Deerproofing the Kitchen Garden with Rustic Cedar Fencing
Here we go again. We performed ‘extreme unction’ on the old kitchen garden fence, built with hardwood saplings, after the hurricane took it down. Few tears were shed. Building a fence with hardwood saplings is a fool’s errand and, when we built it, 5 years ago, we knew it and did it anyway. Why? Gardening season was upon us, we needed a rustic garden fence and we needed it fast. We used what we had on hand, a surfeit of saplings,an embarrassment of enthusiasm, and the inspirational drive to create an enclosure that would do the job of keeping undesirable creatures (deer, chickens, ducks, raccoons, etc…) out of the garden and, at the same time, enhance the rustic and humble landscape in which our home and garden sits.
The new rustic garden fence is being built with cedar, preferred by traditionalists for its durability and performance as a rot resistant fencing material. We had a supply. Challenged with ‘cedar apple rust’, a fungal disease hosted by cedars, that afflicts apple trees and was threatening the health of both our established orchard and our newly planted apple espaliers, we made the difficult decision to cut down the 15 mature cedars (30’+ high) that served to screen the front of the property in an effiort to eliminate disease and improve the health of our fruit trees. Mindful and task-driven, we harvested the cedars trees with care and deliberation, cutting the timbers to sizes, lengths and dimensions that would suit our future rustic fence designs. We stored them and seasoned them for a year to bring us to the place where we now find ourselves; creating anew, our kitchen garden enclosure.