Author Topic: Coverings on the plot  (Read 690 times)

Coverings on the plot
« on: January 03, 2021, 07:18:04 pm »
As I look forward to my second year on the plot I realise I need to cover crops better to protect them I did get 6 metal frames which keep off pigeons but are only about 30cm high in the middle and two together would just about cover a row of crop. They worked for things like chard but anything that grew up higher just got destroyed.

What are peoples thoughts on poly or mesh tunnels. Obviously there is the expense which I would need to consider or anything that can be made

I would probably prefer a mesh or net cover as my allotment has no hoses so when it rains it saves me a lot of watering by can. I am however not wanting to have nets that catch the local birds. Rescued several from other peoples fruit cages last year not that the ungrateful birds thanked me, more like have a go at my fingers

I wouldn't mind a few smaller poly tunnel/cloches to get things going for selected crops

Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2021, 08:51:39 pm »
My system is DIY, and the ultimate in versatility. Having bought various commercial products in the past, I found they didn't work well for me - the semi circle common to most is inefficient - both in terms of ground space/height and flexibility and adaptation. Anyhow, what I do is to have uprights of 1/2" 16swg aluminium tube (eg) and 6mm mild steel rod (eg), cut and bent into a "U" so that they drop into the uprights, I use various mesh dependent on the application (eg). This arch self supports over a metre, and can be combined, enlarged and shrunk. My standard upright is 1m. The system is comparable or cheaper than commercial equivalents to set up, and longer lasting in use.

Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2021, 09:16:58 pm »
Pics ?
Rust never sleeps

Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2021, 09:41:07 pm »
I've had a look, here's one from June in which you can see the large brassica cage, just behind the potatoes. It started off as a single cage with the broccoli (far side) and cabbage and was expanded to a double to include the brussels and kale. Netting is this one - 6m wide and I think, about 6m long. Secured to the hoops with clips, and weighted at the edges. If you look closely you can see the upright in ally and the cross bar in steel, these are about 1.3m wide, with about 100mm in the tube. To the left of that the carrot net is in white, but in front of that is another cage for the broad beans and mange tout, covered with anti-bird stuff - I think I built them about 800 wide to take two rows of produce. (click to embiggen, I've left the full res image in)


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Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2021, 06:41:27 am »
I did something similar to Ham, though not as tall, I had plastic piping on the horizontal, drilled at intervals with the heavy gauge wire slotted into there, and covered by net.  That was good enough for the purpose, but for taller brassica etc,  Ham's idea looks good.

In my case I need something better for my berries, which have been stripped at the point of optimum ripeness in the past
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Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2021, 10:29:57 am »
We made hoops using 25mm MDPE water pipe, and laid netting over.  As ours was a tall structure, we braced it with canes diagonally, but a lower tunnel wouldn't need that.

Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2021, 12:18:00 pm »
Thanks all. The guy next to me has used mdpe pipe and braced with more mpde. It may be the answer but in a smaller scale as he has two plots so pretty much the whole of his plot next to mine is brassicas where is I think I would need easier access then covering in one big hit unless it's easy to remove the covering at least in sections

Re: Coverings on the plot
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2021, 10:43:18 pm »
Wilko sells a cage with sensibly vertical sides & which is tall enough for any brassica I've grown. One of my allotment neighbours got one, & I thought it looked useful - but it's been out of stock for weeks.

And here is an interesting DIY cage - canes, with pierced plastic handwash bottles for the joins.
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