At this time of year, we all have new starts (Plug Plants) to go into the ground. These small brassicas such as spring greens cauliflower, kale and the like are a favorite of pigeons. They love to undo all the hard work you have put in nurturing these little seedlings to a size where they can meet the world. Don’t let this hard work go to waste, Build a brassica cage to protect them, we will show you how in this blog.
Tools You Will Need.
- Wood Saw
- Tape Measure
- Screw driver / electric screw driver
- Heavy duty staple gun (10mm staples)
- 4mm drill bit for wood
- 25mm spade drill bit for wood
- junior hacksaw
- Lengths of treated wood (in this example mine were 3.5 meters long) 3×2″
- Roll of scaffolding netting (you can find this on eBay in various lengths/widths, for this build you will need a 7×2 meter piece)
- Heavy duty Staples (10mm)
- MDPE 25mm water pipe (10 meters)
- Length of roofing baton (needs to be as long as the finished cage so in this example 3.5 meters)
- Black cable ties
- Wood Screws
- 4x angle brackets 2.5″ wide by about 4/5″ long
Ok, so the first job is to decide how big you want your cages to be, I made mine 3.5meters x 0.9 meters but in hindsight, I wish I had made four smaller ones rather than two big ones, they are a little difficult to move about so smaller is better.
Measure and cut your wood to length, two long lengths for the side rails, 2 short lengths for the end rails.Next using the wood screws and metal brackets assemble the rails into a rectangular frame (Tip try to keep the brackets flush with the top of the rail, you will see why later on) you can use the small wood drill bit to make pilot holes for easy driving of the screws
Next Job is to install the “Hoops” measure and mark the long rails on the frames, start with the middle ones, then the two ends followed by the final two positions between the middle and ends. Using the 25mm spade drill bit drill down into the rails making holes at least 30mm deep, these will receive the MDPE water pipe, next cut your pipe into lengths of about 1.5 meters (this is not an exact science, you can make them as long or as
as you want, the important thing is that they are all equal in length) now push these into the holes, they should fit snug and tight.
To give strength to your hoops the roofing baton is fitted to the top centerline of the cages, cut the wood to the required length and secure with a wood screw at each end first (again using the small drill bit for pilot holes help but do not drill into the water pipe) When each end is secured continue securing each hoop to the baton length.
Final job is to cover with the scaffolding netting (I selected the green netting as the blue can look a bit much on your plot) when your happy with the position secure one long edge to the frame using the staples staring in the middle and working out towards the ends, do the same on the opposite long rail but this time put the netting tight ensuring that its not creased.
Next fold over the netting at each end and secure with the staples (having fitted the metal brackets flush with the top edge allows you to staple just below them, you can of course fit the bracket to the internal faces of the rails)
Using the scissors trim off excess netting leaving a 2-3″ skirt all round, fold this under and secure with staples to the base of the cages, finally fire in a few staples along the top support rail to prevent any movement of the netting which could damage it. Attach wire ties to each end hoop to tidy up the netting at these points. And that’s it, a Brassica cage that will last many seasons and protect your crops.