreenhouse.co... . There is also furniture grade PVC pipes available - I have not used them but they are more durable I believe. This is our PVC trellis made with 1 inch PVC pipes

Thumb of 2020-08-11/tropicofcancer/94a550

If you want a more durable structure use 3/4 to 1 inch EMT conduits that they use for running electrical wires. The fittings are available for a reasonable price on the net. Look for EMT canopy fittings. I made a small 10x8 structure with 1 inch tubes and fittings some 10+ years back and it is still standing intact. Even survived a 15 ft crabapple tree that fell on it. In summer it protects my veges from critters. I use a plastic fence around it with two PVC doors. In winter, with plastic cover, protects my outdoor bonsai plants.

Thumb of 2020-08-11/tropicofcancer/2adb2f

Any questions let me know.


Those look great! Thanks for the tip. I'm hoping I can save a bit of money up to buy some stuff to build with for next summer. I've got a few makeshift things in place right now. If I had the space (and money) I'd be doing so much more. Maybe I can use that conduit as a frame to lay cattle panels or concrete reinforcing wire panels on to make my tomato arches next year. So many ideas. So little space/ money.
(Zone 9b)
Image
Bendek
Nov 15, 2020 2:19 PM CST
I think that I would go with the 3/4" PVC.

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