I've kept a garden in the lower portion of my yard since we moved into this house in 2001. The back yard has a slope that is somewhat contained by two retaining walls. The upper wall is about 15 feet from the back porch to give you somewhat of an area to enjoy the yard...it then slopes down to the far left corner where a second wall is and then that area was never sodded and just kept as a garden. This has worked out well for us and every year I've managed to get something to grow there.
Over the past few years I've had to put up a fence around this area because my dog likes to help herself to the garden. If there are carrots, she'll dig one up for a snack. I knew that tossing my egg shells in the garden was a risk, but the fence was in pretty good shape and it was winter so I didn't think too much about it...
Lately Lilly who used to be happy sleeping in her bedroom until I got up each morning (for the most part) has started asking hubby to let her out. She has now been getting a small breakfast (hubby always gives her 3 pieces of his cereal) and goes outside each morning. However, she hasn't been a good girl about it and usually keeps hubby from leaving for work on time.
Yesterday, I heard the back door slam open and shut a few times and then heard the utility room sink. When I got up I discovered that Lilly was locked in her bedroom (aka my laundry room with the utility sink). The sink still had very dirty water in the bottom. So now I knew why I heard the sink...someone had dirty paws.
When I got to my computer there was a note from hubby explaining the situation to me...Somedoggy had gotten into the garden. sigh!
I had been planning on reinforcements to the garden for a while because the neighbor's bird feeder has attracted the squirrels who think that the garden must be for them and they eat all they can find. What I originally wanted to do was put a hoop house over the garden. http://www.ericsprojects.com/cpg/albums/userpics/10001/normal_DSC02244.JPG However, hubby has been pretty dead set against this idea. He doesn't care for the look of it and hasn't been all that supportive of my gardening efforts because he doesn't like vegetables so he doesn't see the point. There is also the problem that the retaining wall isn't exactly square and there are other obstacles that would need to be addressed.
While searching online for solutions to my pest problems I realized that I still had some 1/2" hardware cloth from our old rabbit pen that had been recycled...some of it never used at all. So my plan was to put the rabbit fence around the garden. Then I could use my bird netting across the top of the garden to keep the critters out.
Unfortunately, I did not know exactly how much hardware cloth I actually had and how much I actually needed. There wasn't enough to put hardware cloth on all 4 sides of the garden like I wanted. I was only able to put the fence on two sides. However, this works to keep the dog out of the garden as the sides I wasn't able to fence in with the rabbit fence are the back which has our 6ft yard fence and then the remaining side has blocked access and I put up my old plastic fencing as a temporary fence until I can get more hardware cloth. Now I just need to go take some measurements to see how much more I need.
While I am at it, I want to try planting potatoes in containers this year. I've been watching gardening videos and having containers for the potatoes appeals because when it is time to harvest...all you have to do is dump out the container and sift through the dirt. The dirt can be reused and the potatoes don't get damaged from a shovel or pitch fork. Cool!