To observe, enjoy and create in everyday life

Vegetable Jail

There are slugs, aphids, squirrels, birds, cabbage moths and a dozen other pests that we try to keep out of our gardens. And then there are the pests that aren't really pests. They are your pets...and yet they can become pests. 
This spring as I have been trying to outsmart the slugs and aphids at their game, I have also been waging a battle with my own pets as pests. They can look so cute and unassuming while they sleep in the sun or pose for a picture. But then when you catch them a couple hours staring at you from the middle of your vegetable bed, they are not such cute little furballs. 

Because of our pets' naughty behavior, this has become my gardening reality. Fencing whipped up out of odds and ends found around our yard. It's not pretty. I want to look out at my veggie beds and see all of the seedlings cropping up. I do not want to see a mini vegetable jail. Because I refused to spend money on fencing to keep the cats out, I ended up utilizing the three different types of fencing that I had stashed in my shed. This will never be a cover photo of Sunset magazine, but it has worked.

Mostly. Now the pup has discovered that she can gently pull the snap peas from the trellis and nip them off one by one. Does your dog like to eat snap peas as well? I think I have lost my entire crop to her. Pests are part of any garden. We just don't like to look out and see our pets playing the role of pest. But it is the reality at times. Isn't it?
How do you deal with your lovable pets wrecking havoc on your vegetable garden? Have you found a foolproof way to grow your veggies and keep all of the furry critters out?

Happy Gardening (with your pets),


  1. Oh I have the same problem. Dog and chicken in our case. I end up putting up temporary fencing around the patches or sticks until the plants are established. Bit of a pain to tend the beds, so I take them down when I can. Used to have a hound that ate my cabbages. We did feed her. Honest.

    1. Yes once all of the plants fill in, I am able to take the fencing down. Hopefully that will happen in the next couple of weeks!
      Dogs' stomachs are bottomless bits...just like teenagers. I don't think it would matter if you fed them breakfast, lunch, dinner and a dozen snacks. They would still look for something in the garden!

  2. I think your garden (and fencing) look great! Our animals can't get to the garden we have now, but years ago (and different dogs) we planted our peas on the fence around the house (we had a fenced in backyard for the pups, but had about 2 acres that wasn't fenced. We planted the peas on the outside of the fenced yard). We would find our dogs laying outside just helping themselves to the peas! They wouldn't even stand up to get to them. Just laid there eating. Lazy bones!

    1. Dogs....good thing they are cute! Our last dog, Daisy, would lay in the middle of my corn patch for an afternoon nap. What a stinker!

  3. I have to agree with Kristin, Bekah - I thought your set-up looked great! Lovely raised beds, the wood chips in the walk-ways (we are doing that this year - I love it), and the fencing seems fine. you can't tell that you used leftover pieces. It all looks purposeful!

    I hear you with the bugs (you know about my epic battle with squash bugs), but outside of deer and whatever varmints who target our ripe tomatoes, our biggest worry in spring last year was the dreaded Robins who ate our seedlings. This year we've covered the tomatoes with a little hoop tunnel. We'll see if that helps.

    Do you let your chickens "turn the beds" after harvest in the fall?

    Happy gardening! :-)

    1. Oh, the birds! They have eaten my bush bean seedlings this year. I am on my second and third plantings. I need to set out some floating row cover to protect them all.
      We don't let the chickens turn the beds. Our last flock we had, we would let them into the garden area at the end of the season, but this flock stays put. Honestly, it was having to hose the chicken poo off of our back deck constantly that keeps me from letting these ladies out into our yard. They get every bit of goodies I can toss them though! Yesterday is was the tops of turnips I was harvesting and some slugs and worms collected while I worked outside. They thought it was Christmas :)
      Good luck with the squash bugs this year. I hope you beat them!