Monday, May 7, 2012

Fencing (Out) The Critters

Let the preparation continue! This weekend I gave Chris the mission of fencing off our garden area to keep the critters at bay. So on Saturday morning while I was out for breakfast at Wise Acre in Minneapolis, Chris took measurements of the area and then picked up poultry netting and stakes from the hardware store. Supplies in hand, he set out to complete his wife-appointed mission. (Yes, I am a very lucky lady.)

We haven't had critters problems yet this year, but I've seen more than a few rabbits trolling the neighborhood in my tenure here so we know they are around. Last year we fenced off the garden area with wooden stakes and meshing (as seen below). This worked well enough, but it was no easy task to assemble and it got pretty shabby by the end of the year, so it came down before winter set in.

We are hoping this new fence will have a little more durability. Ideally we won't need to take the fence down for the winter and will be able to consider this task done for a few years. Husband measured out from the beds and staked the four corners. We gave several feet between the beds and the fence, I recommend at least two feet, so you can properly squat in there even where the plants are real big later on the in the summer.

Once the corners were staked it appeared to be a pretty quick process to add additional stakes every four to five feet for support. 

The stakes have little slits in them which are made to hook the poultry netting. Once all the stakes were in around he went with the netting, locking it into place. I don't want to discredit his hard work on this task, but I think even Chris was a little surprised at how quick it went. Arial view anyone?

Perhaps a not so grainy on the ground view would be preferable? Props to the husband for knocking this one out of the park!

However, the story does not end here. Remember how I said we hadn't seen any rabbits yet this year? Turns out, if you build a fence, they will come! Last night I was sitting in the back porch reading when I noticed Luna start to twitch...lo and behold....
Okay, I realize that rabbit is hard to see in the photo. But trust me, it was there, sitting right at the fence line, trying to figure out how to get in. And get in, it did! Yes,  my mesclun greens were attacked last night.

How you ask? Well, last year we put tent stakes into the meshing to hold it tight to the ground so the rabbits couldn't wiggle their way in underneath the fencing. We have every intention of doing it again this year, but we were in no rush to get 'er done as there isn't much going on yet. But with this mornings discovery it looks like we will be doing some staking tonight.

Another strategy for keeping out rabbits is sprinkling human hair at the fence line. We did this last year and it seemed to help, so, if anyone reading this is planning on getting a hair cut soon could you do me a favor and bring over your trimmings? I would really appreciate it. That's not too weird is it?

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