Before we left for France as well as getting as many plants as we could planted in the allotment - it took at least two hours just potting them out! - we also needed to rig something up to make my greenhouse fox proof.
This wasn't on a whim, but because I wanted to leave the door ajar but as our neighbour has four fox cubs living in her garden I knew I'd need some kind of barrier. Looking around in MOH's shed I found the chicken wire I was looking for and some random bits of wood he'd sawed for, actually I'm not sure what for. But they were both commandeered for my plan, along with our staple gun and MOH.
I had a vague idea of what I wanted to achieve and MOH set about stapling the chicken wire to the blocks, which I hoped would act as a weight at the bottom of my chicken wire contraption.
And once it was in place, it looked as if it might work.
Now we needed to work out how much chicken wire we needed, we did that and added a bit to be safe, MOH cut the wire and added a further block of wood to the top edge. I'd hoped to be able to use the fixings of the greenhouse to attach it, but that wasn't to be as on closer inspection they were rivet-type things, not removable screws.
And with it assembled, in true workman style MOH downed tools. Most likely with permission as I'd yet to ready the greenhouse for our holiday. I sowed some squash and courgette seeds, hoping they'd germinate while we were away and so far six of them have and if I'm lucky there'll be some more yet. I also upended plastic bottles full of water into my greenhouse bed so that they wouldn't be entirely without water for the two weeks (if you try this, don't forget to pierce holes in the lids otherwise it won't be much use).
With the greenhouse ready it was time to hang the chicken wire contraption. We stuck the ends of the chicken wire around the greenhouse fixings and used some extra wires to attach it to the left-hand side of the door. On the right-hand side I hooked it over the handle twice and that seemed to secure it.
To be extra sure - because I don't trust those pesky foxes - I put a couple of bricks on the wood at the bottom of the door and strategically placed some pots to make it awkward for them if they wanted to try and to provide and extra barricade and make it clear that there was really "nothing to see here."
Was I being overly cautious?
It's true the foxes (cubs or otherwise) hadn't tried to get into the greenhouse before, but they have increased their forays into our garden as they've grown. The advice to deter foxes is to make things tricky for them, and this certainly did that. We're often in the garden of an evening and at weekends and our presence is a deterrent, with the garden empty for two weeks I had a feeling they'd be making use of the extra space so I wanted to be sure that my cucumbers in the greenhouse and other seedlings didn't come to any damage. Once you've grown plants from seed you have a feeling of responsibility, don't you?
So did it work?
That has to be a resounding yes! It was still in place when we got home on Saturday and there was plenty of evidence of the foxes in our garden, yes that and they'd started to dig small holes in the lawn - which MOH wasn't too impressed about.
Infact it's worked so well it's still there! It's a bit more awkward to get into the greenhouse than before but knowing I can leave the door open is well worth that.
Do you have trouble with wildlife in your garden? What measures do you take to deter them?