Monday, March 23, 2009

The Garden Sentinals

Rending claws and gnashing teeth.
Mighty ears and stomping feet.
'neath earth and sky you rend the fields.
Till tears flow free from falling yields.

This year the fight against the ravaging bunny barbarians of the Franklin woods has begun early. With the spring rains they come plundering the land of all its tender offspring. This year we are preparing a mighty wall that shall thwart both bunny and trap small children. The above picture is of the fence post hole for the post that holds up the gate. I wanted to start with the gate because I felt that would be the hardest part.

After getting the post placed and dumping in the concrete I then pounded the heck out of the ground with my rubber mallet to really pack in the dirt. The post is eight feet tall with two feet in the earth.

I assembled the gate in the garage using some cheap wooden boxes we picked up at Ikea in place of a proper work bench. My dad had helped me assemble them, and now that the growing season is upon us I am seeing all sorts of potential uses for them. This being one of them.

When Michelle helped me hang the gate on the post I was all but certain that it would topple over. I tend to be somewhat competent at most things I do because I do a lot of planning and research before I tackle something. At the same time, the first time I do something I always expect it to fail, it makes successes all the sweeter and failures part of the process. I ended up buying slightly warped 2x4's so the gate isn't exactly straight, but it is good enough for my purposes. I still need to place another chunk of wood at the base of the gate that will lie flush with the bottom of the gate. This will then sit on chicken wire attached to it and buried under ground.

The day started with an 8:30am shopping trip to Lowes to buy the 360lbs of concrete mix bags, the wood, and the chicken and fence wire. By 4pm the fence posts were all driven, the gate was hung and...

The ditch was dug along the existing fence and the chicken wire placed and attached to the fence with staple nails. The chicken wire goes down about a foot since we couldn't bend it out. For most of the fence the chicken wire will travel down about 5-6 inches and then out 5-6 inches. This general plan comes from research Michelle did along with a report on Rabbit proofing I found from Australia. I figure the Australians know about Rabbit problems.

By 4pm I was totally spent, and dispite being somewhat under the weather Michelle still had a smile for me while I took this picture of her cleaning up the tool explosion in the garden. There is still a fair bit of work to do with putting up the metal fencing and the rest of the chicken wire at the base, but the hardest part is done. The weakest link in the line will be along the treeline. The roots are incredibly thick so we'll be running the chicken wire out a foot along the ground away from the base of the fence. All our research indicates that this will work, so here's to hoping. Just think, one more weekend of fence building and then I'll be free to start working on the actual garden beds!

No comments: