This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he always thought the garden was his. Even though I do all the work, he always stood by me. I'm located near Boston (in USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot and a backyard vegetable garden. I use sustainable organic methods and try to grow all of my family's vegetables.

Monday, April 21, 2008

fence day 2

gate fenced plot
chicken wire aerial fence
The fence is pretty much done. I need to add chicken wire at the bottom to the last two sides, fill in the dirt along the outside bottom, then move the rocks up against the fence to make more room for plants.

garden structures



Blogger pigbook1 said...

Not to sound utterly naive, but at the end of the season I assume you take the fence down and then you have to store it away?
Your plan looks awesome I might steal some inspiration for my backyard next year

April 21, 2008 8:19 AM

Blogger kathy said...

A good Q. Someone else just asked the same (next post). Here's what I answered:

I think I'll be at the plot at least 4-5 years. I'll decide then. Fencing is not cheap. I didn't expect to spend so much on a plot..... 16 poles, 2 50-foot rolls of fencing, tie wraps, "custom-made" gate, 2 rolls of chicken wire.....

The previous tenants on my plot have taken their fence with them, though it appears most leave their fencing. I suppose it depends on how long I am there and whether I have a use for it when I leave.

April 21, 2008 8:27 AM

Anonymous Paul said...

did you import the dirt for your raised beds or just turn the soil a bit? if you imported, where do you get your soil?

April 21, 2008 10:52 AM

Blogger kathy said...

The town dumps a nice pile of compost at the entrance to the community gardens. (Its the composted leaves and yard waste people leave out at their curb.) My son and I have brought in one or two wheel barrows full for each bed. That's all the added material (plus a bit of 5-10-5 fertilizer). The beds are mostly raised because the soil of the beds is loose and the path soil is compacted.

I haven't gotten my soil test results back yet, but the dirt looks good to me. Since most of my beds will be root crops, which are light-feeders, I'm not worrying too much about bringing in too much. The exception is one bed that will have squashes (heavy feeders). To this bed I added a few bags of composted manure (Home Depot), plus the town leaf compost, plus fertilizer.

Most people in our community gardens make many wheel barrow trips back and forth from their plot the to town's compost pile. Its a nice additive.

April 21, 2008 11:31 AM

Blogger alec said... should train morning glory, nasturtium, or passion flower up the fence. without it, the fence makes it look like a penitentiary. Good luck, and the soil looks so rich and friable!

April 21, 2008 12:17 PM

Anonymous eva said...

and this may be a silly question, but...*why* the fence? there's a large community garden in my town with similar sized plots, etc, and not one of them has a fence. do you have a deer problem or...? i'm puzzled.

April 21, 2008 5:04 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Yes, we have serious critter problems. I hear the problem is mainly rabbits and woodchucks. I hear the rabbits will go through almost any tiny fence hole and woodchucks are reputedly able to climb 5 foot fences. Hence people have all sorts of obstacles lining the fences and usually another level of protection directly over the plants.

Today I saw plastic milk bottles inverted and dug into the ground over pea sprouts. The gardener said this was because of rabbits. She had a really nice fence too. She said the rabbits go through anything.

My chicken wire at the bottom of the fence was recommended so rabbits don't go through the 2x3 inch spaces of the upper fence. I'm told they can!! The chicken wire is dug in 4-6 inches as recommended for woodchucks (they dig and climb I hear). Arrgh.

The wildlife list includes deer (we've seen these nearby), rabbits, woodchucks, coyotes, fisher cats, chipmunks, squirrels, wild turkey and lots of birds.

Of course the jail/fence image is all a personal point of view. Others have mentioned to me that they object to the random and barricaded appearance of these gardens. Oh well. And my fence is new now, as all of the fences here once were, but it'll soon age and blend in with the rest. To me, I see the metal and rust as supports for the greenness that will soon come. And good fences make good neighbors. There is a great group of gardeners and community here.

I have plans to cover the fence by mid summer with all sorts of vines. Fences are a great additional space for gardening. Stop by mid summer and see what you think.

April 21, 2008 9:21 PM

Anonymous Graziana said...

I think you made a good job!
I have turtles and the neighbors dog to keep outside, I'm making fences too.

Your fence is very lovely... for a fence, of course. And some vines will make it great!

April 22, 2008 1:16 PM

Blogger casey said...

hi! i'm so curious about the individually fenced plots... do you know why there's not just one community fence enclosing the whole garden? varmits?
i like watching your garden.

April 24, 2008 8:48 PM

Blogger kathy said...

A single fence to protect against varmints is a great idea! I'll ask. After seeing how the Belmont gardens work, I'm curious to see how others work. I notice the Cambridge gardens have a single fence outside the entire garden area.

Unfortunately I think the answer is that there isn't support available from the town to install and maintain this. Belmont generally doesn't have funds available for community services. And it was explained to me yesterday that the land the gardens are on is actually state (MDC) jurisdiction. I think this makes it confusing as to who we can make requests to and who is responsible for helping us out.

Its also just the history of the gardens. Pretty much a do-it-yourself set-up: no rules, no organization and very low fees.

April 26, 2008 7:39 AM

Blogger Chris in Brizvegas said...

Well I live in Australia and I have bush turkeys that dig in my garden and ruin my vegetable garden. So I can relate totally to the fence. We're in the process of the building one today for that very purpose - to keep them out. Put up another picture of yours now it's older. I'll post one of mine when it's completed.

September 03, 2009 5:54 PM

Blogger kathy said...

Great idea Chris, I'll post a before and after of the fence.

We have a couple wild turkeys here too that scratch in the gardens, but only very rarely. Definitely the rabbits and woodchucks that are the problem here.

Good luck with your fence.

September 04, 2009 3:05 PM

Blogger Chris in Brizvegas said...

Hi Kathy

Good to see your fence there. I'd like to post a photo or two but I guess I can't seeing as how it's your blog. Do you want to send me your email address and I can keep you posted. Here's my blog address so that you can see the photo there. Here's my email address so you can email me if you like.


September 05, 2009 7:12 AM

Blogger Chris in Brizvegas said...
Sorry - forgot the blogaddress.

September 05, 2009 7:12 AM


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