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Snake-Proofing your garden

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Jogeephus

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A few years ago I got snakebit picking cucumbers and have had some concerns about the risk of associated with sticking my hands where I can't see them. Last summer my neighbor got bit really bad so I'm reminded again of the risk this can involve. To remedy this, I came across some 16 foot cow panels and decided to use them as a trellis in the garden. I placed 4x4's every 16 feet and hung the panels with staples. To sturdy the centers I placed a T-post and wired it to the panel. Since I didn't set anything more than 2 feet deep the trellis will be easy to remove if need be yet it is plenty sturdy. On top of this, it looks tidy and neat.
 

grannysoo

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Cowpanels are definately the way to go raising cukes. I've been doing it for the past two years and will never go back. I don't like fishing in the plants with snakes around either.
 

milkmaid

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Y'all have me curious. I don't really have to deal with anything other than garter snakes up north, so I don't have to snake proof anything. How does a cattle panel keep snakes out of your garden?
 

Jogeephus

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milkmaid":2i638bym said:
Y'all have me curious. I don't really have to deal with anything other than garter snakes up north, so I don't have to snake proof anything. How does a cattle panel keep snakes out of your garden?

It doesn't keep them out but it raises plants like cucumbers off the groud so they don't create a thick ground cover which might conceal something unfriendly. The rest of the garden is pretty easy to see since it is row cultivated. Its possible for one to hide unseen in a row but very unlikely. The worst place in the world to walk around here is a peanut field during the fall of the year. You can't see your feet or ankles and when you invert the nuts you will shortly see how lucky you were several times over.
 

1982vett

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Jogeephus":2kwb810p said:
milkmaid":2kwb810p said:
Y'all have me curious. I don't really have to deal with anything other than garter snakes up north, so I don't have to snake proof anything. How does a cattle panel keep snakes out of your garden?

It doesn't keep them out but it raises plants like cucumbers off the groud so they don't create a thick ground cover which might conceal something unfriendly. The rest of the garden is pretty easy to see since it is row cultivated. Its possible for one to hide unseen in a row but very unlikely. The worst place in the world to walk around here is a peanut field during the fall of the year. You can't see your feet or ankles and when you invert the nuts you will shortly see how lucky you were several times over.

Milkmaid, you let the vines climb the panels as a trellis. I use em' for tomatoes too. Use two panels space the bottom a little over a foot apart and tie together at the top.
 

Jogeephus

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A friend of mine did his tomatoes in a similar fashion. He used bamboo and this leaned on a wire he had stretched the length of the garden. His tomatoe patch was like a cave you could walk in and pick in the shade.

How bout cantelopes. Do you think they would be too heavy or not?
 

1982vett

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I've been thinking of trying it on cantelope, but I do think the variety I plant gets to heavy and would pick themselves (fall off the vine) as they got ripe . I plant another variety that is small, about 4" diameter, that probably would work OK.
 

ga. prime

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Rabbits are voracious feeders on ripe or almost ripe cantaloupes. If you could get them off the ground, it would save a lot of your crop. I think the kind I plant (Edisto and associates) would be too heavy for a trellis.

Another garden vegetable besides cucumbers that affords good snake cover is squash. The closest(to my knowledge) that I ever came to being struck is the time I was picking squash when about a half second before reaching under some squash leaves, I spied a 4ft long coiled up diamondback inches from where I was about to put my hand. Ever since then I've gotten the dogs to run through the garden before I go in there picking stuff.
 

MO_cows

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I have seen in magazines, cantaloupe grown vertically on a trellis, and they used a sling to support the fruits, looked like old pantyhose but anything stretchy should work.
 

ga. prime

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Ha! PETA. That reminds me of a story a friend of mine who is a retired forest ranger told me. He was chief ranger at Francis Marion Nat'l Forest over in South Carolina. Or it might have been when he was at Talladega Nat'l Forest in Alabama. Either way, a group of VIP tree hugger peta types came for a tour. They asked my friend if he ever saw rattlesnakes and what did he do if he did. He said yes I see them sometimes and I kill them if I can find a stick nearby. They were all severly distressed to hear him say that he killed them and advised him that he should never kill any of the creatures in the forest. So, later on as they were hiking through the woods my friend, who was walking behind them a ways, saw there was a big commotion within the visiting group as they were jumping and yelling and running around grabbing sticks and beating the ground. When he caught up to them, you guessed it, they had beaten one of the poor rattlesnakes to pieces.
 

Jogeephus

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Theory goes down the tubes when you come face to face with a beady-eyed demon. Retired ag prof once told something similar about pesticides. Had a tree hugger in his class who constantly ranted about pesticide use until she actually tried to grow a garden without them. She is now a professor herself but she has a different view of pesticides.
 

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