A “Hot” Tip About Electric Fences

As I mentioned in my annual garden update, we installed an electric fence this past spring to defend our tender, tasty veggies from the ravages of local wildlife. One of my top requirements was that it use a solar charger so we didn’t have to monitor and constantly recharge a conventional battery.

OK, the other major requirement was that the fence keep out deer, squirrel and rabbits… and I know for a fact that two of those three still frequently help themselves to my produce! In the future I’ll probably add a metal chicken wire perimeter fence, sunk partway into the ground, to further discourage the rabbits.

Squirrels though… those squirrels go wherever they want!

Here’s some expert advice for anyone contemplating a solar-powered electric fence to protect their own garden.

1) Make sure to put your solar charger on a tall structure, out of shade, and facing whichever direction gets the most direct sunlight.

2) Resist the powerful urge to plant vining veggies around said structure. Yes I know that pole beans and luffa squash will grow amazingly over that trellis that supports your charger ….

My solar fence charger, chilling in the shade
My solar fence charger, chilling in the shade

… until the foliage completely blocks the solar panel, and you can’t bear to cut back to the leaves and tendrils and flowers because what if this branch is the one that finally bears a luffa fruit after an entire luffa-less season?

Maybe the fence wires alone will be enough to startle the deer when they blunder into them (they have terrible eyesight), making the fence just as effective despite the weakening electric charge!

As for the rabbit … I’m watching you …

My foe... the Eastern Cottontail
My foe… the Eastern Cottontail

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