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MAKE YOUR OWN Crop covers

Covering crops with netting is the best way to keep many pests at bay and Joyce Russell shows you how to make your own

It can be hard to keep birds off a strawberry crop. It can be hard to keep butterflies from laying eggs on cabbages and then there’s the problem of blackbirds scratching around and uprooting newly planted lettuces. Of course, you can just throw netting over the top of plants, but birds will land on top and peck through to reach ripe fruits, and leaves pressed close to the net are vulnerable. The best solution is to protect at-risk crops with a rigid frame that’s covered with netting. It can be useful if frames are easy to move and easy to store and we don’t want to pay out a fortune for something we might only use for part of the year.

As you’ve probably guessed, my solution is to build your own frame. This simple structure is easy to make; it is easy to move from bed to bed as needed; and it packs into a small space in a shed when you don’t need it in the garden. You can put two frames together, or alter dimensions to make a larger frame by using longer canes - make sure to add in a few extra blocks and crossbars to provide stability. The blocks are all made to the same pattern so you can use them in any position. Once you have mastered how to make the blocks and assemble a frame, you can repeat the process to make frames to suit all your needs in the garden.

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About Kitchen Garden Magazine

Welcome to Kitchen Garden Magazine! In this issue: HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY TREE ✪ Nurseryman David Patch extols the virtues of this beautiful tree fruit FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON ✪ Biodynamic gardener Julie Moore investigates the true cost of our demand for seasonal food YOMPING YAMS ✪ Yams are a mainstay in hotter climes, but Sally Cunningham reveals one that can thrive in the chilly UK And much more!