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Why Have a Fenced In Garden?

In El Paso, Texas I had a 5 foot tall rock wall around all of my backyard. In the desert there were no deer or other varmints. However, the rock wall did keep people out of my 30’x50’ garden. When I moved to Rockport, Texas in August, 2007 I planted a small fall garden without a fence. The deer came and some of the plants went. There were also Raccoons and Opossums.

There was a clearing behind the house surrounded on three sides by tall Live Oak Trees. I had enough room for a 30’x54’ fenced garden. I choose to use 8 foot tall 6”x8” wooden posts planted 2 feet in the ground with concrete and 6’ tall horse fence buried 6 “ in the ground. I designed a double gate so I could get my Kubota 18 HP garden tractor with a front end loader inside the garden. I did this when I added 13 cubic yards of clay to the sugar sand in order to retain more moisture. The fence kept out the deer but not the raccoons and opossums.  I put up 2 strands of electrified wire that I turn on when the corn is maturing.

Then Hurricane Harvey happened. Many trees were down. Some were sawed by professionals and taken to the ditches to be picked up by the large debris trucks. Others that were not in the driveways or walk ways were left laying where they fell, some alive some dead. My yard was an overwhelming chaos with downed trees, limbs, and sticks everywhere. I needed a plan to bring organized order to my property and life. I decided to clear the trees, one at a time, using my tractor to haul the debris to the ditch along the county highway next to our house. All debris that is to be picked up free has to be in the ditches by February 12, 2018. I had to buy a new chain for the chainsaw after the one on it wore dull. So far, I have hauled away debris from three large trees and several smaller ones. I have two more medium sized trees to saw and haul in the next 7 days.

The second part of bringing order to my life was fixing the garden. I replaced and rebuilt the Submatic drip irrigation system with seven hilled rows having two lines of drip hose. I put in 5 new posts at the back of the garden where our largest tree fell across it. I did not have enough of the regular horse fence left over to replace the 30’ back fence plus the 12’ of twisted fence at the front right side of the garden. I did have a 20 ’long by 5’ high quarter inch wire horse fence I had used for a trellis plus two 5 foot wide panels of the same fencing that I had used for pole beans. My skilled landscaping helper and I put up the poles, fencing and added a 6” wide treated deck plank at the top of the fence to make it the same height as the original horse fence. At the front of the garden, we cut the twisted fence down to a foot high leaving it 6” in the ground. We stretched and nailed the 12’ of regular horse fence to the tree posts. Yes, that 12 feet is 6 inches higher than the rest of the garden fencing. Yet, life’s chaos no more!

-Herman Green

2/15/2018    Garden Journals