By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter
Chicken wire is one of those useful items that you can never have too much.
It can be used for numerous purposes in the garden.
Below are the top 3 uses I have found for this fence staple.
1. Chicken wire makes a great container for compost. Its open nature allows for air exchange that is so important for decomposition. It is also very portable and can easily be setup in the bed where you want to use the compost. Creating a composting bin is easy to do.
The first step in this process requires one to simply make a ring the diameter that you want your composting bin to be. Secure the ends of the wire with garden ties or with the wires themselves. Then, begin to fill with garden and kitchen scraps.
2. Chicken wire tube. This structure is great for protecting those delicate plants such as saplings planted in the urban garden. The process is the same as above but the circle is considerably smaller.
3. A simple trellis is another use for the good old fashioned chicken wire. While it cannot stand on its own, it does wonderful when it is attached to another surface such as a privacy fence or brick wall. Just remember when using this approach, do not train anything that is extremely heavy, such as grapes or tomatoes. Instead, consider growing vines such as cucumber up this type of trellis.
4. Another use for chicken wire is as a cat repellent. This is very important when you have cats doing their business in your vegetable garden space. To utilize this approach is easy but does take planning. First, unroll the chicken wire and place it on the ground where you plan to garden. Do this before you plan to plant the garden space. Once you are ready to plant, simply plant in between the space of the fencing. What keeps the cats away you may wonder is texture of the fence material. Once they encounter the fencing, they will stop “doing their business” in your garden space.
Not too long ago, chicken wire was only for chicken houses but today this simple rural staple is being used in the garden space. The limit to chicken wire’s uses is only limited by the gardener.
So until we blog again, chicken wire to a gardener is like shoes to a women. You can never have too much.