Today, beneath bright sunshine and temps in the 50s, the seedlings on the first round of mixed greens started to appear…and with our first little flock of ducks arriving soon, we decided to think about duck-proofing a few of the beds.
We’ll want our silver appleyard ducks in the garden to forage for pests like slugs and snails, but we don’t want them to harm vulnerable seedlings. We generally don’t (knock on wood!) have issues with birds in the garden except for in the strawberry beds, and, since we built the fence, we have not had trouble with small mammals either. As a result, we have been pretty lax in previous years regarding predator proofing individual raised beds.
Our hoops are made from 3/4-inch black flexible pipe slid over 4-foot pieces of rebar driven into the ground. Each piped rebar section is anchored to the raised bed with two-hole straps. A center ridgepole of 1×3 is affixed with bolts, and then the bird netting is stretched into place.
Very simple, inexpensive, easy-to-install and, hopefully, effective. Of course these will also allow us to push our growing seasons by covering them with plastic. Depending on the temperatures when we start planting seedlings, the hoops will also come in handy.
Bring on the ducks!