Vegetables, yarn, and yarns: all of my passions all in one place.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Vegetable Garden and the Need for Fishing Line

Last year, our garden attempts had two big problems. One, the bed we used did not get enough sun and so, the harvest suffered. And two, the tomato plants were eaten by deer. When I say that, I don't mean that the deer ate the fruit off of the plants. No, I mean they ate the whole plant, stems and leaves and all.

There are thick, marshy woods behind our house and they aren't quite expansive and rural enough for hunting. The deer have fairly free reign. Thus, the big fix for this year is designating a sunny section of the backyard for a new, dedicated vegetable garden and finding the appropriate way to fence it to protect the harvest from deer.

At first, we had plans for a wooden fence with a wire mesh blocking any spacing, but the expense of a fence like that was just to great this year, with all the work to the house that needs done before the baby comes. Then, the husband decided to take the posts to the old tall (and now useless and falling down) fence out back and use those as posts to a deer netting fence. He dug out one fence post hole before that idea got tossed. You see, within a few feet, he hit water. Apparently, setting fence posts becomes all sorts of complicated when there is a marshy woodland area behind your house, as it means your water table may be a tad higher than you might think.

Then, the husband discovered a youtube video that described one man's method for garden fencing that keeps the deer out. It, essentially, entails using tall metal garden posts every so-many feet. Then, wrap 30-gauge clear fishing line around the perimeter every two feet. The fishing line is strong enough at that gauge that the deer won't break it if they run into it, but is small enough that it's invisible to the deer. They can't see it so they won't try jumping it and tend to give it a wide berth (or so the video claims).

We got the posts and line up and the plants in this past weekend and as far as I'm concerned, the fishing line is pretty well invisible unless you are really looking for it. In an hour or so time period, the ten-year-old must have ran into it a good five times. I hit my head on the lower rungs a couple times while planting the tomatoes.

As far as the deer are concerned, so far no plant damage.

Thus, the garden is planted. Two hills each of butternut and scallop summer squash, four hills of zucchini, two rows of root vegetables (beets, parsnips, daikon radish, and carrots), one row of half cucumer and half edamame, two rows of lettuce, one row of assorted bell peppers, one row of broccoli, one row of kohlrabi and okra, one row of eggplant, two rows of tomatoes, and one row of tomatillos (with a few stray tomato plants at the end).

We are hoping the fence holds and that the high water table works to our advantage in the plant-growing department. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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