You may be able to find other scrap wood strips around. Carpenters often have strips left over. You just have to keep your eyes open. "Quick, Henry, stop the car. I saw something back there." Or, if you have a table saw, its easy enough to cut strips of wood yourself The wood or blind grids can be painted, which kids love to do, creating fancy combinations of colors. For the best visual effect, I think plain white is best. You can also write on them. Everyone loves to sign their name, and sometimes they like to record what they've planted. Its fun to have visitors sign your grid, especially children and grandchildren. Let them pick out which square they like best, and tell them it can be theirs. When they call, you can tell them how their plants are doing. I bet they'll call more often.
To protect one or more squares next to each other from weather or pests, the first step is to make a wire U-frame cage to fit over those squares. You may want to make several U-frames of different sizes that can be used for 1, 2, or 4 square feet and another for an entire 4x4 block of 16 square feet. Basically, you want to make a wire cage that will fit over the top of each of these areas. Later you can attach a covering made from any number of materials to protect those squares from a variety of hazards. I've found that the easiest cage is made from plastic-coated wire fencing. This can be cut with wire
To build a protective cage for your 4x4 garden, you 'll need: four one inch by two inch boards, 4 feet long; chicken wire; plastic ties; cutting shears; and a power drill
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