This Impossible Garden

The Garden Fence Project

Every Spring I get started early, planning and inventorying seeds, and swearing I will get the garden planted “early (pronounced “on time”) this year”. Every year, something makes me late.

Last season, I was determined to get the garden fence reinforced at the bottom with chicken wire, before I plant anything…and of course it took me longer than planned.

I stopped the fence project to get some things planted, hoping to have the garden secured before anything grew to a significant size and could be attacked. For the most part I succeeded. The tomato plants got the tops munched, causing side shoots and  the plants to grow very bushy.

In addition to adding the chicken wire, I extended the length of the garden, adding two feet at one end and eight feet at the other. At the two foot end, I dug a two by ten foot bed and planted Jeruselem Artichoke tubers, before I finished the fence. Oops. They were mowed down by either the rabbits or woodchucks.

Look at the guilty look on his face.

So I improvised a temporary fence. The Sunchokes came back and so did the hungry critter(s). At first they ate what they could reach through the holes, then they found their way around the fence and got to the rest of them. I’m not sure if the plants were going to make a second comeback but while I was busy with the rest of the fence, the weeds took over the bed. I guess I’ll see in a couple months if any survived but I doubt it.

When the fence was finally completed, it was a success. Something found their way in and did some minor damage but after that there were no critter problems for the most part.

As for the fence, I used  two foot tall chicken wire, wired it to the 2×3-mesh fence, one foot tall to prevent the bunnies walking right through and on the ground one foot out from the fence to prevent digging under. Now this year I’m going to cover the one foot out part with something, not sure what yet….stone, boards, patio block.

I wrote this in the July update:

My fence fortification has helped tremendously but some wascally wodent has still been gaining access and snacking on the fresh bean plants. Grrr. There are some areas of fence that are less secure than the rest but still very secure. There are also a couple small holes in the ground near the fence but I don’t see any holes IN the garden so I dunno. Hmm, maybe they’re eating the underground potatoes.

I suspect the woodchucks as opposed to the rabbits. I haven’t come across baby bunnies this year and I doubt the adult rabbits will climb over the 3 foot fence or through the 2×4 mesh above the one foot of chicken wire. I bet however, that the ‘chucks can climb over, fit through the 2×4 mesh (they’re young ‘uns), and/or pull the chicken wire down where it isn’t attached to the fence at the upper part and walk through. I haven’t seen any sign of it though ie; hair on the fence, bent wires (except the spot where I hit it with the lawn mower), nor paths, mounded dirt, etc. It’s a mystery. I could also be dealing with something different. Perhaps a chipmunk – that would explain the holes I mentioned. Hmm. A Sasquatch could easily walk right in there too, but the damage would probably be more extensive.

Maybe they were squeezing under the one-foot of wire on the ground. I did go around and push in staples where ever it was needed. Then when the grass grew up through, I think that helped seal things up more.

I still have the front section where I have planned for years to make frames that are easy to put up and take down for the tractor to get in each spring. Maybe I’ll finally get to that this summer (* I didn’t).

Happy Gardening!

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