email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Garden Enclosure

Well, with the decent weather, I am turning my attention to finishing the Garden Enclosure.  And I have to thank Marley for kick-starting me into that.  I had noticed some scratching around going on inside the enclosure, and finally noticed Marley INSIDE the enclosure.

Well, I knew I hadn't finished connecting all the strips of screening everywhere, but I thought it was pretty much complete.  So I went out last week and used a few nylon tie strips to finish it.
 mounted cable ties
Usually for bundling wires, they are good for pulling chicken wire tightly together too. I will be using 100s of yards of thin wire like thread to REALLY attach all the chicken wire strips, but I thought it was all pretty good already.

Til Marley appeared inside.  So I called him to see where he came back out.  And tightened THAT spot.  And he got in again, so I tightened THAT spot!  After several days of that, I went out to get the job done right.

I was SHOCKED at how many openings I found Marley could get through.  I understand why he was attracted to it.  6 large boxes of deep soft soil... He must have thought he had found his Forever litter box!

Well, I'm glad he found the opening before I planted the seeds and the squirrels found the openings!  They would have nibbled off my seedlings as if there was no enclosure of all.

So I decided I better get the enclosure sealed against even the squirrels.  First, since there were vines around the edges of the enclosure, I sharpened my sickle of the grinding wheel.  Nothing fancy, just a shot around the curve.  But it cut a piece of paper in half cleanly.

So I used it to slice through the vines at the bottom edges of the enclosure, then got to work with the 8" nylon ties.  They are being used to hold the chicken wire tight around the top and bottom PVC pipes, around the upright PVC pipes, and to hold the 4' chicken wire strips together tightly.

And I spent time cutting the ground level excess chicken wire to extend 2' out from the bottom so that groundhogs can't go up to the enclosure and dig under it.  They are not clever enough to back up 2' and dig from there.  I hope!  If they are, there are other things I can to to stop them.

But the nylon ties are temporary.  They will deteriorate in sunlight after a few years and start popping loose.  Which is why my next step is to start threading long lengths of galvanized wire through the seams of the chicken wire like stitching a hem.

The nylon ties are 2' apart.  The wire will thread through every couple of inches.  If I can get the wire through all the seams (hoping I don't miss some), no varmint is going to eat my seedlings again!!!

If I seem obsessive about this, it is due to sad experience.  Varmints in suburban areas are generally desperate for food.  In their natural environs like open fields or oak-filled forests, they have plenty of food.  In my yard, the only good food they can see is MY GARDEN!  The ones in my yard are the losers who have been driven out of their natural habitat by other varmints.

I really do feel vaguely sorry for them, but not sorry enough to let them eat all my veggies...

So back to Marley.  When he can't get back into the enclosure, I know I will have stopped the groundhogs and hopefully the squirrels.

Marley got extra treats tonight for his efforts to get inside the garden enclosure...  LOL!


Megan said...

I don't blame you for wanting to secure the garden against predators. I have the same problem here - anything that is not enclosed is at risk. Sometimes a plant will be 'allowed' to live for several months and then, all of a sudden, it will be attacked and eaten - often killed in the process. It's very disappointing.

Sydney, Australia

pilch92 15andmeowing said...

Good job Marley!