July 16, 2010, Newsletter Issue #139: Intruder Alert!

Tip of the Week

When we're building a home, we want to keep pests at bay--sadly, that doesn't extend to unpleasant relatives. We also wire the house with a security system. Building raised beds is no different. You can keep out relatives from the animal kingdom, including that raccoon that looks a little like your sister-in-law.

When you're laying the timbers and soil for your raised bed garden, you think that chicken wire might just do the trick. Unfortunately, the reason you learned how to build raised bed gardens was to make your yard look more attractive. Most directions on how to build a raised bed garden don't include information on how to protect your petunias and potatoes. Here are our helpful hints for hindering pests: Get an underground fence that sends out an audio signal. You can keep dogs and cats away with the kind that has a radio transmitter for your pets' collars. Place the underground fence a few inches from your garden area. Make sure you choose one that you adjust according to your garden shape. Use a motion-activated garden sprinkler--aim it away from the garden and toward where the pests typically lurk. You can install netting when you lay out the frame for your raised bed gardens--check your instructions on how to build a raised bed garden if you have a kit for building raised garden beds.
Attaching a tight knitted chicken wire on the bottom of your raised garden frame before back filling it with soil will prevent tunneling critters such as ground hogs.
Want to sprinkle wood and soil with pest control chemicals? Try an organic variety that won't poison the environment and ruin the wood you've used in building raised beds.

You've learned how to buld a raised garden that's pest-proof. Now if only you could keep away your sister-in-law so easily.

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