After gardening on a zero lot line property for over 30 years, I was very excited at the unlimited possibilities of gardening on 20 acres.
Gopher’s, Deer, Sand
The reality hit me really quick: first it was the sand. We are talking pure sand. Beach kind of sand. Great for drainage. Nutrients in the soil, not so much! Then we can talk about the gophers. Sometimes you can look out at the field and it looks like an old world war two practice bombing field. Craters everywhere. Then deer. We love deer. They are so sweet to look at. People come out to visit and we tell them we have deer and and they ask if they can come shoot them. We say sure, as long as it is with a camera. But seriously, they can really hurt a garden. So bad soil, gopher’s to eat the roots and deer to eat the tops. Great garden potential.
Solution One: Gophers
So the first line of defense is raised bed garden, with a 1/2 inch hard cloth underneath..
Solution Two: Sand
I am doing the hugelkultur method that I have used before. I have topped it with compost and potting soil that I picked up on clearance at the end of the season last year.
We treated the wood with the Shou Sugi Ban Method to hopefully make the plywood last a long time.
Solution Three: Deer
To keep the deer and birds at bay I will building a structure like the chicken run with deer netting. It will be enclosed on all sides as well as the top. It will be next to the run and they will share a wall and I will have a door from the garden to the run. When the garden is done at the end of the year, I can let the chickens in to clean up the old plants. Treat for them!
We have started with two raised beds, but I will be enclosing enough area for a total of 5 large beds.