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1. (WO2019032935) PLANT COVER DEVICE WITH ENCLOSURE AND PERIPHERAL BASE AND RELATED METHODS
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PLANT COVER DEVICE WITH ENCLOSURE AND PERIPHERAL BASE AND

RELATED METHODS

Related Application

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional application serial no. 62/543,567 filed August 10, 2017, which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates to the field of agricultural devices, and, more particularly, to disease prevention device and related methods.

Background

[0003] The agricultural industry is a targe and robust industry worldwide. To meet worldwide demand for agricultural products, producers utilize numerous methods to maximize production in agricultural crops. For example, one technique includes removing unwanted growth (i.e. soil cultivation) around the base of crops to enhance growth and production. Typically, this is accomplished with the application of herbicide around the base of most crops.

[0004] Although there are effective herbicides, there are several drawbacks to their use. Firstly, the adaptation of herbicide resistant "super weeds" has reduced the effectiveness of many herbicides. Secondly, herbicides cannot be applied toward organic fields or directly over non-GMO crops. Thirdly, the application of herbicides may weaken the crop's natural defense, and application to crops prior to harvest may result in crop damage when contacted by spray drift or when absorbed from the soil by the plant's root system.

[0005] Another technique is implementation of a robust fertilization program. Although fertilization programs do enhance growth of crops, they can be costly to implement and maintain. Moreover, herbicides cannot be applied toward organic fields or directly over non-GMO crops.

[0006] Yet another technique is a robust insecticide program. Of course, this programs provides benefits from evasive insects that harm the crop. Another benefit is the insecticide program may help prevent infection of the crop from disease, such as fungus and bacterial infections.

[0007] One example disease is citrus greening, also known as Huanglongbing (HLB) or yellow dragon disease. Citrus greening disease is one of the most serious citrus plant diseases in the world because there is currently no cure. The disease has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad. Citrus greening disease is spread by a disease-infected insect, the Asian citrus psy!!id [0008] The infected insect spreads the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. Citrus greening disease is further spread by moving infected plants and plant materials.

[0009] The disease has affected the entire US citrus industry, and has been reported in 33 nations worldwide. Infected citrus trees produce fruits that are green, misshapen and bitter, unsuitable for sale as fresh fruit or for juice. Most infected trees die within a few years and have few productive years, if any.

[0010] Citrus greening disease is typically managed using insecticides to control the psy!iid population. Evidence shows that reducing psyl!id populations via insecticide application not only slows the rate of citrus greening disease spread but also reduces severity of the disease once established.

[001 ] Young trees that produce multiple flushes throughout the year are at greater risk of greening infection than mature trees because of the attraction of adult psyilids to the new flush. Even without the disease, young trees need to be protected for about four years from psyilids and leaf miners to grow optimally. In some

approaches, soil-applied systemic insecticides provide long lasting control of psyilids, but the chemicals may be environmentally harmful.

[0012] In other approaches, tree covers that enclose a tree to prevent insect infiltration are deployed. These tree cover approaches, however, may suffer from one or more drawbacks. The tree cover may rest its weight against the tree, which can damage foliage and branches of young trees. In some approaches, the tree covers

may have a Skeiton-like framework that prevents the cover from resting against the foliage, but the framework may provide for a more complicated install.

Summary

[0013] Generally, a plant cover device may include an enclosure comprising a plurality of panels coupied together to define a plant-receiving cavity therein. Each of the piuraiity of panels may include a major mesh surface, and a seam extending along a peripheral edge of the major mesh surface. Adjacent panels may be coupled together at respective seams. The enclosure may include a first fastener adjacent the peripheral edge of a respective panel. The plant cover device may comprise a base coupied to the enciosure and comprising a solid major surface extending radially outward, and a second fastener carried by the solid major surface and extending radially. The plant cover device may include a support extending vertically from a ground surface to an apex of the enclosure. The first fastener and the second fastener may be aligned and configured to provide access to the plant-receiving cavity.

[0014] !n particular, the plurality of panels may define a trunk receiving opening at a bottom thereof, and the base may define a medial opening coupled to the trunk receiving opening. Each of the trunk receiving opening and the medial opening may be triangle-shaped, for example.

[0015] In some embodiments, the major mesh surface of each of the plurality of panels may comprise a polyvinyl chloride material. The base may comprise a peripheral passageway carried by the solid major surface and configured to receive a drip line. The base may comprise a plurality of spaced apart notches along the peripheral passageway. The major mesh surface of each of the plurality of panels may comprise a colored mesh material configured to diffract ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The base may comprise a reflective material. The base may comprise a waterproof material.

[0016] Another aspect is directed to a method for making a plant cover device. The method may include forming an enclosure comprising a plurality of panels coupled together to define a plant-receiving cavity therein. Each of the plurality of panels may have a major mesh surface, and a seam extending along a peripheral edge of the major mesh surface. Adjacent panels may be coupled together at respective seams. The

enclosure may have a first fastener adjacent the peripheral edge of a respective panel. The method may include forming a base coupled to the enclosure and comprising a solid major surface extending radially outward, and a second fastener carried by the solid major surface and extending radially. The method may further include providing a support to extend vertically from a ground surface to an apex of the enclosure. The first fastener and the second fastener may be aligned and configured to provide access to the plant-receiving cavity.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first example of the plant cover system installed so as to enclose a young tree.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a front view of an example of the plant cover bag.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a back view thereof.

[0020] FIG. 4 is another back view of the plant cover bag showing the margins separated to increase the size of the opening.

[0021] FIG. 5 is a back view of another example of the plant cover bag with a slot that extends to the upper section of the bag.

[0022] FIG. 6 is a back view of another example of the plant cover bag with a slot that extends closer to the side apex than in the first example.

[0023] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second example of the plant cover system installed so as to enclose a young tree.

[0024] FIG. 8 is a front view of the bag in the second example.

[0025] FIG. 9 is a back view thereof.

[0026] FIG. 10 is a diagrammatic illustration of the first example of the plant cover system enclosing a young tree with the wall of the bag shown as transparent so that the interior of the bag is more clearly visible.

[0027] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another example of the plant cover system installed so as to enclose a young tree where the bag includes a base member.

[0028] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of another example of the plant cover system installed so as to enclose a young tree where the bag includes a base member and the slot extends further up the bag than in the example of FIG. 11.

[0029] FIG. 13 is a partial view of the base member.

[0030] FIG. 14 is a top perspective view of the base member with the margins separated.

[0031] FIG. 15 is a bottom view of the base member.

[0032] FIG. 16 is an example of an irrigation line that may be used.

[0033] FIG. 17 is an example of a support member that may be used.

[0034] FIG. 18 is another example of a support member that may be used.

[0035] FIG. 19 is a schematic side view of a plant cover device, according to the present disclosure.

[0036] FIG. 20 is another schematic side view of the plant cover device from FIG. 19.

[0037] FIG. 21 is a schematic bottom plan view of the plant cover device from FIG. 19.

[0038] FiG. 22 is a portion of a schematic bottom plan view of the plant cover device from FIG. 19.

[0039] FiG. 23 is a portion of a schematic bottom plan view of the plant cover device from FIG. 19 with the first and second fasteners opened.

[0040] FIG. 24A is a schematic side view of another embodiment of the plant cover device, according to the present disclosure.

[0041] FIG. 24B is a schematic side view of the support from the plant cover device of FIG. 24A.

[0042] FIG. 24C is a schematic side view of a portion of the support from the plant cover device of FIG. 24A.

Detailed Description

[0043] The present disclosure will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which several embodiments of the invention are shown. This present disclosure may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein. Rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the present disclosure to those skilled in the art. Like numbers refer to like elements throughout; prime notation is used to indicate similar elements in alternative embodiments; and base 100 reference numerals are used to indicate similar elements in alternative embodiments.

[0044] Young citrus trees are at greater risk than mature trees of infection because of frequent leaf flush (fresh growth) which attracts the psyllid as well as many other pests as the young tree grows. The plant cover system described here may advantageously be used to protect young citrus trees for the first three years and beyond after planting. However, it should be recognized that the cover can also be used on a wide variety, size, and age of fruit trees, ornamentals, vegetables, and the like. It is to be understood that the term "plant" as used herein may include trees. For example, "a plant cover" refers to a cover for trees and other plants.

[0045] Referring to FIG. 1 , a first example embodiment of the plant cover system 100 includes a plant cover bag 200 upwardly supported by a vertical support member 300 over a tree 102. The bottom of the bag 200 is closed around the trunk 104 of the tree 102. An optional trunk cover 400 encircles the trunk. A closure 500 closes the bottom of the bag 200 around the trunk 104.

[0046] Additional details of the bag 200 are now described with reference to FIGS. 2-6. The bag 200 has a generally kite shaped exterior perimeter 202 and is formed from a first kite shaped panel 204 and a second kite shaped panel that are joined together along a seam 208 forming the exterior perimeter 202 by a conventional joining mechanism such as using an adhesive, sewing, stapling, or the like.

[0047] The seam 208 adds rigidity to the exterior perimeter 202, allowing the exterior perimeter 202 to maintain its kite shape without a separate support frame when suspended over a tree. This allows the midsection of the bag 200 to bulge out around the tree's foliage so that the bag 200 does not rest its weight against the foliage.

[0048] An upper section 210 of the bag 200 is generally triangle shaped. A lower section 212 of the bag 200 is generally trapezoid shaped. A bottom end of the bag 200 includes a rim 214 that circumscribes an opening 216 to the bag's interior 218.

[0049] A slot 220 interrupts the seam 208, extends vertically from the opening 216, and includes a pair of opposed margins 222 that include cooperatively interlocking parts 224 that can temporarily be joined and separated to increase the size of the opening when installing over a plant. The interlocking joining mechanism for the margins 222 may be a hook and loop type closure such as hook and loop interface, a zipper, or the (ike. The entire length of the slot 220 may be completely closed to prevent insects from entering through the slot 220.

[0050] Referring to FIGS. 5 & 6, the length of the slot 220 may vary among different examples to accommodate different sizes and shapes of plants and trees. In the example of FIG. 6, the slot 220 extends from the opening 216 to the upper section 210 of the bag 200 and terminates before reaching the bag's top apex 224. In the example of FIG. 7, the slot 220 extends from the opening 216 and part of the way to the side apex 226. If the plant being covered is a fruit or vegetable plant, the extended slot 220 can be opened to harvest the fruits or vegetables from the plant and then closed.

[0051] The panels 204, 206 form a wail that encloses the interior of the bag 200. The panels 204, 206 may be made at least partially or completely of a mesh material, which provides water permeability and light transmissivity, but prevents intrusion by small insects such as psyllids. The mesh size may be, for exampie, 50 mesh or 50 by 25 threads per square inch. Such a mesh size will be sufficient to prevent intrusion by psyllids, aphids, white flys, mealy bugs, leaf miners, thrips, grasshoppers, ants, and orange dogs. The bag 200 may also protect the enclosed foliage from frost, hail, and wind damage.

[0052] Referring to FIGS. 7-9 a second example embodiment of the bag 200' includes three kite shaped panels instead of two. In FIGS. 7-9 a prime symbol (') denotes features corresponding to the previous exampie. The three kite shaped panels 204', 205, & 206' are joined together at the seam 208' so that the bag has three side vertices 226'. This configuration provides more interior volume than in the first exampie to accommodate larger plants and trees.

[0053] Referring to FIG. 10, the vertical support member 300 may be inserted into the ground like a stake adjacent to the tree 02 so that it extends vertically alongside and in close proximity to the tree 102. The top end 302 upwardly supports the bag 200, keeping the bag 200 from resting on the tree 102 and suspended above the ground. The top of the tree and the top end 302 are offset by a height H1 to allow the tree 102 to grow within the bag 200, The top apex 224 of the bag 200 is positioned atop the top end 302 of the vertical support member 300. The seam 208 provides enough rigidity to the bag 200 to maintain its kite shape. The opening 216 is closed around the trunk 104 of the tree 102 with the closure 500.

[0054] The vertical support member 300 may take on many different forms. In the example shown, the vertical support member is a rod-shaped or tubular stake with a plastic or rubber cap 304 on the top end 302 that prevents the vertical support member from causing wear to the bag 200 when the bag 200 moves in the wind, which could generate holes in the bag 200. In other examples, it may include arms extending horizontally from the stake to support the sides of the bag 200 and produce a support frame.

[0055] The closure 500 is a string, belt, band, or the like that circumscribes the bag 200 and can be tightened to close the opening 216. The closure 500 may take many different forms such as a drawstring integrally formed with the bag 200, a separate string or rope that can be tied around the bag, a zip or cable tie, a belt, an elastic band, and the like.

[0056] The bag's 200 kite shape provides an advantage over other conventional plant covers. The kite shape makes the bag 200 somewhat form fitting to the shape of a tree. It is skinnier at the bottom and top and bulges in the middle to accommodate branches and foliage. The kite shape also provides room for the tree to grow both taller and wider within the bag 200.

[0057] The trunk cover 400 encloses the trunk 104 of the tree by encircling it. The trunk cover 400 may be a conventional tubular tree trunk cover or tree trunk wrap, in the example of FIG. 1 , the trunk cover 400 has plastic tubular construction and extends from the ground up the trunk. The bag's opening 216 is tightened closed against the trunk cover 400 around the trunk 104. The trunk cover 400 may have a reflective exterior surface. The trunk cover 400 may reduce the amount of pesticides that need to be applied to the tree because it will prevent insect damage.

[0058] In an exemplary method of covering a plant using the bag, plant foliage is positioned within the bag 200 by lowering the bag 200 over the plant through the opening 216 in the bag 200. The bag is suspended the bag on a stake positioned next to the plant. The stake extends above the top of the plant. The opening is then closed around a stem or trunk of the plant. To make it easier to position the foliage within the bag 200, the slot 220 may be temporarily opened to increase the size of the opening 216. Once the foliage is within the bag, the slot 220 may then be closed.

[0059] The bag 200 is easily removable from the plant or tree when no longer needed even though the plant or tree covered might have grown because the slot 220 can be opened during removal. The bag 200 and vertical support member 300 may then be reused. The bag 200 is lightweight and flexible, allowing for efficient storage and/or shipment. When not in use, the bag 200 may be folded or rolled up for storage.

[0060] Another example embodiment of the plant cover system 200" will now be described with reference to FIGS. 11-16. This example includes a bag 200" including any of the features already described and a base member 300. The base member 300 is attached to the bag 200" along a seam 302.

[0061] The base member 300 includes an upper surface 304, a lower surface 306 opposite the upper surface 304, and a perimeter 308. The perimeter 308 in the example shown is substantially circular. The perimeter 308 may have different shapes in different examples.

[0062] The base member 300 includes an irrigation member 310 configured to provide a mechanism for irrigating a plant within the bag 200". In the example embodiment shown, the irrigation member 310 includes a tubular wall 312 defining an opening 314 and an interior space 316 extending substantially around the perimeter 308.

[0063] The interior space 316 receives an irrigation line 400, such as the example shown in FIG. 16. The irrigation line 400 is adapted to deliver water to the plant by including openings 402 along its length through which water can escape. Water leaving the irrigation line 400 exits the irrigation member 310 by openings 320 formed in the bottom 306 of the irrigation member 400. in this example the irrigation member 310 is positioned along the perimeter 308 in order to deliver water to the outer reaches of the plant's root system. It is not necessary for the irrigation member 310 to be positioned along the perimeter 308 in every example.

[0064] The base member 300 may include a shape maintaining feature for maintaining the shape of the perimeter 308. Such a shape maintaining feature may be attached to the base member about or along the perimeter 308. The shape maintaining feature may include a wire, cable, rope, resilient pole, or the like.

[0065] The base member 300 defines an opening 322 through which the base of the plant may be positioned. The opening 322 in the example shown coincides with the seam 302 where the base member 300 and bag 200" are connected. The shape of the opening 322 is triangular in the example shown, but it may be another shape in other examples.

[0066] The base member 300 includes a pair of opposed margins 324 having cooperatively interlocking parts 326 that can temporarily be joined and separated to increase the size of the opening 322. When joined together, the margins 324 define a closed slot 328.

[0067] The margins 324 of the base member 300 may be a continuation of the margins 222 of the bag 200" such that when the margin 222, 324 are separated the slot 328 in the base member 300 and slot in the bag 200" open together to form a single continuous opening for placing the bag 200" over a plant.

[0068] The base member 300 may be made of water impermeable material such as plastic or the like to maintain water used for irrigation in the vicinity of the plant's roots in order to enhance the efficiency of irrigation. The base member 300 also forms a barrier to insects and other pests around the base of the plant.

[0069] The base member 300 may be secured in position around the plant via many mechanisms such as anchoring with stakes and/or by placing soil on top of the perimeter to weigh down the base member 300. Optionally, the top surface 304 of the base member 300 includes a reflective material that provides a mirror like finish. The base member 300 may also be used without the bag as a mechanism for retaining water in the vicinity of the plant's roots.

[0070] Referring to FIGS. 17 and 18, in order to hold the central portion of the base member 300 off the ground, a support frame 500 may be used. The support frame may be made of metal, plastic or the like. The support frame 500 includes two inverted V-shaped stands 502 interconnected by at least one cross beam 504. In use,

the bottom of the V-shaped stands 502 is placed in contact with the ground and the weight of the base member 300 is supported by the support frame 500.

[0071] Referring now additionally to FIGS. 19-22, a plant cover device 630 is now described. The plant cover device 630 illustratively includes an enclosure 631 , a base 632 coupled to the enclosure, and a support 633 extending vertically from a ground surface to an apex of the enclosure.

[0072] In the illustrated embodiment, the support 633 (shown in dashed lines) comprises a simple pole support. In other embodiments, the support 633 may comprise additional lateral supports at a lowermost end adjacent the ground surface. Also, in some embodiments, the support 633 may include lateral arms extending from the uppermost section of the support, creating a canopy of sorts within the enclosure 631, or a dome-shaped portion for supporting the enclosure.

[0073] The enclosure 631 illustratively includes a plurality of panels 634a-634c coupled together to define a plant-receiving cavity therein. Each of the plurality of panels 634a-634c has a "kite-shape", or in other words, the shape of two adjacent oblique triangles with abutting base sides.

[0074] This plant-receiving cavity is perhaps best seen in the embodiment of FIG. 7. Each of the piuraiity of panels 634a-634c includes a major mesh surface 635a-635c, and a seam 636a-636c extending along a peripheral edge of the major mesh surface. The mesh openings in the major mesh surface 635a-635c are sized to as to prevent penetration by disease carrying insects.

[0075] Adjacent panels 634a-634c are coupled together at respective seams 636a-636c. Each seam 636a~636c may comprise one or more of a stitching seam, an adhesive seam, or an integrally formed seam (e.g. attached using a heat gun applied to thermoplastic material).

[0076] The enclosure 631 illustratively includes a first fastener 637 adjacent the peripheral edge of a respective panel 634a-634c. The first fastener 637 extends along only a portion of the peripheral edge of a respective panel 634a-634c (e.g. the illustrated 33% ±10). in other embodiments, the first fastener 637 extends along a greater portion of the peripheral edge of a respective panel 634a-634c, such as

extending along the edge to the corner or along an entire longitudinal side of the enclosure 631.

[0077] In the illustrated embodiment, the first fastener 637 comprises opposing hook and loop interfaces on peripheral edges of adjacent panels 634a-634c. Of course, in other embodiments, other fastening arrangements can be used on peripheral edges of adjacent panels 634a-634c, such as a button and slit interface, or a snap button interface (e.g. riveted snap fastener).

[0078] The base 632 illustratively includes a solid major surface 638 extending radially outward, and a second fastener 640 carried by the solid major surface and extending radially from a center to an outer peripheral edge. The base 632 illustratively has a circle-shape. In other embodiments, the base 632 may have other shapes, such as a square, an oval, or a triangle

[0079] As perhaps best seen in FIG. 23, the first fastener 637 and the second fastener 640 are aligned and configured to provide access to the plant-receiving cavity. In particular, the first fastener 637 and the second fastener 640 are dtrectly aligned in an abutting arrangement so that a user can readily open the first fastener 637 and the second fastener 640 in one easy action.

[0080] In particular, the plurality of panels 634a-634c illustratively defines a trunk receiving opening 641 at a bottom thereof. In some embodiments, the plant cover device 630 includes a tie or tether (see FIGS. 1, 7 & 10) configured to bind the lower portion of the enclosure 631 to the truck of the plant. The base 632 illustratively defines a medial opening 642 coupled (e.g. via a seam constituted similarly to the seams 636a-636c in the plurality of panels 634a-634c) to the trunk receiving opening 641. The second fastener 640 extends from the media! opening 642 to the peripheral edge of the base 632. Each of the trunk receiving opening 641 and the medial opening 642 is illustratively triangle-shaped. In other embodiments, the trunk receiving opening 641 and the medial opening 642 may have other shapes, such as a square, an oval, or a circle.

[0081] The base 632 illustratively includes a peripheral passageway 643 carried by the solid major surface 638 and configured to receive a drip line (not shown). The base 632 illustratively includes a plurality of spaced apart notches 644a-644c along the peripheral passageway 643 configured to receive respective nozzles from the drip line. As perhaps best seen in FIG. 22, each of the plurality of spaced apart notches 644a-644c comprises opposing first edges 645a-645b( and opposing second edges 646a-646b. The first and second edges 645a-645b, 646a-646b are canted with respect to each other. Each second edge 646a-646b is substantially perpendicular a (equating to an angle of 75°-105°) to a tangential line of the outer periphery of the base 632.

[0082] In some embodiments, the major mesh surface 635a-635c of each of the plurality of panels 634a-634c may comprise a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material. The major mesh surface 635a-635c of each of the plurality of panels 634a-634c may comprise a colored mesh material configured to selectively diffract one or more spectral portions (i.e. frequency ranges) of UV radiation and/or visible light radiation.

[0083] Advantageously, the major mesh surface 635a-635c of each of the plurality of panels 634a-634c can be of different color in order to manipulate or enhance the different spectral portions of the UV spectrum. This is important for keeping a plant in a vegetative state or forcing it into a flowering state in regards to some of the intended uses. As will be appreciated, different spectral portions of the visible light spectrum and the UV spectrum can have wide ranging effects on different plants. For example, for UV radiation, - No exposure produces better growth; Violet - Enhances the color, taste, and aroma of plants Blue - Increases the growth rate of plants;

Green - Enhances chlorophyll production and is used as a pigment for proper plant viewing; Yellow - Plants exhibit less growth compared to blue and red tight; Red - When combined with blue light it yields more leaves and crops, depending on what is being grown; and Far Red - Speeds up the Phytochrome conversion which reduces the time a plant takes to go into a night-time state. This allows the plant to produce a greater yield. See Klein, R. M., Edsali, P. C, & Gentile, A. C. (1965). Effects of Near Ultraviolet and Green Radiations on Plant Growth . Plant Physiology, 40(5), 903-906; and "Plant Growth", Chris Thiele, May 29, 2018, Grobo inc. website, each of which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

[0084] The base 632 illustratively includes a reflective material on an upper surface thereof. In some embodiments, the base 632 may comprise a waterproof material.

[0085] Helpfully, this permits for conservation of water in several ways. Firstly, the integrated drip line passageway permits water to be deployed efficiently with minimal evaporation. Second, the reflective upper surface reduces the amount of thermal radiation absorbed by the ground area directly adjacent the root ball, permitting more moisture to be absorbed by the plant and not evaporated. Thirdly, the waterproof barrier also provides an additional water barrier, keeping moisture where it can be used. Also, the base 632 may prevent unintentional drift or runoff of pesticides or fertilizer applied around the base of the plant,

[0086] Moreover, the UV diffraction effect from the plurality of panels 634a-634c may the improve growth rate of the plant. In particular, Applicant has observed a 20% increase in growth with the application of the plant cover device 630. These enhanced growth benefits are in addition to the disease prevention purpose provided by the enclosure 631, as discussed with regards to the earlier embodiments. Also, the base

632 also provides another barrier to disease spread by protecting the soil adjacent the root ball from insects.

[0087] Another aspect is directed to a method for making a plant cover device 630. The method includes forming an enclosure 631 comprising a plurality of panels 634a-634c coupled together to define a plant-receiving cavity therein. Each of the plurality of panels 634a-634c has a major mesh surface 635a-635c, and a seam 636a-636c extending along a peripheral edge of the major mesh surface. Adjacent panels 634a-634c are coupled together at respective seams. The enclosure 631 includes a first fastener 637 adjacent the peripheral edge of a respective panel 634b. The method includes forming a base 632 coupled to the enclosure 631 and comprising a solid major surface 638 extending radially outward, and a second fastener 640 carried by the solid major surface and extending radially. The method further includes providing a support

633 to extend vertically from a ground surface to an apex of the enclosure 631. The first fastener 637 and the second fastener 640 are aligned and configured to provide access to the plant-receiving cavity.

[0088] Referring now additionally to FIGS. 24A-24C, a plant cover device 730 is now described. In this embodiment of the plant cover device 730, those elements already discussed above with respect to FIGS. 19-23 are incremented by 700 and most require no further discussion herein. This embodiment differs from the previous embodiment in that this plant cover device 730 illustratively omits the base portion 632 of FIGS. 19-23. This embodiment also includes a different structure for the support 733. The support 733 illustratively includes a pole 750 extending from the ground surface, and a cap portion 752 coupled to an uppermost portion of the pole. The support 733 iilustratively includes a plurality of arms 751a-751c extending laterally from the cap portion 752 and configured to support the enclosure 731.

[0089] As perhaps best seen in FIG. 24C, the cap portion 752 illustratively includes a body 753 defining a lower recess configured to receive the uppermost portion of the pole 750. The cap portion 752 illustratively includes a plurality of elbows 754a-754c extending from the body 753 and respectively defining arm receiving

passageways 755. The arm receiving passageways 755 are configured to respectively receive the plurality of arms 751a-751c.

[0090] In yet other embodiments (not shown), the support 733 may alternatively comprise a twisted arrangement of three (1 wire for each arm) or more wires configured to be anchored within the uppermost portion of the pole 750. in particular, the wires would be formed into a twisted anchor inserted into the uppermost portion of the pole 750. The other ends of the wires would extend laterally and straight fashion to support the enclosure 731. The far distal ends of the wires would be curled downward to avoid tearing the mesh material of the plurality of panels 734a-734c. Positively, this embodiment would be less costly to manufacture than the embodiment of FIGS. 24A-24C.

[0091] Many modifications and other embodiments of the present disclosure will come to the mind of one skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is understood that the present disclosure is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed, and that modifications and embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims.