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My husband brought home a bunch of packs of seeds and a little seed planter and some soil. I got all of the seeds started and put them in the sunroom.

I hope some of them grow. I've never had a garden before and my husband does NOTHING small. I just wanted a tomato plant and I was going to buy the plant not the seeds. ugh.

So, now we have to figure out where in the yard we are going to build the garden. He's going to build a raised bed with wood.

Any ideas on how to keep the animals out? We have rabbits that run around the neighborhood. My husband is thinking about a plastic fence or something.

I'm fairly certain, we are going to have a few hundred bucks in this garden and maybe get a tomato or two. hahahaha
 

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Don't use plastic fence. Rabbits chew through plastic. Use a metal fence. They sell "garden fence" that's metal. I think they color it green? Otherwise chicken wire is great. You gotta make sure the holes are small enough.

Congrats on the garden! :)
 

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Chicken wire roll two feet wide with three foot rebar at four foot intervals works just fine. Readily available at TSC or most farms supply stores and many hardware stores. A removable gate makes access easy readily made from lumber. This is probably the most simple approach. I have such a fence around my 25 by 40 foot garden and it is effective.
Garden Zone Galvanized Hex Netting, 24 in. x 50 ft. - Tractor Supply Co.
 

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BEWARE I thought like you that nothing would come up if I planted seeds However that is not the case this year for me as now I have 9 zucchini plants .....over 2 dozen strawberry plants....3 apple trees...2 peach trees...1 plum tree....several carrots and several beets...1 cilantro...2 collards... and more stuff is coming up...I Love It!!
 

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We use human hair to keep the bunnies out as do many of my clients. Salons save it for people all summer. We also have another garden with 6 ft fence that has the things in it the deer like.

Be cautious of going overboard. It is a lot to keep up with. I once planted 64 tomato plants stupidly thinking 1-2 tomatoes per plant. What a nightmare! We couldnt get rid of them fast enough. Hubby also once planted 2 thirty foot row of zucchini though I told him 1 plant.
 

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Nodmicks) now that's a crap-load of Zukes! 64 tomatoes aren't enough for our family of 4, so it's all dependent on what you use. Be easy on Zukes tho, they don't can, don't freeze well, everyone is giving to them away so no one wants them, etc.
 

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Nodmicks) now that's a crap-load of Zukes! 64 tomatoes aren't enough for our family of 4, so it's all dependent on what you use. Be easy on Zukes tho, they don't can, don't freeze well, everyone is giving to them away so no one wants them, etc.
Our 64 tomato plants grew like crazy. I am the only one that likes tomato. The kids had great fun with the zucchini. What we couldn't use or give away we let get huge. We carved some like pumpkins. They had zucchini wars out in the field.
 

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Nodmicks) well at least you have good stories to look back on! Lol I would be besides myself with that many Zukes. My hubby doesn't like them. My kids are so so about them. Even I am so so about them! One plant will be enough for me!

Oh man, only you like tomatoes? I need me for fresh eating, salsa, canning stewed, diced, sauce, etc. gets busy around here in fall.
 

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I wish you luck, Giro! After a few years of spending a couple hundred dollars and getting only a handful of veggies, I've given up. I just do not have a way with plants! But at least I tried. And now, when I spend a small fortune at the farmer's market, I'll never second guess it, because I know for sure that I definitely cannot grow it cheaper myself!

As far as fencing, I preferred the plastic as it was easier to maneuver than the metal, but toward the end of the season, either rabbits or squirrels did chew through it at the bottom and get into the garden. This year, I have some leftover lettuce coming up on its own in my abandoned beds, and I'm having fun watching the rabbits feast :)
 

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Chicken wire roll two feet wide with three foot rebar at four foot intervals works just fine. Readily available at TSC or most farms supply stores and many hardware stores. A removable gate makes access easy readily made from lumber. This is probably the most simple approach. I have such a fence around my 25 by 40 foot garden and it is effective.
Garden Zone Galvanized Hex Netting, 24 in. x 50 ft. - Tractor Supply Co.
I hate chicken wire. It's a PITA to work with.
This is effective as a rabbit deterrent and much easier to work with. Garden Zone Gard'n Fence Rabbit Guard, 28 in. x 50 ft. - Tractor Supply Co.

Be cautious of going overboard. It is a lot to keep up with.
Completely agree. A first time gardener can get discouraged very easily and just give up vowing never to garden again.
 

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Here is my experience with rabbit fence. The fence is still standing and serves its purpose. Rebar and ties make handling easy, and chicken wire is cheap.

10 June 2010 Rabbit Fence 10 June 2010 Rabbit Fence
One or two rabbits appear daily and do much damage, so a fence was placed around the vegetable garden.

The fence roll is two feet high, with 3 inch by 2 inch mesh, and 50 feet in length. The perimeter of the bed is 140 feet. The post are 3′ rebar, which was painted with Tremclad paint to inhibit rusting. The posts were placed at four foot intervals, and a metal staple was placed on the bottom of the fence between the posts to insure the rabbit cannot squeeze underneath. The fence was tied to the posts using plastic ties.

The other choice for fencing was chicken wire, which is more difficult to work with. My only concern is the mesh being 3″ by 2″ may be too large- meaning Mr. Rabbit may squeeze through the opening. No doubt I will soon know.

13 June 2010 UPDATE:
The rabbit fence depicted is useless. My dog, Neena, was chasing a fair sized rabbit and it went right through the fence without stopping and out the other end of the garden. The mesh is too large.
I have to run chicken wire. Here are pictures of the chicken wire added on the existing fence. 12 June 2010 Rabbit proofing using Chicken wire. 12 June 2010 Rabbit proofing using Chicken wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We made the raised bed and filled it with dirt...we had a bunch of dirt from when they built our sunroom last year, so this killed two birds with one stone. I still have to pick out more rocks from the bed. Apparently, our area has a lot of rocks. My goodness!!

We bought rabbit fence and posts to attach to the raised bed. The bed is 8'x4'. I don't know if it will be large enough or too large or whatever. We shall see.


Also, several of my seeds are starting to sprout!! Woohoo
 

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I have raised beds that are 4 x 8 and I cram quite a bit into each one. I can fit 4 tomato plants and 5 peppers in each. Squash likes plenty of space, so I only put 3 hills in each bed.

The most important thing I have found in gardening is the soil. Make sure there is plenty of compost in the soil along with the proper amount of fertilizer. For fertilizer, chicken manure is higher in Nitrogen than steer manure and organic fertilizers are used by the plants more slowly than the chemical fertilizers. If you read on the back of the package, it will tell you how much to use.

I add bagged compost to my beds every other year or so. Compost helps moisture be retained in the soil and provides a little bit of nutrients also. Some people use composted manure in lieu of compost and fertilizer. Once again, the fertilizer is where the plants get their nutrients and what caused them to grow.

I use the concrete reinforcing wire sheets (4 x 7 or so) zip-tied so they are around and almost 4 feet high, as tomato cages. The tomato cages they sell in the stores are a better size for peppers and eggplants unless you have the much larger cages available in your stores.

I usually wait to plant my tomatoes in the ground until they are 6 weeks old or more. It depends on your weather. You want the soil to heat up to 60 degrees or so for plants to grow or sprout, if planting seeds like squash. I start my peppers in late January and tomatoes in mid February for mid April planting.

Six to ten hours of sunlight is what tomatoes like to produce fruit, so I hope your bed is in full sun.

We use straw as a mulch to help retain moisture in the soil. It also can help prevent weeds from growing, though some bales of straw have plenty of seeds which sprout over the season. Just pull those weeds and they are done.

I hope you enjoy vegetable gardening as much as I do. I'm installing a fifth 4 x 8 bed today so I can grow more. I have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and herbs in half barrels to try and fit more in my garden.

Have fun with it.
 

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Giro, you may want to get the book called Square Foot Gardening from the library. It will help you make the most of your small garden space.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Great. Thanks for the info. I thought 4x8 was HUGE. But, I'm a first time gardener so I will have to learn a bunch and sq footage is at the top of the list right now. I will be planting my seedlings in a few weeks once they get a lot bigger. Now, I'm wondering if I will have space for everything.
 

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We have a small space, too. Nothing wrong with that. You can always add on if things go well. SFG will tell you how much space to allow for different types of plants. Overcrowding can affect all kinds of things with plants.

Be sure you leave space around the garden area when you fence it so you don't waste space IN the garden to walk on.

You did not use pressure-treated lumber to build the box, I hope. That's not recommended for growing food because of the toxins in PT lumber.

You can grow vining plants on a trellis. Four six-foot metal posts put in the garden box on the north side with fencing stretched end to end attached to all four posts will provide a great spot to grow green beans, cucumbers, etc in very little space. It needs to be on the north so it won't shade the smaller plants.
 
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