For some of us gardeners, another big problem that we have to contend with and depending on where we live is the issue of wild animals invading our back gardens and raiding our raised beds. More often than not we may have a boundary fence or wall, but this is no barrier to some animals, mainly deer. These animals are so agile and are known to clear 6ft fences in their quest to get their paws on our sweet vegetables and crops. Not only is it good enough to have high sidings to our raised beds but we may also have to cover and secure the top of this structure as well. Squirrels, possums, raccoon and other like minded wild life would easily scale this structure and have a field day on our sweet and succulent vegetables and if we were to construct an enclosure like this, with the top part secured, it would also keep maurading birds at bay as well.
These concerns will mainly arise if we are predominantly rural, country dwellers and may be living close to forrestry or woodland and is not so much an issue for urban, town or city habitants. We have looked at covering raised beds with mesh fleeces and chicken wire on a previous post and what we are looking at here is something similar, but on a grander scale. The tall frames will have to be much stronger, in order to support these high sidings, we will need strong corner posts and the top braces will also have to be pretty robust to carry the weight of this deer-proofing wire mesh. We will also need to include a door in our plans for easy access and this will make the whole exercise that bit more difficult to accomplish. Unless we are pretty adept with good qualified carpentry skills, we will need to employ a good tradesperson or contractor for this project. The other option is to purchase these frames online, but there are caveats. I will explain as we go along.
Deer-proofing our raised garden beds;
In the image above, we will look at the suitability of this structure for our needs and requirements. Its specifically built for deer-proofing of our raised beds. The plan or layout is available online, but this structure does not come with the lumber. All of the other fittings, like brackets, hinges, gate latch, screws, nails and wire mesh nettings etc etc, is what we will purchase. The timber or lumber must be sourced locally from our timber merchants. They have supplied all the measurements, ie, all the different lengths, widths and specifications for assembly by ourselves. Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but there are methods to their madness which I will explain in detail further-on. The cost of all of the fittings etc, comes to about $230 and then we factor in the price of the lumber which would amount to approx $300. If we could construct the raised bed cage ourselves, we may have the whole outfit for about $600…give or take. A complete set of instructions comes with the initial online purchase, which will enable us to easily construct this frame ourselves. This structure when complete will measure 8ft x 8ft x 6ft H, and has the raised beds contained within.
Deer proof vegetable garden kit to buy;
In the above example, we have a similar structure as the first image, except if we purchase this raised bed deer proof kit online, it is by far, away more expensive. Again all of this outfit comes as a type of flatpack and we assemble ourselves. The instructions come with the purchase and it takes approx 3-4 hrs labour to assemble this raised bed framed cage. Pilot holes are pre-drilled for ease and its a case of basically slotting all the sides together, attach the door to the frame, and then attach all of the wire mesh to the whole frame and we are done. However the cost of this project comes in at around $1800 plus there is free shipping. The fact that this choice is a lot more expensive, so we need to sit down and examine what option would suit us best. The dimensions are practically similar but there is a hugh variance in the overall costs between the different options.
As I already mentioned, the measurements are practically similar, we have raised beds on three sides of the frame which are 20″ deep and the raised bed panels are made from cedar, which adds to the cost, obviously. When fully erected there is a centre aisle walkway ( as per image above ) which gives all round access to the inside and makes growing and gardening within very simple and easy. Overall we have 44 sq ft of growing space within this construction, which will cater for most household needs. There is no digging required only fill the beds with good quality soil and then begin planting. The overall concept and idea is borne from frustration and the end result is problem solving and made out of neccissity. The fact that we have high sides to this structure, means we can use these to our advantage in the form and shape of a trellis. We will be able to grow some tomatoes, peas, peppers and other climbing crops in this enclosure with a certain amount of ease as an added bonus.
The cost factor will be the over-riding issue , when it comes to selecting which option we decide upon. However if we know a neighbour, friend or family member who is handy and adept with their hands, we can reduce the cost by about $1000, which is nothing to be scoffed at. I hope you have enjoyed reading this post once again, as usual we are very social here at buildingraisedbeds.com. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to drop us a line down below and we will get back to you promptly.
Happy gardening to all out there,
“There is something soothing about working in the yard.
Planting seeds and seeing them poke green out of the dirt
And it gets you out of the house
without going too far.”
― Michael Lee West