Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good fences make good tomatoes - A Tribute to Robert Frost

The garden is in and now I'm looking for a way to keep all the critters out to protect my investment.  This is not a simple task.  For the first couple of summers, all the creatures of the forest (rabbits, deer, squirrels) were deterred by a four foot high "rabbit fence" that not only worked against rabbits, but also against their more plentiful evil cousins, the squirrels.

But the past couple of summers, the squirrels have wised up, discovering how easy it is to climb the fence, given their sharp claws and all.  They've had some lovely summer salads at my expense.

Who knew there were so many different kinds of critter-repelling garden fences at the local Home Depot?  There's rabbit fencing and poultry netting and hardware cloth.  There's fencing in plastic and metal and black and orange, sized to deter two, three and even four foot tall rabbits!

Who knew I could spend so much money in so many different ways to reap $2.39 worth of mealy tomatoes?

These fences remind me of cosmetics, which are not merely mixtures of neuropeptide, phspholipids, polyphenols and alpha lipoic acids.  Oh no, cosmetics are "hope in a bottle" and I think that fences are too.  Hope that your garden will be a summer sanctuary.  Hope that your garden will provide a cornucopia of veggies for delightful family barbecues.  Hope that your fence will prevent you from stumbling facedown onto the garden thatcher one night when the moon is low and you've overdosed on dandelion wine.

In the end I decided not to buy a fence.  Instead, I'll dress the kids up in Beefeater costumes, and ask them to march around the perimeter of the garden in eight hour shifts, waving their arms like crazy people to scare away the critters.  It'll save me money in the long run, what with not having to send the little one to day camp.  He'll be outside getting exercise all day, which is exactly where he should be in the summer.  If he gets hungry, he can always wrestle a cucumber out of one of the squirrel's claws.


  1. We are growing a vegetable garden for the first time this year. We are attempting cucumbers, watermelon, spinach and corn. But the carrots? The carrots we planted specifically for the rabbits, who live in the vegetable garden.

  2. Wow, I didn't know there were so many kinds of fences either! I haven't had a garden in 6 years, since I lived in Ohio. There I had two flower gardens, my 'pride and joy's'. Unfortunately, that last summer I also had a mole. He was a sneaky little guy who tore up my whole yard before moving on, and managed to destroy my gardens as well. I do miss all those other 'garden' summers though.