email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Crocuses Border

While I was oredering spring floering bulbs (daffodils, tulips, hyanciths) for the new plantng areas, I also had the great idea of replanting the border to the older flowerbeds along the property line.  Sure, why not?  Like I had nothing else to do.  I get myself in these situations where work seems easy when I'm looking at plants online and "gee, how hard could it be to do that"?


So...  I used to have a border on the old flowerbed with alternating 1' sections of yellow and purple crocuses.  The voles ate most of them the first year.  But one section survives (for reasons I do not know).  So I want to replicate the gorgeous look of the row of alternating yellow and purple crocuses, but protected from the voles.

The solution is 1/2 "galvanized steel mesh wire cages buried just under ground.  OK, that requires building the cages, digging up the soil, and filling it back in.  It could be a lot worse.  At least THIS soil is well aged and loose, so digging it up is easy.

The real work will be making the cages.   But I am pleased to say I have solved that.  In design anyway.  I planned the cages 8" long, 6" wide, and 4" deep.  But then there was the problem of cutting the shapes out from the existing 3' width rolls of 1/2" wire mesh I bought. 

Well, I started drawing out shapes of unfolded cages.  You remember those IQ or SAT questions about "what is this shape unfolded"?  I got those every time.  Easy Peasy...  So I sat down with graph paper and started laying out the  shapes foldable into cages.  And because the stuff is a bit expensive and I'm cheap, I kept playing with shapes until they worked out with NO wasted material. 

Took an hour of updating software to get the sketch to scan, LOL!  My printer/scanner drivers always seem to be out-of-date...

I'll try to clean this of on some drawing program, but it basically means that I (or you) can make twelve 8" long x 6" wide x 4" deep cages from 5' 4" of 1/2" hardware cloth.  But it means I found a layout of mostly foldable parts and some few ends that need to be wired in place to make cages with NO WASTE! 

And I've made a form for the bending out of scrap 2"x6"x8" wood.  Its simple enough.  Cut a nominal 6" wide 8" long and screw and glue supports under it.  Or just screw and glue 3 stacked onto each other. 

If you have questions about that, email me at cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT net.

My plan is to have an 8" cage, 4" space for an annual plant like a marigold or zinnia, then another 8" cage along the entire 75' flowerbed edge.  So I'll need 75 cages for 75'.  12 cages per 5' 4" = 64' of the cage mesh, and I have 150' of it.  The rest will be used up in 18"x18" cages for the tulips and hyacinths in the new areas.

It all comes together, see?  :)

With apologies to The Beatles:  

"And, in the end,
The flowers you grow
Are equal to the work you do... "

Or to put it another way I read once,  "If you like bacon, you need to get down in the mud and keep the hogs happy".  Meaning that whatever you do, you can do it poorly or well.  Poorly lasts a couple years.  Well, lasts a lot longer.  Doing things well takes less work in the long run.

1 comment:

Megan said...

You can't be the only gardener with this problem. Are ready-made cages available? LOL

Sydney, Australia