Last year’s gardening experience was quite rewarding…except for the rampant theft of my tomatoes by the squirrels. This year, I vowed it would be different. I had an idea of what I wanted to create and I knew I wanted to keep the cost low. PVC and plastic was my first thought, but ultimately I just went with wood and chicken wire. It turned out sturdy and light-weight so I could easily move it if necessary. I’m hoping I made the Fort Knox of tomato plant protection. Time will tell and I’ll keep you posted.
For the project, I used a jigsaw, drill, staple gun, chicken wire, light-weight boards, screws and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The Pale Ale obviously being mandatory for any construction project.
I bought eight 1x2x8 furring strips. They were $.75 each. I also used 24" by 24' poultry wire. It was the most expensive part of the project at $12 a roll.
I just started building and drinking. I made the top first. I attached the wire netting together at the top by wrapping the wires together. Squirrels are clever. People have to be cleverer.
I obviously built the structure larger than the box garden to give the tomatoes plants room to grow. BTW, I've named the plants Kristy McNichol and Matt Dillion. I put furring strips in the middle to staple where the two strips of wire netting met.
I left one side open. I made sure I could lean all the way in to pick the beautiful tomatoes that will grow, untouched my squirrel hands.
I had a left-over 2x4 from when I built my box gardens last year. I used this to create a "door." I needed something heavier than the furring strips to keep the door secured. I stapled the wire to the two boards.
I placed to nails in the furring strip on the top to hold my "door" in place. I secured the sides by bending the chicken wire ends. the "door" is secure, yet easy to remove to pick the fully ripe, beautifully red and perfect-tasting tomatoes later in the season.