Critter-Proofing the Garden

30 Jan

Last year our orchard and vegetable garden were pillaged by critters of every stripe…moles, voles, gophers, tree squirrels, ground squirrels and even birds — who scratched, dug and pecked out the seedlings and sprouting crops. When the tree squirrels stole every single one of the ripe donut peaches in a single day, Eddie took action and built wire-screened enclosures around all the trees that still had fruit on them. Then he did the same for the tomato plants. This year, he decided he would simply build an enclosure around the entire veggie garden. I say simply, but it was not, of course. This is a truly awesome construction!

Destruction site and forms for concrete perimiter.

After lots of measuring, drawing up plans and materials lists, he ordered lumber, gopher mesh, avian wire, plumbing materials and concrete. First step was to remove the old fencing and bring in a back hoe to dig out 18 inches of soil. Then our gardener and his crew poured a foundation, lined the garden with gopher mesh, and put all the soil and some amendments BACK in the garden.

Soil is back in the garden, mixed with sand, compost and manure. Ready to GROW!

Butch and Eddie used THOUSANDS of staples to attach the avian wire to the panels.

 It took Eddie and Butch nearly two weeks to erect the frame and cover the top and sides with avian wire. Last of all, Eddie built gates and doors, and re-plumbed the irrigation system and the water to the henhouse.

We will use the supports to mount wires for vertical plants such as tomatoes, peas and green beans.

Three gates provide entry from the barn, the back yard and the hen yard.

We used to have several widely spaced raised beds here, which wasted a lot of ground and made crop rotation rather complex. So, not only will the new garden nearly double our growing space, it will be safe from underground, above ground and overhead bandits! Take THAT, you little varmints!

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2 Responses to “Critter-Proofing the Garden”

  1. Brandy Rowden January 31, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    The construction is quite impressive. :-) Thanks again, Lisa, for the grapefruit and eggs. I tasted one of the grapefruits and it was quite juicy.

  2. Deborah Miller January 31, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Dear Lisa,
    Totally AWESOME!!!! What a guy! I can’t even get my husband to take the garbage out.

    Lucky Lady!

    Love,
    Deborah

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