Well , for sure Bugs and maybe Bambi . Just finished redoing the
fencing around the garden . I had to rework it to include the bee hives
, I moved them to the far end of the garden since the wife thought them
too close to the deck . The "new" fence is 2" chicken wire at the bottom
, 18" high across the front ant one side , 24" for the rest . That
leaves 6" laying flat on the ground to the outside to discourage digging
under . That's topped by 3 strands of electric fencing , at 2" , 12" and
24" above the top edge of the chicken wire . If the dog's reaction (last
fall , t'was accidental) is any guide , Bambi won't want a second taste
of the fence .
Things is beginnin' to pop around here , the bees are building up for
the spring flow , seedlings are (mostly) coming along nicely , and we're
getting just about the right amount of rain at the right time . Got 29
strawberry plants in the ground with landscape fabric as a weed barrier
, 2 kinds of lettuce , bok choi , and green onions in the ground and
well mulched with straw and preps for the rest coming along . I sure
hope this is the year for outrageously huge crops , the wife thinks I
need to just give up since the production has been so abysmal the last
couple of years ...
the babies are so small they can get through a
pretty small gap.
unfortunately our fencing is not full bunny proof
and at times we've had them in the fenced gardens
so i hardly ever manage to grow certain greens
easily. if they don't get it the groundhogs (which
are better climbers) often get a crack at some too,
but at least with the beans they usually only eat
the fresh growing tips and not the whole plant.
Electric tops out 42-48" from the ground? Bambi won't even slow down
while sailing right over it. No reason to touch it. Grab some plastic
deer mesh (cheap, works) and run it up to 7 or 8 feet high. If you want
to do electric fence for deer there's a design that angles out which
supposedly causes them to try to crawl through and get zapped, but I
think even that is up 6 feet or more and is kinda annoying to build with
the angled bit. 7-8 feet of black plastic mesh is a bit hard to see and
they tend to bounce off rather than make it over. I have seen orchards
go to 12 feet of 6 inch wire mesh, but that's a whole other kettle of
Cats, coffee, chocolate...vices to live by
Please don't feed the trolls. Killfile and ignore them so they will go away.
What's done should be adequate. Sounds like what a friend did for his
garden. Deer don't normally go out of their way unless there is
something they really like such as apples. They just browse around as
if whole world is their salad bar and will eat vegetable plants even
before vegetables appear.
Yup , and that's the problem . A nibble her , a nibble there , and
pretty soon you got no lettuce . I'm not growing anything particularly
attractive to deer , I'm just trying to encourage them to browse
elsewhere . The rabbits are another story , they actively come looking
for the field peas and other tender little plants . The electric fence
is as much to discourage bears from the bee hives as to keep deer out .
I had one hive damaged last year , luckily the bear didn't hang around
longer and do more damage - might be that the dog scared him off , don't
know , but he didn't come back after I fenced the yard with electric .
cheap means it doesn't work for long. spend a few extra
and get a good metal woven fence which will last 30-50yrs
if maintained properly. Mom bought some of plastic mesh
fence and it's falling apart and a mess, the rabbits and
groundhogs chew right through it.
it's well worth it if done right you'll never have to
replace it (unless you let trees fall on it or vines grow
on it and they'll take it down, or someone runs into it
with the car/lawn mower/tractor/etc.).
8ft is ok here (so far). unfortunately i wasn't with
Mom when she bought the bottom part where it should be
rabbit proof it really isn't. they can climb or get
through (same with groundhogs).
i would have gone for finer mesh to give chipmunks
more of a barrier and eventually i may do that anyways
and put a hot wire along the top of that about 3/4" out
so they have to grab it to try to go over. some bulbs
they won't leave alone and it would be nice to have a
chance at getting an edamame soybean crop without
having to hunt each of them down. the semi-feral
kitty doesn't get all of them.
Terry Coombs wrote:
i would have went 1ft on the ground and 3ft up.
rabbits will do a little climbing and groundhogs
will too. the electric fence will help. :) we
don't have that fancy technology here yet. not
sure i'll ever do that, but some day i may...
diversity and persistance will get some return, but
last year wasn't the best here either for some crops
(especially the beans which i grow the most). i just
assume that some percentage of what gets planted will
be animal food. last year they got 99% of the
edamame soybeans and the three remaining plants had
some chewing from rabbits. the chipmunks that ate
those soybeans pretty much ignored all the rest of
the bean plantings. only minimal sampling of those.
i'd hate to be up against bear. deer, chipmunks,
groundhogs and grackles are the worst i have to
contend with (and mice in the walls and in my car
but that's not garden related, mostly...). the
raccoons as of yet do not get into most of what
we plant other than uprooting a few here or there
if they think there's some goodies under them (they
smell the fertilizers used by the greenhouse for
the starts). as of yet the raccoons have not dug
up any of the worms/worm compost i put under the
plants even if it is only an inch or two below
the surface of the soil. i top it with plain
garden soil and that seems to not attract them
enough so they don't disturb them going for an
easy feast (thousands of worms per planting).
i hope they don't read... :)
there's a vast number of other creatures around
but as of yet they are minor and temporary when
they are noticed at all (skunks, minks, muskrats,
fox, possums, ...). i'm hoping there will never
be a large feral pig population around here. in
some other wilder areas they are about, but the
closest i've ever heard of one getting to here
was 3 miles away. there's a lot of open land and
people with guns around here. too bad they don't
get more of the deer.
There's a 'lectric wire right at the top edge of the chicken wire ...
I figger they'll be well grounded when they touch that one .
We've had possums , rabbits , armadillos , and raccoons , but no
ground hogs yet . The bear thing I suspect was just a chance occurrence
, they tend to stay a little more out in the woods as a rule . Feral
hogs are not here yet , but have been sighted within a couple of miles
of us - those will end up in the freezer if I see them . I haven't grown
worms , we seem to have a pretty good population since I quit treating
the ground for chiggers and ticks - that's a trade-off , I hate ticks
(ever since I had Lyme Disease ...) with a passion . Ground squirrels
are a potential problem , but we now have a cat - she just showed up one
day - and she's a hunter . She has thinned the small rodent population
and the dog likes her (70 pound dog playing with a 5 pound cat makes for
some amusing scenes) , I guess we'll let her stay .
We have a neighborhood feral cat that the neighbor has been feeding off
and on so it has decided our block is it's domain. My husband thinks it
may be sleeping under our house and getting in through a small hole, but
he also said he hasn't seen any mice at all in the house or around the
house, so I guess the cat is eating everything it can find!
Miss Kitty isn't feral , but doesn't like to be held , and will only
take a little petting before she jets off . That's just right for us .
We feed her , but not necessarily enough to totally meet her needs .
Some may disapprove , but she also manages to catch and eat an
occasional bird . I call that natural selection ... and it hasn't seemed
to affect the local population other than to make them more watchful .
We used to have an orange tabby cat that was strictly and outdoor cat.
He'd catch birds every now and then, but one time he caught a some sort
of animal, either a gopher or a large rat, in the back yard. I saw it
out the kitchen window and by the time I got out the back door to
dispose of the thing the cat had half of it eaten! ugh! I just walked
away and let him finish. Tiger looked like he was pregnant with a
litter 10 kittens for a week after eating that thing, too. He wasn't
meowing for food for a while, that's for sure.
I've seen Miss Kitty with a tree rat (a rat, not a squirrel) that was
easily half her size . Squealing like crazy until she shook it , I went
out to see what was the ruckus . I don't know how long it took her to
eat it , she was way up under the deck . We don't see ground squirrels
any more either ...
That reminds me, we have a brand new young pair of hawks taking up
residence somewhere near our house. All I can say is squirrels beware!
Those tree rats eat more tomatoes from our garden than any other
critter. I hope the hawks eat well!
there's a lot of difference between 1 and
<x> when <x> is greater than a few... :)
i'm ok with the one being around at times
but we don't feed it (it is probably the
neighbor's kitty), but i don't want more than
we have a pretty diverse bird population
and used to have a very nice time viewing them
in the birdbaths.
then the grackles started showing up when the
cedar trees/pine trees got taller and they
could nest and soon took over as the major
force until i started hunting them to keep their
population down. otherwise we'd have a large
flock of them and they do really make a mess of
things and will eat anything of the smaller
birds they can find. if you've never seen what
a single nesting pair of grackles will do to a
birdbath imagine what half a dozen or more
nests are like.
so far they have not come back this spring
and that is unusual. perhaps, and i'm hoping
i finally deterred them enough that they found
another northern summer home. if not, i'm
the more recent fun with the birdbaths the
past few years is that the land owner to the
north of us has a beekeeper putting hives
back there and it is blocking my access to the
back field and also the bees are swarming the
birdbaths so that the birds will no longer use
just by chance yesterday someone was back
there with a chainsaw and so i walked back to
see what was up and it was the beekeeper. he
thought he was all square with the land owner
and he is, but neither of them thought to come
talk to us about it so within a few minutes i
had a visit from the land owner and we looked
at the platt/map so he could see that yes we
do own a part of the access road and that i do
need to be able to get back there from time to
time and not have it blocked by bee hives.
i think we're all square now, but i'll be
curious if they put bees back there or not this
year. we'll see... it has been dry enough
that i might be able to get back there and get
some brush cleared this week for a change.
i've wanted to do it all winter but the ground
hasn't been dry enough or had a lot of deep
snow on it. no rain or snow the past several
weeks so i'll give it a chance in a few more
days when i finish up with the other thing i've
He was putting his hives right in the road ? Doesn't matter who owns
it , that's just plain ignorant . Did you discuss the birdbath problem ?
The beekeeper should provide water closer to the hives or move them ,
might make them stop . You might be able to stop it by leaving the
birdbaths dry for a while , maybe move them , the bees will find another
source and might not come back when you resume filling them . I see my
bees getting water from just about any still water source . My hives are
now in an addition on the northeast corner of the garden . The wife
thought - and I agreed - that in the orchard less than 50 feet from the
deck was too close .
the access road is supposed to be shared
between us and the northern landowner. he
didn't think we had any part of the road until
i showed him the platt. just the location
where they were placing the hives off to the
side was blocking my access. if they go back
further east then it would be ok. i just
need to be able to walk through there once
in a while. he understood my points/issues
so we'll see how it goes this year.
there is much closer water to the hives, the
large drainage ditch runs all year, maybe 20-
40ft from the hives depending upon where they
put them. the birdbaths are another 100-150ft
we can't move the birdbaths. we do let
them go dry now, but that is more due to
the grackles than the bees, but between those
two things it sure has changed the diversity
of birds using them.
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