Thursday, June 28, 2012

Groundhog Fence 2.1

We made a minor modification to the groundhog fence in the hopes of foiling climbers: we snipped away the crosspieces from the top row of lattice, leaving a series of vertical spikes that we hoped would be sufficiently uncomfortable, when poking a groundhog in the soft underbelly, to discourage him from trying it again. Nice try, but no luck. We actually caught one of them in the act this morning, and apparently they've been climbing up the corner posts of the fence, rather than the lattice. So they ignore the spikes completely.

The next step may be to attempt to add a "baffle" to the top of the fence, as recommended by Mike McGrath, the host of "You Bet Your Garden" on WHYY. On his website, he suggests this recipe for a groundhog fence: a 2-foot "skirt" underground to prevent digging, then a 3-foot high fence, and then a 1-foot baffle at the top—which is simply the top foot of the fencing bent outward at a 90-degree angle—to prevent climbing. He claims that groundhogs are "pretty stubborn about this and will try and try again—so feel free to drag out a lawn chair, pop open the beverage of your choice and enjoy the show.  Maybe create little Olympic scorecards to hold up for especially floppy falls." The trick, in our case, will be figuring out how to graft the baffle onto an existing fence so we don't have to reconstruct the whole thing from scratch. Or perhaps, since they've been climbing up the posts, maybe only the posts need a baffle on top. Hmm.

In other news, it looks like my "garden fresh" experiment has made it to the one-week mark. Monday night I had to fudge a bit, because Brian had a dinner with colleagues from work, so I just ate leftovers. (Those leftovers did contain ingredients from our garden when first made, but it seems kind of like cheating to count the same ingredient twice.) Tuesday night we had a salad made with our only surviving head of lettuce, and last night we had a stir-fry containing the week's crop of snow peas. So that makes eight days, but I fear that may be as far as we can continue it. There are lots of little zucchini out there, but they're too small to make a meal of, and we've consumed our entire crop of arugula and lettuce. There are a few more snow peas out there that we could pick, but not enough to base a meal around, and the beans (which got a late start because the ground-piglets ate the first planting) aren't ready to pick yet.
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