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Garden Fence is a Must Evidently

  
  
  
  

deer in josh's garden

 

You might think as I did, that living in a small city, in an area with traffic, in a house surrounded by other houses, without any woods around, with a sturdy picket fence surrounding your property, and with a very humble garden, that you would be safe from furry whatsits eating away all your amateur agricultural aspirations. You might also, as I now do, know better.

Last summer my wife Monika and I planted our first backyard vegetable garden. Monika has dabbled with flowers and herbs in containers, but we never had the space for a vegetable garden until last year. We moved into a place with a quarter of an acre yard behind the house. Monika designed the layout and I tilled a small 6 x 12 space. I also lugged the bags of gardening soil and some supposedly composted manure I picked up from a local farm (By “composted” they only meant that there may have been some incidental material mixed in with the bags of raw cow manure. My car smelled for a month and we couldn’t use it on the garden this year. Don’t ask why I brought it home with me.). Monika planted several different vegetables and had them all in the ground by the second week in June.

Two months later, our modest effort was rewarded. We had too many tomatoes, not enough peppers and just enough fresh basil (It’s painful to think about fresh basil in the midst of a New England winter.). We also had some tasty snow peas. The only total failure was the green beans. It seems that a critter crawled unimpeded into our garden and ate the whole plant except for a small stump. Hmm. Monika and I love green beans and want to be sure we eat them fresh from the garden in 2013. We already have a picket fence that I installed to keep our young son in our back yard. Now I have to consider what to use to keep some unidentified, but presumably small animal out of our garden. There are some logical, but not necessarily obvious questions I have to answer.

  • What type of critters am I trying to keep out? Rabbits probably. Skunk maybe?
  • How long do we need this fence to last?  Maybe 2, maybe 10 years. Not sure really.
  • Aesthetics matter. What will look best in the yard and be appropriate for a garden?  We already have Vinyl siding on the house and a vinyl picket fence, so nothing metal or natural wood unless we paint it.

So after answering a couple questions I decided that this would be the fence for our garden. I am going to use 36 inch hexagonal chicken wire fence with black vinyl coating. It will be tall enough to keep out small animals and leave me room to bury the bottom thus preventing an attack from below. The black vinyl coating is aesthetically neutral, blending with its background and allowing us to appreciate the beauty of our garden. The UV treated PVC coating gives extra protection from rust and corrosion. I’ll staple it to some pressure treated posts which I may or may not set in concrete. That should work. I feel good about it.

C’mon spring!

Josh Lane signature       Josh Lane




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Comments

Josh, be careful not to write off the even smaller critters as one of the largest potential sources of destruction to your little plot. My wife and I find that voles (mice equivalent) and "cut worms" tend to cause the majority of garden damage over the course of a season.  
 
If you're planning to use 3/4 or 1" mesh fencing, you might consider an 18" height of quarter or half-inch grid mesh over top of the hexagonal (~9" underground and the same amount exposed above) to deter those critters that can slip through the larger diameter.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 1:41 PM by Jason W Theis
Thanks for the tip Jason. I may end up doing that if plan A is ineffective. What you say makes sense about the smaller critters. I'll post updates on this during the season.
Posted @ Wednesday, January 30, 2013 2:37 PM by Josh Lane
I appreciate your idea of putting up a chicken wire fence to your garden. I think small animal won't intrude your garden anymore. Thanks for sharing this blog.
Posted @ Wednesday, February 06, 2013 3:19 AM by fencing supplies perth
Using fencing is a good option to prevent garden area, by the use of fencing you can prevent your garden area from animals and other outsiders. And attractive fences also improve looking of the house. It will create a beautiful impact.
Posted @ Friday, June 07, 2013 6:11 AM by Paul Davies
Josh, most people install fences to keep things (children) inside the garden, and often forget about wildlife getting into the garden. As you and your wife like to grow food, this is going to be a constant problem for you if you dont install the correct fence. I hope you had success with your fence, and didnt have to redo it!
Posted @ Monday, March 10, 2014 12:15 PM by Sue Brennan
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