Make the Garden Great Again

Insects aren't our only problem this season: we’ve also got some border enforcement issues:

All of our butternut squash (above) has been nibbled on, as have our pumpkins and black beans (below):

While these aren’t completely destroyed, the same can’t be said for our green beans:

Also coming under heavy fire: sweet potatoes, cucumbers, Brussels sprouts, and lettuces — all of which are in the quadrants farthest from the house. We’ve seen a groundhog around as well as a skunk, and both are good suspects. The damage is all pretty dainty, though, and some of it was done by scurrying under a very small gap beneath the temporary (and ineffective) chicken daycare cage. We’re thinking rabbits running bold, thanks to a barn cat who is rather timid about hanging out in plain sight in the yard during the day (though he has left plenty of evidence of mice and bird kills — and is coming a little closer to us every day, so we remain hopeful).

Anyway, it’s time to build the wall. Actually, several of them — lots of chicken wire on the scene today:

Above you can see fencing around our lettuces and cucumbers — there aren’t many left in that bed in the foreground, though we did plant some new seed. Behind that is the cold frame (minus glass) around the okra, which we kept in place as a deterrent. That’s next to the chicken cage, placed more snugly over a new planting of green beans (my third or fourth sowing).

From a different angle, you can see that there’s more chicken wire behind the chicken cage — that one’s around new Brussels sprouts transplants, since my seedlings have all been eaten. In the foreground is yet more fencing around the pole beans and squash.

And here is the other quadrant, where rows of cabbages and broccoli have been caged for weeks. We also added row cover flat on the ground over our sweet potatoes, which should be enough to confuse whatever rodent is nibbling on them. 

Now that everything tempting has been walled off, it remains to be seen if our less-enticing peppers, eggplant and tomatoes will be the next target, or if these are just crimes of opportunity. The carrots and parsnips are very near the house, which hopefully keeps the off-limits. We’ll keep an eye out — there could be yet another trip to the hardware store for more chicken wire in our future.


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