Being a bit stuck with the blessed knee, which is improving at the speed of disabled snail, I’ve not a lot to report from the plot. The first year has been a bit of a disaster from the grow your own point of view but at least the house is sorted out.
Even so, we’ve had a few potatoes and we’ve enough carrots to keep us going and feed a horse from as well. Thanks to the chocolate spot, ended up with one small meal from the broad bean bed. Oh well, next year!
Because I just can’t do it myself, I’ve found a local chap who’s coming next week to lay a base for the new greenhouse. It’s frustrating but I don’t really have an option. Humping slabs would end up in me needing an operation.
Anyway, I’ve been asked a questions by email that I thought might interest people.
Can you or any of our fellow members give advice on what to do about getting damn foxes off our allotment plots and stop them tearing our protective tunnels?
Kind regards Carole & Terry“
Foxes are a problem we associate more with poultry keeping but they can be a nuisance on allotments and in gardens even though there are no poultry about.
The first thing to remember about foxes is that they are scavengers as well as hunters. If you use bonemeal or blood, fish and bone fertiliser they will be digging away to find the body they think is buried near.
Foxes will also go after mice and sometimes rats. This is actually a benefit to us gardeners but the price is the fox trying to find his prey inside cloches etc.
Keeping Foxes off the Allotment
So, if the damage outweighs the benefits, what to do? I’m afraid it’s not easy. Many of the time-honored methods for keeping foxes away simply don’t work with urban foxes.
Bunches of hair begged from the hairdresser tied to the fence or male urine around the edges of a plot used to scare the fox away. Now the urban fox is used to people and he doesn’t scare easily. There are some chemical deterrents available that claim to keep the fox away. I don’t know about their efficacy though.
The only sure way to keep foxes out is fencing. Effective fox proof fencing is expensive. Ideally it would be six feet high and have an outward sloping part at the top and use heavy duty mesh rather than chicken wire. Justifiable for protecting a flock of poultry but much more expensive than repairing a few cloches or a polytunnel.
The main problem on an allotment site with electric fencing is health and safety. What if a child walks into the fence? What if someone’s pet dog gets a shock?
So in conlusion, I don’t know of an effective, realistically costed answer to the problem.
Perhaps someone else has solved it and will let us know.