New Vegetable enclosure squirrel proof- Wood or PVC ? Raised Beds or Straw Bale?

Asked February 24, 2017, 6:04 PM EST

I live in Baltimore County, Last year was my first experience with a vegetable garden, made a Garden size 12' x 9'.(SEE ATTACHED PHOTO) using metal tee posts, with 48" chick wire(1") of 36" vertical 12" horizontal (on Ground), then deer netting 7' high, then bird netting on top, and five Straw bales. I medically have back issues, that is one of the reasons I choose straw bales. Garden was doing well until the squirrels attacked, ate all vegetation except cucumbers. Tried EVERYTHING, could not get rid of these rats with tails. This year I plan to make a squirrel proof enclosure with either Wood 1" X 2" strips or 1/2" PVC pipe. and cover with chic wire. I made a sample of the pvc 1/2" pipe using a 60" x 60" square frame , but the structure is very unstable, and took a long time to attach the wire using zip ties every 3". I thought of going to a smaller size frame ( maybe 36" square), but wanted a opinion of some one that has experience with this. It seems that wood frame is much easier to attach the chic wire(staple gun) to but not sure about the longevity of wood compared to PVC pipe. Question 2 Would you recommend Raised Beds 15" high or Straw bales. The ground is full of clay, & rocks and compacted. I saw on the internet someone was doing a combination of the two and using the straw bales with a frame around them, and getting extra years from this combination, eventually adding soil to the straw. Thank you

Baltimore County Maryland squirrels raised beds vegetable gardening

1 Response

Our expertise is answering horticulture and pest questions. We really do not have research or plans regarding constructing enclosures to keep out squirrels. There should be a lot of information and photos that you can access online for ideas.

We would recommend raised beds versus the straw bales. See our videos on raised beds http://youtu.be/fB8W232p9-w,
http://youtu.be/TKE2Ya7k9-0
Look at our Vegetable website and 'Preparing the Soil'. You need to add sources of organic matter which include compost, well rotted manure, or leaf mold (composted leaves). Organic matter can be purchased in bulk or bags. You will have to look in your area for sources. D.http://extension.umd.edu/growit/food-gardening-101/step-3-prepare-your-soil

You can also call around to topsoil/mulch suppliers for commercially available mixtures of topsoil and leaf compost. This makes an excellent media for raised beds - blended topsoil (70%) and leaf compost (30%). Can be purchased by the cubic yard.
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