Groundhogs and other burrowing critters - decision needed!


RoK

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We are about to fill raised beds, and are deciding whether or not to line the bottom with 1/2" hardware cloth (mesh wire). We have a lot of deer, groundhog, moles and other pest pressure. We will have a 7 foot fence around the perimeter of the entire garden, and hardware cloth buried one foot below the perimeter of the entire garden (bent outwards at a 90 degree angle one foot). So we are going to great lengths to protect our garden!

Here is the question -- should we, or shouldn't we, also line the bottom of our raised beds with 1/2" hardware cloth? Part of me feels like it is wasted effort, because if a critter gets into the garden they could dig through the pathway areas and hop right into a raised bed. But someone once mentioned (maybe on this forum) that you don't want the critters making their den IN the raised bed, and that the wire would keep them from doing that. Even though some of the beds are 12 feet long, they are only 1 - 2 feet deep (depending where you are on the slope), and probably not big enough to make a permanent home.

What I DO know, is that once the soil is in the bed, we'd be hard pressed to take it out to add wire hardware cloth!

Any thoughts from those who have been there before? Thanks!
 
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I dug out my raised gardens and laid hardware cloth in them. I don't see any signs of burrowing from the top side so I'm guessing the lack of depth to the garden is what makes it unattractive for the voles, chipmunks etc that are numerous in my area.
 
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Well it certainly won't hurt anything and is just more insurance against some future event. I'd say do it. After all it's only money
 

RoK

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The garden is pretty big, with ten 12 x 4 raised beds. If it were one or two raised beds, it really wouldn't be that big of a deal. But with so many beds, it is a lot of time, effort, and expense to lay the hardware cloth in each of the long beds. We still have SO much to do to create our dream garden: we just excavated a trench around the garden to lay fencing below ground - but now we need to lay it, we need to put up the deer fencing, we need to fill the beds with soil, we need to bury hose for irrigation, we need to create a composting area and potting area. So -- each thing is a big step, and we don't want to do anything that isn't really important! Hope that explains why!
 
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I put hardware cloth in 4 small raised beds last year. Laying the cloth (only needed one 50ft roll) and tossing the dirt back in was much easier than digging them out in the first place.

However since it is the size and expense of the project that concerns you, only you can decide what to do?
 
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I am just a reader of this thread because we don't have those garden pests around here. From the posts that I am reading, it looked like you have a war on your hands. It's not easy to fight off big pests like moles and other burrowing animals. There was a time that goats attacked our extended garden and my husband was sore at those animals. But they have an owner so that was not repeated. With the wild animals there, I would just say good luck.
 

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