Such an interesting comment Michael.
Gail Boenning
71

We too have a fortress garden. When we fenced it, we used 36 inch field fence and chicken wire above that. We went back and added chicken wire to the bottom. Deer jumped over the top and we added three strands of barbed above, then used hog rings to pull up the sagging chicken wire.

We are decimated by voles and gophers, at least beans and cruciferous veggies are. We bottomed our raised beds with chicken wire, later we replaced that with three eights inch hardware cloth. We have seven raised beds, and four flat.

Th' missus and I get into big disagreements over what to plant, how to plant, and how to care for it. Having over 1200 feet fenced, she has her seven beds and I have my four. She has soy beans, lemon grass, chives, a really large lavender (which could go outside the fortress) patio tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and three kinds of squash. I have two tomato plants, “Better Boy”, and “Early Girl”, “Silver Queen” corn, yellow crooked neck squash, and fava beans. As for flowers, I have roses, “Strike It Rich”, “St. Patrick”, “Vertans Honor”, “Mr. Lincoln”, “Queen Elizabeth”, and last week bought “Ketchup and Mustard”, and “Grenada.” She has Nasturtiums, Marigolds, and some other thing.

I don’t have anything in raised beds, hence not protected. I planted the fava beans in the fall. In early spring they were aphid magnets, still are. These then became predator magnets. Despite the aphids I have lots of fava beans, although the plants look like hell. But there is not a single aphid on my roses even though the beds are adjacent. the area is wasp heaven, with all kinds of varieties of surphids and wasps patrolling. I do have assassin bugs spiking my rose buds leading to very ugly roses (holes in the petals).

The proteced raised beds are planted with kale, bok choi, turnips, and lettuce in the fall. We have half inch pvc hoops which we cover with cloud cover making little conastoga wagons which don’t freeze even though we are on a slope at 1100 feet.

I also have three beds at work (I’m an IT guy for Sutter Street Theatre, a non-profit theatre in Folsom) Two of my beds are bordered by asphalt, and I can’t keep them cool or moist. The third is bordeded by asphalt, but is proteced from heat by trees. I have Nasturtiums there, and just planted Amaranth. I tried lettuce and snap peas in the other beds, but too late and they over-heated.

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