Fencing for hoop house
This year our garden was decimated by rodents. I have built two moveable hoop houses, each 8'x10'x7' tall, to protect my garden next year. What would be your suggestion of wire fencing to cover the hoops? Would chicken wire be strong enough to protect from rodents, or do I need something stronger? Do I need to worry about rodents digging under the side panels, and how would I prevent that?
Washtenaw County Michigan
Depending on what you are dealing with/the type of wire you are thinking of, the holes may be too big. Rats can gain entry through any opening greater than 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) across, and mice through any opening larger than 1/4 inch (0.6 cm). For mice alone, any netting with openings greater than 1/4 x 1/4 can potentially let mice through. They may dig under side panels, it is hard to say. Here is a resource about rodent proofing a building that may give you some ideas (thought is focused on more permanent structures): https://wildlife-damage-management.extension.org/rodent-exclusion-methods/
Other things you could consider may be clearing a larger area around the garden and keeping the grass shorter. Rodents prefer to move through brush and along walls, and if they have to cross a larger, open expanse to access the garden, it will be less attractive to them.