Fencing the garden…but not for racoons!

raccon drins from daisy surrounded birdbath

Did you know there are racoons in most of Saskatchewan and a large portion of Alberta? It begs the question why we don’t have any here. Despite the cute factor, I know as a gardener that’s a good thing, but it makes me curious why they have never infiltrated the Peace. If they can live in Alberta and Saskatchewan you would think they could survive here as well. While we’re at it, I am also grateful we don’t have any poisonous snakes or spiders or skunks. You see? There is always something to be grateful for, you just have to think about it long enough. As for the big black bear spotted just a mile from our place, well, we don’t need to think about that.

I just finished setting up some moose and deer fencing around my four favourite trees in the upper garden; a maple, a Thunderchild crab apple, a Kurt apple and a plum tree. I fenced them individually using four t-posts and four eight foot sections of lightweight stock panels. The panels are just under five feet high but the idea is that the moose and deer won’t jump into such a small enclosure nor can they quite reach over to nibble on the trees. That’s the plan anyway. We will see how it actually works. As you can see in the picture below, by corralling the trees individually I have inadvertently created a garden maze. I think this could be a really easy and effective way of keeping moose out of the entire garden without the expense or inconvenience of a year round fence.

by corralling the trees individually I have inadvertently created a garden maze. I think this could be a really easy and effective way of keeping moose out of the garden without the expense or inconvenience of a year round fence.

Last year I basically built a moose and deer obstacle course in the garden. I used everything from mirrors to benches to trellises and then surrounded the whole mess with two fences each made out of electric fencing tape and step in posts. I spaced the two fences three feet apart. According to a book I was reading deer (or moose) do not like having to jump between two fences, so despite the fences only being four feet high, the plan was supposed to work. To make sure I even used a solar powered electric fence charger. We were only a week into winter when a moose and her overgrown twins waded through the fence like it was made out of crepe paper. The only thing about the fence and all those strategically placed obstacles that worked was me in the spring cleaning the whole mess up. Hopefully this year will be different. We will have to wait and see. The moose and deer rarely come through in the summer (except the deer to eat the peas). Oddly enough I have sort of missed them. A part of me is actually looking forward to seeing them in the yard again on a regular basis. But I really hope my fence panels do the trick. It would have been a whole lot easier (and smarter) to just plant the trees down in the fenced orchard with the others but that isn’t where I wanted them. Such is gardening!

Some deer passing through the side garden last winter...

Some deer passing through the fire pit area last winter…

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