Fortress Garden

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Here’s the best garden we’ve had–in 2002–and it’s been downhill since then.

A quick update for the 2 or 3 who may remember the ordeal of last summer’s non-garden, an enclosure we referred to with no small resentment and regret as our “Deer Salad Park.”

Frankly, given the less than ideal microclimate combined with the greater than average wildlife appetites, I would have chosen to give up and say NO GARDEN. She would not hear of it, even though it has necessitated taking desperate measures. Those measures thus far have been on paper. Soon, the Fortress Garden will go up. I hope she knows how absurd this thing is going to look. She says she doesn’t care. I’m betting otherwise, but only once it’s too late to relent.

We’re putting up 6 x 6 posts on which we will hang two tiers of cattle panels. The posts will be a bit more than 8 feet above ground. It will have smaller mesh panels at ground level to keep out rabbits (the groundhogs seem to stay over at the barn.) We can bring electricity down if we need to but will leave that for when Plan A has failed.

At the far end (still some 40 feet from where the old garden began) we’ll put up a shed the width of the garden (20 feet) though I thought 10 would do. It will contain a lockable 4′ door. Why 20 feet? We are constrained to use the available space between the septic tank and the county right of way. And lengthways, we can only build length as far as the septic distribution lines for sinking posts. We’re looking at other options for supporting the shed roof at the far end than sunk posts.

On the plus side, the new location is closer to the house (not that today’s deer give a rats acetabulum about people proximity. They look up from their grazing in a bored sort of way when we get closer than 100 feet–sometime less than half that. We will get more sun-hours so maybe the soil will warm a little sooner. Still, we live a growing zone north of most of Floyd County. We’ll need short season varieties because we really can’t get much growth down here until the first of June. The seeds just rot in the ground.

So. In addition to other life features this busy spring, we have a Fort to build. Pictures, as the Vegetable Stockade happens.

7 thoughts on “Fortress Garden”

  1. WHERE ARE THE SNOW PHOTOS!? WE HAVE SNOW TODAY, IN GREENSBORO NC…….BEAUTIFUL SNOW…….QUITE A SURPRISE INDEED!!!! LAST NIGHT AND THIS MORNING, WINTER WONDERLAND
    JUST FOR VALENTINE’S DAY…

    TAKE CARE,

    MARK

  2. Yep – that’s the picture that brought me to Fragments for the first time – and I’ve been here every day ever since. That picture perfect garden was the billboard for your woodland creatures, Fred. Good luck with this year’s plans. I also hope that Tsuga will be helpful in this regard.
    hugs from PA
    connie

  3. Fred: Sigh. I have to reline all my beds against pocket gophers. The latest tasty morsel on their plate is artichokes. But so far I haven’t really seen them avoid anything except the salvias.

  4. Fred,

    I believe Virginia Tech Extension has some good information on physical barriers for wildlife. Even though it has nothing to do with groundhogs, I remember some research done on wire spacing and angling the upper part of the fence.

  5. My parents live in Blacksburg and have installed motion activated sprinklers to scare away the deer. If you are closer to the house, this may be a possibility… Good luck!

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