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I'd Like To Chuck This Woodchuck

seedlingsWell the winter garden isn’t off to a great start. I got the seeds in the ground and thanks to the leftover rain from Hurricane Ike and a few other rainy weekends they all germinated. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m very excited to try growing fresh salad greens and other cold hardy crops through the winter with the aid of a hoop house or a cold frame.

Unfortunately there’s also a woodchuck who is also very excited to see that I’m trying to grow salad greens and other cold hard crops through the winter. And he’s found a way into my garden.

I use a thin Deer Fence to keep pests out of the garden. And it works great. But towards the end of summer it starts to show signs of wear and tear. Now usually this wouldn’t matter because I put the garden to sleep every fall. But since, the garden isn’t sleeping and in fact, looks more like the early spring garden, it does matter.

The fencing isn’t too expensive for 100 feet so it’s not a big investment. But it does take some time to get it installed around the vegetable garden. I buy a couple of 2x2 posts, cut them to size and stick them in the ground. If you paint the posts black, the fence is invisible from the house.

I fasten the netting to the post using plastic tie wraps. I also like to bury some of the fencing under some mulch so that if something were to go up to the fence and start digging, they’d hit the buried part of the fence and hopefully stop. This has worked great for some time now. But with rabbits and the big old woodchuck always trying to get in there, eventually the fence gets a few tears in it.

In fact, I probably helped damage the fence. Whenever my kids see the critter from the glass doors in the livingroom, they yell, “Woodchuck” (well sometimes they yell “Beaver” but you get the idea). Then I run outside and chase it out of the yard. These things must have terrible eyesight because it usually runs right into the fencing. And even a 20 pound blind animal eventually will tear through one of these little fences.

I think the stubs in the picture are bok choy. I forgot to label the seeds when I put them in the ground, so I was going to wait and see what they when they came up. Hey at least I got the seeds in the ground! Getting them in the ground and labeled is a goal for another less busy year.

What’s next? Well, these guys should recover. But I have at least another fifty feet of fencing in the garage somewhere, so I’ll go outside today in the rain and put up a new fence and crawl around on the ground and bury the netting under in the mulch just like I do in the spring. Fall gardening sure is messy.

5 Comments:

  1. Susy said...
    OH, I feel your pain. I had a groundhog mow down all of my sweet potatoes this year.
    Ottawa Gardener said...
    and cold. Don't forget cold. Fall gardening is frosty too. I fear groundhogs with the kind of dread that only a vegetable gardener could have. So far, that particular type of rodent hasn't entered my garden yet. The mayham is caused exclusively by slugs, bugs, and squirrels.
    Anthony said...
    Hi Susy,
    Yes, these critters should be on America's Most Wanted.

    Hi OG,
    Yes, it is cold too. Especially when you're soaking wet and sitting in the dirt. I did repair my fence yesterday and it took about 3 hot chocolates to warm me up when I was done. Brrr!
    Daisy said...
    We had a woodchuck in the neighborhood a few years ago. One of the neighbors trapped and released it -- elsewhere.
    lisa said...
    Castor oil works against woodchucks, and it's pretty cheap.

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