I built two 4'X4' cages to fit on top of one of my 4' X 8' beds. I found I could cut a piece of 4' wide wire 7' long and bend, with the help of a straight edge (see photo to the right), 2 even creases 18" from each end to form 2 of the 4 sides. That left only two 18" by 48" pieces to cut for the remaining two sides. The base of the wire was then stapled to the 4'X4' frames and the two single sides attached with those nifty plastic awning lock ties you can get at Home Depot. To easily lift off and replace the cages on top of the beds I created a 12" long plastic handles out of left over pvc pipe and wire and attached one to the top of each cage in the very center. For step-by-step directions for building these cages see Mel Bartholomew's New Square Foot Gardening book. Having completed the cages, I planted seed of lettece, bunching onions, radish, spinach and snap peas with hopes that the resulting harvest will now be protected.
For my remaining raised bed and fiberglass barrels I have removed the bird netting (effective, but awful stuff to work around and a lizard strangler). Since these plantings are mature (tomatoes, strawberries and herbs) I am taking my chances they will survive most attacks. If not, I plan to set out a small Havahart critter trap that will be used to humanely capture the rodents and remove them far from my property. I've heard peanut butter works well. Before replanting the remaining bed, I will build two more 4'X4' cages to protect it as well. I will share the results of these endeavors to protect my garden in future posts.