FENCING AND ANIMALS
All kinds of animals visit us on our 1.4 acre property including bears, mountain lions, bobcats, coyotes, deer, fox, rattlesnakes, rabbits, skunks and birds and mice! When we built the garden, we had a good plan for fencing all these animals out, especially the rabbits and deer that just love the greenery. We started with a split rail fence then added graded wire fencing that has small slats on the bottom and larger at the top. Also added chicken wire on the bottom, both buried 8” in the ground so that the rabbits could not dig their way in. For the most part we have kept animals out but a few have snuck in!
First visitor was a baby bunny in the cabbage patch – we could not figure out how he got in?? Bill and I used a broom to shew him out the door and then he ran all the way around to the other side of the garden (on the outside) and he did a banchee jump 3 ft to the larger openings in the wire fence and got back in!
The next visitor I noticed was when I inadvertently threw our dog Nova’s ball into the back of the garden. So, we went in to get it and she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw a snake stuck in the fencing. I got Nova out of there and into the house, grabbed binoculars so I could see if it was a rattle snake or not. I did not see a rattle so I knew he was a bull snake, which are not poisonous.
Bill is terrified of snakes and he was on a conference call so I went to the neighbor who was outside and asked if he could help me. He said “Oh no, I don’t do snakes but my wife is a snake whisperer”!! She came out with her garden gloves, I got wire cutters and cut the wire from the outside while she went on the inside and reeled him in! It was 4 ft long! Success! She threw him over the fence where he took off for the wooded area.
Another snake visited as well; he was a little brown guy about 6” long. I found him hanging out on the cucumber tower amid the plant. He was pretty cute so I called him “Slim” . He also visited the zucchini in the next box. I liked having him since he could handle some of the pesky bugs!
The only other visitors I get regularly are birds, they really love the ripe raspberries (which are starting to come in now). I use a special net to throw over to dissuade them from feasting on the fruit. Funny but the deer have never jumped into my garden; I surmise that is because it is very visually ‘busy’ in the garden with the raised boxes, buckets, hoses.
Today’s update on the garden: the potato plants completely died after they were infested with flea beetles so I had to pull the plants. I had sprayed the plant with a Neem Oil mixture which is an organic oil mixed with dish soap that stops the beetles from reproducing. The neem spray did not work on the potatoes but it did help stop the flea beetles on the peppers and tomatoes; which now look great full of flowers and small fruit.
Fortunately, when I checked in the soil, it was full of small potatoes! I have about 12 lbs of potatoes that would have grown bigger if the plants had not died.
I cut my first cabbage the other day then scored the base with a knife. Two new cabbages will grow from each side of the split!
Sweet peas are coming in!