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Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

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Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Silvicen on 9/9/2012, 3:28 am

Hello everybody,

Due to the lack of vegatation in the local desert any and all attempts at gardening are eagerly sought out by local rabbits and squirrels.

It seems that SFG with 1/4" hardware cloth on the bottom and the top is going to be necessary to keep them out.

Any ideas as far as the top cage portion would be greatly appreciated. Sometimes we get 60 mph + wind gust. I was thinking about using half inch poultry netting on a 2" x 2" frame over a 4' x 4' box.

I am debating how deep to make the sides of the upper cage. Somewhere between 12" to 30". Also what would be most comfortable access to tend the garden, top or side access, or are both needed?

Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Chopper on 9/9/2012, 3:37 am

One idea is to do table tops. Even with the heat I think you could make it work.

Fencing each box is not ideal but I know people do it. Try bending over your box and see how high you could get away with. If you can't reach the center squares then that is too high. And I know with the slim pickings out there a garden must look pretty tempting to the locals.

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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Silvicen on 9/9/2012, 4:21 am

Exactly, it is not a matter of if they will eat my garden. I tried gardening a few years back when I moved out here. It was a rude awakening to the garden pest that occupy my yard. After mustering the courage to try again I know that having a safe from teeth growing area is going to be essential.
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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Unmutual on 9/9/2012, 11:15 am

Have you thought about fencing in an area instead of individual fences? I know it will be more expensive, but it might be easier to tend the garden since all you have to do is open a single gate. Burying any fencing ~2' deep should prevent rabbits. Having the fences close together seems to deter deer from jumping into it(they don't like multiple jumps close together apparently). T-posts and cattle panels might be a cheaper(and uglier) option than regular fencing, plus you could also use the fencing for a trellis if you don't mind the outside leaves being nibbled.

I believe somebody has pics of a really nice setup, with a fenced roof also. I think it was painted a light blue or turquoise.

http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t1239-fencing-in-a-garden
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t12872-fencing

Okay, I lied about it being a blueish color...
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/gallery/Showcase-of-Gardens/102-1846-pic_1910.htm


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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Silvicen on 9/9/2012, 5:48 pm

Well I was thinking of using portions of my chicken coop runs and the wire is buried but it is 1" poultry netting and doesn't stop squirrels. I am sure burying the wire would stop bunnies and squirrels but I don't know how I am going to talk the boys into digging through the rock to bury the wire again. I heard cussing and learned new ways of combining cuss words while they were bending shovels and post hole diggers. I was also planning on placing it up near the front of the house instead of out back where the chickens are. My main reason for wanting it up front is to take advantage of my goose poo water. I also have a large chilean mesquite tree up front that provides lovely filtered light.
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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  Chopper on 9/9/2012, 8:58 pm

How about this. Use hardware cloth to line the entire fenced in area plus for the lower foot or two of the fencing? Do NOT try to dig. I feel your pain there and it is not worth it if it can be done any other way.

Also wondering if it would be worth having a squirrel garden outside of and away from the regular garden. One throw away SFG so they think they are getting away with something. Wouldn't even have to tend it. Just throw extra seeds in and let them have at it. Anything they miss is yours. Smile

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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  camprn on 9/9/2012, 9:15 pm

Chopper wrote:
Also wondering if it would be worth having a squirrel garden outside of and away from the regular garden. One throw away SFG so they think they are getting away with something. Wouldn't even have to tend it. Just throw extra seeds in and let them have at it. Anything they miss is yours. Smile
I was thinking this as well.

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Re: Combat Gardening in the Mohave Desert

Post  plantoid on 9/10/2012, 6:29 am

Have alook at netting enclosures for soft fruit make them big enough to stand in plus about another foot high so you can encliose the whole beds arwa plus the walkways .
Then weigh up the cost of using 1 " galv threaded water pipe with elbows & " T",ees to make the cage frame. Them run your 1/2 " chicken wire over it

You can easily join chicken wire by butting the two edges togehter and slipping a four inch nail in through one hole catching the base wire of the other part and twisting it over itself acouple of times ( sounds difficult but so easy to do ) m,eke the twists every four or five inches .

Bury at least a foot of wire below the ground to stop the diggers getting in .
Other ways of joining chicken wire are pig ring type "C" clips , "j" shaped wire clips , wire ties with a loop at each end and band cable " clips " ties .. I don't put fait in plastic ties for they get brittle in strinong sunlight .
You can also make simple loops of glavanised 1/8 th " garden wire and double them through the hokes and use a big nail to twist them up , then snip off the excess and bend any sharp tag in.
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