Sunday 28 April 2013


At this time of year, with my garden full of tiny plants and seeds just germinating, I am very vulnerable to the antics of the local wildlife. Anything unprotected is destroyed more-or-less immediately. I cannot risk sowing anything without putting it under a physical barrier, so my garden is currently covered in nets and chicken-wire.

Four of my six raised beds are under nets:

Just look at the animal footprints in the central (foreground) bed in this photo - and imagine what would have happened to any seeds I had sown in it!

I have put my pots of potatoes out in the open now, after bringing them on a bit indoors in the garage:

But they are covered with chicken-wire! Without this, the foxes/badgers would snuffle about in the pots in their search for worms and wreck the tender young potato shoots that are emerging.

Around the side of my house I have a sort of potting-bench made out of an old kitchen cupboard unit with a piece of worktop perched on top of it, at a height of about 4 feet. I am currently using this as a place to put some boxes and trays of young seedlings which have only just germinated. Even this is protected with wire, because I know that foxes and cats can jump up onto things like this!

I know from previous experience that in a month or two the problem will reduce, presumably because the animals find other more easily accessible sources of food during the Summer months, but for the time being I have to put the cosmetic side of gardening into second place, with the protection aspect taking priority.

The Asparagus bed is currently undefended, but I have just ordered another net and some more hoops. If the badgers dig up this bed I shall be ANGRY!


  1. good defences Mark you need it with your war against the destructive wildlife

  2. Last fall the skunks dug up the whole yard. They pretty much rototilled it except for the grass which was probably too hard to do. Luckily my garden is well fenced. I even have hardware cloth going a foot down around the perimeter. So they escape that. But the cats on the other hand. They love to dig in my vegetable garden. So like you I protect the whole place. Whether it is panted or not.

  3. Ha, I enlarged the first photo to look for the footprints before scrolling down and seeing the second image...
    I'd be scared if I was a badger near your house! On a more serious note are there any plants badgers/foxes hate the smell of - like curry plant maybe - that you could plant near the places they get in? or just putting a large, walk in fruit cage thing over all the raised beds?

  4. Nicely imprisoned plants you got there! I usually do not have to cover my plants but cats and sparrows are sometimes really annoying.
    I've been eating my Asparagus for a week, just love the taste.

  5. I love seeing wildlife in the garden, but it must be so annoying when they do so much damage. We're lucky here, we don't get much destruction from animals, except for slugs.

  6. Foxes and Badgers, eh? I have Raccoons and Armadillos to contend with. After having my container gardens all dug completely up, plants lying on the ground and a royal mess, I put dried cayenne pepper all around the replanted containers and all around the ground. It is working like a charm!!Also most animals don't care for basil, so I buy dried basil to sprinkle on plants they normally like, or plant close to basil.

  7. We get paw printes over seed beds on the plot but I'm not sure whether they are foxes, dogs or cats. Must learn some print patterns!

  8. Isn't it a shame that you have to do this - so much extra work for you as well. I have to do this myself but on a smaller scale - I hate it as I feel it spoils the look of the garden - but needs must.

  9. Hi Mark,
    I am intersted in the hoops and netting you have just ordered. Can you let me know where you buy these from and why you choose these from the rest? I am looking to buy some hoops/netting and maybe a cage structure to protect purple sprouting broccoli and kale later in the season from the dreaded cabbage white butterfly. have an interesting range using 'Veggiemesh'. April

    1. Hi April; Yes, most of my nets and hoops have come from I bought the 1.8m flexible plastic "Economy hoops", which I have found to be ideal for my needs. I also bought their "Butterfly netting" - the knitted 7mm one, not the extruded plastic one (which is insufficiently flexible for my needs). I have a set of "Build-a-Ball" with aluminium rods too: again very versatile since it can be assembled in many different ways.
      Harrod Horticultural have some nice-looking fruit cages, though they are quite pricey.

  10. I'm enjoying the sight of deer in the garden on early mornings, and they are enjoying the breakfast buffet I've laid out for them in the shape of tulips and rose buds... I've now had to fence in the lawn bed in an attempt to train them to munch on the ground elder and the lawn, but I'm not sure it will work!

  11. It's like the Fort Knox of the garden world.

  12. They must be territorial animals. I live in the country and don't seem to have trouble with fox or other creatures (thankfully). My only problem at the minute is keeping stray cats from using my veg box / planting areas as their toilet.


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