Saturday, September 09, 2006

In The (Garden) Trenches

As frequently related before, our wooded garden is an Eden only with human intervention and constant vigilance. Four footed critters are drawn to it, and I think consider entry to our garden to be a right, and perhaps a game on slow afternooons. My first volley in this on-going battle was to put up that plastic mesh fencing, which has the advantage of being essentially invisible to the human eye, but also is invisible to deer running pell mell through the woods, so that in a matter of weeks it was torn to shreds. Round two involved building a six foot wire fence around the entire acre... since the garden is on a hilltop, in many spots the fence is on a upward slope, so it is more protective against the deer than it would be otherwise. This didn't stop the small rabbits from squeezing through the fence, and growing so fat eating my hostas that they couldn't get out, so I then added two feet of rabbit fencing around the bottom of the six foot deer fence. Well, then groundhogs and larger rabbits started burrowing underneath the fence, so I went back and added another eight inches of fence, buried in the ground. So far so good, but as my garden became more extensive, every mole in the surrounding woods, then tunneled underneath my buried fence and into the flower beds, churning them up like Swiss cheese. I'm not sure what round I'm in now, but my current obsession is to dig a two foot trench around the entire garden, burying a layer of heavy plastic sheeting as a mole barrier. As you can imagine, this is slow going in a woods full of roots and brush. I started it last fall, and although I only had part of it done, I had high hopes it would prove to be a major deterrent. Indeed, this spring the moles at first seemed stimied, as the part of the barrier I had finished was in the area that they seemed to be coming from. Alas, they just followed the barrier around to the other side, and buzzed right in, as if they were cruising into a McDonald's drive-through. I'm therefore out trenching through the woods again, laying more barrier... if you ever want to hear somebody muttering to himself while working, stop by. Posted by Picasa

omg....thats way too much work. I'd invite them in lol!
You must be Mr McGregor of Peter Rabbit fame!

If you remember your Beatrix Potter, naughty Peter Rabbit would sneak in to Mr McGregor's garden and after eating too many lovely things, he couldn't squeeze back out.

Our dog and cat keep most of the small mammals out of the garden. We were visited one moonless December night by about 20 Aberdeen Angus thanks to an open gate down the road. Now THEY can do some damage.
That's a lot of fenceline.
Oh dear! About the time you lost count of the round, I had tears streaming down my face, I was laughing so hard. Misery loves company. My own struggles thus far have been with squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons and birds...
Kati... I always say, I'm never sure whether I'm a step ahead of the critters, or two steps behind.
Having experienced 84 molehills on a small lawn - well worn by moles we decided to re-turf it. Before laying the turf the entire area was laid with 1/2" chicen wire.
12 months on - SUCCESS.
No molehills & no moles hurt.
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