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Last-resort protection against garden invaders - cages.

If deadly insect and animal controls make you queasy, you may want to protect your garden with cages like these. As effective as chemicals and traps, they last longer and, after the initial investment of time and material, are a snap to maintain.

The strawberry cage pictured above is a departure from the norm because it's big enough to crawl into--the gardener doesn't have to take the net off to get to his harvest. Birds can't reach through the net to peck at ripe fruit, as they can when netting is laid over plants.

The gopherproof concrete bed lining is made from loose-set slabs so water can drain through and so the bed can later be expanded or removed.

Cabbage cages (bottom left) are used on crops such as Chinese cabbage that are mos susceptible to root maggots.

The giant cage below encloses a 50- by 130-foot space. Walls are 8 feet high at the corners, 12 feet at center. Support posts, set in concrete, are the kind used to hold up chain-link fence, but here they're covered with 1-inch-mesh chicken wire. Small birds can still get through, but they aren't a problem.

The base of the cage is protected from moles and ground squirrels by a skirt of 1/2-inch hardware cloth that extends 2 feet into the soil (the owner rented a power trencher) and 1 foot above. The top of the hardware cloth is joined to the mesh with hog rings (clips sold at feed stores).
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Apr 1, 1984
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