How to build a caged greenhouse?


I will share a story about evil monster animals - hmmmm, let's start with GROUNDHOGS... and I am about to sound like a horrible terrible person in a second. But some background.... I have tried to grow a garden in my yard ever since I moved here.... every single thing I have tried has failed to keep those ground hogs out of the garden. They don't just nibble like the rabbits, they eat everything to the ground... and they are not picky. I live in a ... sorta suburb.... but small city, there are giant groundhog holes at least one ever other house ( or lot because many houses are gone now). I got dogs, and though my baby girl dogs are AMAZING hunters, the animals have still found ways in and it doesn't seem to matter how many ground hogs my dogs catch, there are still more.

During the most recent hunt, the groundhog got my 60 pound dogs (3 dogs) to trample the pumpkins, brussel sprouts, and kale.... with everyone heading for the tomatoes before I could even remotely put an end to the chase.

After I managed to calm down, I found some caged houses online that are for gardening. I don't want to try fencing anymore... WASTE of time. My dogs are doing a beautiful job, but there are only three of them and these groundhogs are have no less than three babies a year, they can't possibly keep up with that. AND I can't have everyone and everything running through the garden to stop the garden from being eaten.

What can we come up? Sturdy... last at least 5 years. Not too difficult to put up? Preferably CHEAP. I am endlessly broke.

I was thinking 2x2s - garden fencing with chicken wire for the first two feet.... have to do raised beds at least 2 feet high because bending over is nearly impossible. But how to get the roof right? A flat roof will hang, a pointed roof might not be physically possible for me.

Let me know what you all think.

  6 answers
  • Jamwe Jamwe on Jul 30, 2018

    We used to use Cyanogas bought in the hardware stores, then placed spoonfuls of the powder, carefully in the hole,

    then covered it blocking an escape route. ( Smoke Bomb, today?) They often have two holes or a hidden vent hole - but it mostly worked. Also try using Dog Hair, trimmings from the PET store to scatter around critical area. BB's scare them, but they a smart,

    • Jennifer Chase Jennifer Chase on Aug 02, 2018

      We can't really smoke bomb them here... it is sorta illegal. Also, just so you know, none of the store stuff or dog hair works here. Trust me, my three dogs shed plenty and even dog poop doesn't keep groundhogs out of the yard. I think it probably works better when the groundhog population is less than 1 every two houses in areas where houses are generally less than .25 acres. Thank you though, that would probably work well some less populated places. :)

  • Oliva Oliva on Jul 30, 2018

    Try spraying their areas with castor bean oil, as well as growing castor bean plants. Their holes make walking dangerous, because you cannot always see them. Groundhogs love to hide below sheds, in tall grass, wooded areas, etc. The groundhogs in PA have dug beneath wire fences! We were advised to place 5' to 5.5' of hardware cloth (heavy duty wire mesh) as follows:

    2' is laid flat on the ground; the next 3'-3.5' of hardware cloth are placed with 2' in a vertical position, and attached to heavy duty steel posts which have been pounded into the ground by at least 1 '. Lastly, bend the remaining 12-18" (of the 3'-3.5') toward the outside area, so that the groundhog's weight on this piece causes him to fall backward. Place your dirt atop the base layer of hardware cloth, the the plants. It still requires another tall piece of fencing to complete the garden...A lot of work for most people.

    I wish it were possible to just shoot them, because traps are another hassle, and dead animals decomposing in burrows smells awful!

    Wonder what's attracting them to your neighbors' yards?

    • Jennifer Chase Jennifer Chase on Aug 02, 2018

      Thank you, Olivia, I am thinking about trying that design too. I heard that you gardeners in PA were very adept in keeping out groundhogs ;). I am literally a 20 minute drive to PA, over here in Ohio. The hanging is going to be hard, but the harder part will be figuring out which one I can convince my husband (and in-laws) looks nice. Apparently, if you go a mile west of me the groundhogs don't randomly eat gardens (whatever... I don't believe that).

      The groundhogs love us here, because we are all dumb and gardening. Older people, retired and what have you, just spend a lot of time in their garden. Us "younger" people are trying to find ways to have a garden and still keep our jobs. LOL

      I would totally like to shoot the groundhogs, and I am cooking the cotton-tailed rabbit if it doesn't stop purposefully hiding in my yard to play hide and seek with the dogs. It was cute the first, maybe three times, after that it became a hassle to have a rabbit fly across my feet and then be knocked to the ground by the three dogs chasing her. *sigh

      In all of my life I never would have believed that wild animals would be my complete undoing. LOL

  • Nancy Turner Nancy Turner on Jul 30, 2018
    I had a ground hog family trying to eat my vegetable garden, and I only lived one mile from the center of town! There was a three story apartment building next to our house and one of the tenants saw one of them climbing my three foot chicken wire fence around the garden. He and his brother started putting out their vegetable trimmings and left overs out away from my garden to keep them out. I never had a problem with them again. My problem where we live are mostly squirrel and chipmunk related. I feed them goodies in the front yard and they also have the dropped seeds from the feeders and I don't have so much trouble with them eating their way through my garden. Try putting out the scraps for them well away from the garden, more where there are natural greens that they would normally eat. I ended up putting up an eight foot fence around my veggies because I have two dogs that could jump my four footer to get to the squirrels running the fence. When I had the groundhogs, they would just climb the chicken wire and bend it down to get in. I never did replace it, just put in a few more stakes and straightened it up, but the goodies that my neighbors put out did the trick and after just a day or two, the never came back to my garden, but I saw them in the empty lot on the other side just chewing away at all the weeds growing there many times.
  • Jennifer Chase Jennifer Chase on Aug 02, 2018

    Luckily, I am hole adept, my dogs dig them everywhere... it is always quite the surprise. LOL

    Glad that worked for you! There is a lot of food competition here for the animals. We are a suburb, with raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, possum, free-roam cats and dogs, etc. Strangely, the population for all of them is extremely high, except raccoons, possum, and chipmunks - those ones are just random.

    In the past, in one of my many failed attempts before dogs, I had tried having things for them to eat too. They still ended up in my garden. :( Likely the rabbits were eating the treats left, and it just encouraged them not to abandon their closer homes.

  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 02, 2018

    Hi, Jennifer,

    You aren't far away, at all!

    Try growing chives for the rabbits, or spraying Liquid Fence concentrate to keep deer and rabbits away ( I think the ground hogs also hate the smell/taste -garlic and putrescent eggs!), but don't spray it on your edibles. It works great for larger properties (1/2 acre and up), too.

    Mix it following container directions . You do have to shake the concentrate very well, both before and after mixing it (you can make 32 oz. for a spray bottle), and apply weekly for 1 month, then 1x/ month, thereafter. Wear long sleeves, long pants, and gloves, because you don't want it on you, unless you want time alone 😉.

    It smells for a few hours, but dissapates, overnight. Apply it in the evening, and make sure your windows are closed. Don't apply in windy conditions, but it can be applied with 1 hour of rain (if heavy rain, reapply when dry).

    I feel your pain! Nothing like spending days of work, to be outwitted by groundhogs, deer, and rabbits! Good luck, and let us know what you've decided, and if it works.

    • Jennifer Chase Jennifer Chase on Aug 03, 2018

      Thank you, Olivia! I am going to try that instead of a caged house. :)

      Not sure I can use it inside the yard, because of the dogs, but I think I will try it first outside the yard.

  • BOB.D. BOB.D. on Aug 03, 2018

    We had one under our shed .Wife put mothballs in hole groundhog left .

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