Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Chicken Proof Raised Beds Part 2

I'm just here to tell you that gardening is hard work.

It is fun work.

It is addictive work.

It is good work, but it is hard.

You might remember my hysteria at finally finding a chikkin-proof situation for my raised beds.

You can read about all that bruhaha here:


and here:


The basic jist of the sitch is that they do work very, very well except ...

It's gardening.

There must be an exception to something working on the first try.

This is a rule of nature, my pretties.

Nothing shall work on its first try because then you might get complacent and think that gardening is easy.

One major problem cropped up and one minor.

Minor:  This bed to is too tall for the zip line action.

Every time the kids wanted to use  the zip line we had to raise it up so that they're feet wouldn't scrape the top.

They lift up like this:

The zip line skims over on that far right side.

Well, left side of the photo, but why I am even talking about this?

Pretty quickly we realized that the damn thing was getting left up constantly (by all of us) and the chikkins made quick work of the herbs.

Except the sage.

Feel free to plant sage in your yard.

So, back to the proverbial drawing board which translates to back to the literal table saw.

This is a Holt Family stock photo of PVC pipe cutting.

There are millions just like this.

However ... drumroll ...  I did the cutting this time.

I really do not like electrical cutting mechanisms.

Just one of my things.

Electric saws, chain saws, metal grinders, etc.

Not for me.

But I did it this time due to necessity and it was not too bad, I have to saw.

Say.  Hahaha.  

So, I cut most of  the gazillion configurations that needed cutting.

I also added two more pieces of pipe to made the configuration stronger.

I won't bore you with that.

The cutting got done and I felt proudish.

The other issue that we had with these things is that I bought super cheapo netting to screen them in.

Big mistake.

BIG mistake.

That netting was like wrapping the whole thing in, crap, I don't even know, embroidery thread or something.


Can't explain.

Have you ever tried to put socks on a really mad 18-month old?

That's what it was like.

And then it tore.


That's a tomato vine growing out of one of the giant tears.

This has become a favorite place for one of the chikkins to lay her eggs.

It is rather cozy and cool amongst all the tangled tomato vines.  Can't say that I blame her one wit!

The other thing is that the netting is so sticky and grabby and sharp that every little thing gets all caught in it.

Every little leaf, my hair, my clothes, the fruit of whatever is growing.

Major sucketh.

When I cleaned out the sugar snap peas I had to spend probably 30 minutes picking the pieces out.

Had I only known that I was gonna find this stuff ...

I would not have bothered.

See, right there on the package it's got a picture of an ousted chikkin.

This is the Golden Ticket, chikkin lovers.

I have no idea why I didn't see this last time!

I have a vague memory of it being the end of the month and picking out the cheapest thing.

Although, this was not really pricey at all.

I can't remember how much it was right now, but it was doable.


The best EVER.

Look at that goodness!

I got most of it on all by myself even.

That last stuff took an army.

Well, two of us, but it felt like war.

This stuff is the perfect stiffness to malleable ratio EVER.

The only thing I love as much as this stuff is books.

And my child.

Books and green plastic chikkin wire stuff and my kid.

I'm a complicated woman.

Or a simple woman, I guess.

Here is a close-up.

(Act like  you were dying to see that.)

It was a tad too tall for the newly shorted height so I just folded it over.

It was so well-behaved.

Took to the zip ties with no trouble at all.

Seriously, I'm like a proud mother with this stuff.

If you even knew how much hell it was to use that last crap!

I think you've got the idea now, right?

I gotta find a way to reuse it though as I am not putting that stuff out into the world.

I can see turtles dying as we speak.  Type.

I'm sure I can use it for something.

Or give it to Karen over at Making Shift.

She'll figure out something to do with it.

So, yea, this is the stuff that gardeners get all worked up about.


I got emails from several folks asking about the chikkin-proof beds, so I did wanna proved an update.

I plan to replace all of them asap.

And, for something totally different ...

Century Plant root.



  1. What's this anti-chicken stuff called???

    1. I gotta go dig it out of the trash to find out.

      Only for you!

      Check back later, tater.

  2. Totally give it to Karen! She'll love it! HOW did you get that century plant out so well???

    1. It was just a baby from the big mama. I puuuuuuuuuuuuuulllllllleeeeeedddddd.

  3. I like the stock photo of Jack cutting pvc. Maybe he was getting ready to make steampunk weapons and hand mirrors!

    Good for you for doing the cutting yourself. Those things scare the crap out of me. Can't really even get near them without imagining myself accidentally removing a digit or two.

    1. Hahah I like that stock photo too.

      OMG ME TOO!! Terrified!


  4. Good job.

    That mesh stuff is nasty. Said right on the package...deer mesh. The deer ripped it right off of most things. I did make some covers, wiring it to chopped off tomato cages. I put that over new plants, to give them a chance to root before they're pulled up.

    Your new cages look awesome.

    1. Yep, mine said deer proof too.

      It is the worst crap ever. EVER.

      Good idee on the tomato cages!

  5. yes yes yes .. awesome awesome .. I don't know where to start so I'll say bravo-chickie-o-you brave and strong farm girl YOU!
    p.s. such a good story and pictures, I love it.

    1. Ooo that's a good name for me: Brave and strong farm girl.

      I like!!

  6. I too have wrestled with Mesh #1 (aka The Horror) and am afraid to throw it away and can't find any place to store it where it doesn't immediately tangle itself into everything within a 3 foot radius. It is a mess of a mesh and that is for sure. Glad to see the second more workable example and if I ever get anything growing worth protecting from the squirrels/birds again, I'll be sure to try it out.

    Hey - kudos for your cutting jobs! Well played. Also? That century plant root? Nightmare topic for tonight, confirmed. I used to wonder why folks were so happy to give me century plant passalongs. I don't wonder any moooorrreeeee......

  7. The mesh!!! ha ha ha. I hate it, too...except for creating a big canopy over blueberries or other fruits, or making a removable cover for the chicken tractor.

    You should make an art installation out of it.

  8. Ha! We have had our own mesh nightmare hereabouts. Our main nemesis? Deer! We have switched to an electric fence here of late. Glad you've found a solution that works for you!

    1. I am lucky not to have deer, that's for sure!

      Maybe I'll get an electric prod for my chikkins!

  9. gardening is SOOOO hard- if you want a good garden,
    chicken fencing is SOOOOO hard.
    Gonna blog about my experiences with it today.
    Love you, girl

  10. p.s. how do you get in the garden bed to get your stuff after it's all fenced up? I don't see no door.

    1. Look in this post http://www.wabi-sabihomeandgarden.com/2012/08/chicken-proof-raised-beds.html and you'll see how they tilt up and down.

  11. Lady Cordelia I wondered the same thing.
    And why is the saw on the floor rather than on a stand for easier access?
    I remember this yard when you first moved in and cannot imagine how many hours and hours of work it took to make it this fairy land. You are so totally amazing!!!!

  12. See my reply to her above.

    REmember? They fold open!

    Because we don't have a table or stand to put it on. You've seen that garage!!!

    Thank you for the compliments...sweet sweet.



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