My last post showed how I put together the raised bed vegetable garden. This post will talk about how I’m attempting to keep critters out of the garden and what I did with the spaces between the garden beds.
Keeping Critters out of the Garden
I want to start off by saying that if a critter really wants to get into a garden, a critter will get into a garden. Having said that, my goal was to make it a little more difficult for them to access the garden. What I did was I created mini garden beds and placed them around the outside of the garden.
When I assembled the fence to keep the deer out, I had 7’ height of fencing to attach to 6’ tall poles. I allowed the remaining 1 foot of deer fencing to lay on the ground. I spread the extra fencing out flat and built small 6” wide 6’ long garden boxes to sit atop of the excess fencing. By placing the boxes atop of the fencing, I added an additional 6” barrier between my garden and my furry friends.
I kinda like the look. Who knows, maybe next year I’ll build small garden boxes on the inside of the fence just to make it twice as challenging for my furry friends and twice as attractive to the eyes. Only time will tell how effective it is. I’m thinking this may deter rabbits, but critters that burrow deep into the ground such as chipmunks and groundhogs, well…that’s a whole ‘nother story.
The 2-foot Space between the Boxes
When arranging the garden boxes I made sure to leave two feet of space between the boxes. The intent was to leave enough room for the lawnmower to cut the grass, but after just one cutting I realized how awkward it was getting around the corners with a lawnmower and knew I had to come up with an alternative plan.
Plan B was to put gravel on the walkway paths. From past experience, no matter what underlayment I put under the gravel, weeds seem to grow through, so I didn’t put any down this time. I knew I’d have to pull weeds, but it’s a vegetable garden, part of the whole gardening process is pulling weeds. I’ve resigned myself to pulling a few extra weeds. I could always spray undiluted vinegar on the pathways to keep the weeds to a minimum.
Wanting to keep the costs on this project as low as possible, I opted to go to my town recycling center and grab buckets full of gravel from the heaping mounds at the recycling center. The gravel isn’t pretty, but it’s functional.
After several trips back and forth to the recycling center, I managed to gravel the pathways of my garden. No need to mow the grass and it added a nice bit of contrast to the area.
This is the first year of my raised bed vegetable garden. I’m sure as I work in the garden I’ll come up with ideas on how to improve it, but for now, this works for me.