April 17th, 2013

I’ve been more than preoccupied with the re-fence project. It’s taken a month to remove all the old and mostly rotting posts and replace them with the 300lbs 10′ railroad ties. Each corner or gate tie has had 120-180lbs of concrete added. The fence line posts each have 80lbs of concrete. They are spaced 20-30 feet apart and “T” post are used in between.

This weekend I got the entire fence strung with the lower base roll fencing completed. Like the chicken yard, I’m using the Red-Brand heavy gauge woven wire fence. Of course this is only the start. At 47″ tall the deer don’t even notice. Speaking of Bambi…  I did have one major set-back last week. The fence has been down for about a month and in that time the deer have added their share of compost to the area. (read they’ve been in there a lot!) The first two sections of fence were installed in the valley where it is flat. I had only attached and stretched tight to the railroad ties at the ends. Tacking a few fence staples on the fence line ties and nothing yet on the “T” post. It looked great!

The next day I headed to town for a meeting (the same day it got so hot) and drove out through the valley. The fence was a wreck! All pushed out and dented…in one section it had even been pulled off the center tie and was lying limp on the ground! There were deer tracks and lots of deer fur all around… My guess is a bunch of the f’rs got caught in where they had been able to run free for weeks, perhaps being chased by Tucker or a coyote or something. The scene read like the aftermath of a war zone.

I was too upset to take pictures. I also was amazed at how much stretching and denting could be inflected by a deer, or several deer. That fence is heavy gauge but it is not galvanized or hardened. I was able to re-stretch, tighten and straighten it up with no long term effects but I also strapped it down really tight now, T-posts and all. I then added little ties of florescent tape every four-five feet so the deer hopefully see there is a fence there now.

Next will be the strands of fencing wire that was there that will go up as far as the clouds. More on that later!

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Spring Garden update

April 15th, 2013

Yugoslavian Red Lettuce

Yugoslavian Red Lettuce

Several lettuce beds are coming along nicely! Although not ready for “thinning” I do still have spinach. But some of the spinach is bolting to seed because it’s been so hot. I have my tomatoes and peppers out and under the low tunnels. So, as long as it doesn’t get below 30º I should be fine. I do have backups in the cold frame but those are bursting to be planted.

We had one day, when I was out at a meeting, that the weather said cloudy/rain so I left the low tunnels on… Well it got to 83º and it was intensely sunny – weather people! As soon as I got home I threw off the low tunnels and the poor tomatoes and peppers were just toasted. Wilty and even some burnt looking leaves. I quickly watered them very thoroughly and they seem to be recovering, except for the burnt leaves. Lesson learned – use of low tunnels has to be monitored very closely…

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