Many of us enjoy growing our own fruit and veggies in the Macedon Ranges. There are a number of things to consider with regard to wildlife in planning your veggie patch:
1) Generally, wildlife travels through properties using the EXACT same path every time.This is particularly true of kangaroos and wallabies, echidnas and wombats. An obstacle across this path can cause problems for both the wildlife and the obstacle. Before deciding the exact site for your veggie patch, observe local wildlife movement to determine where these paths are on your property. Once you have identifed the paths, ensure your veggie patch or fruit trees do not cut through them. This will allow wildlife to continue to move around your property easily, and protect your veggies from animals instinctively trying to follow the paths that they have been taking for generations.
2) If fencing your veggie patch, follow these tips to protect local wildlife:
- Fencing must be as high as possible (AT LEAST six foot). This minimum height can be achieved by overlapping two rolls of fencing wire and fastening the two using fencing clips.
- Fencing should be as visible as possible. This can be achieved by fastening shade cloth or hessian to the fencing using clips/fencing staples and by any combination of the suggestions for increased fencing visibility on the Wildlife Friendly Fencing page of this website.
- Do not use open profile wires like deer wire and ringlock. These are the types of wire that increase the risk of a roo becoming entrapped as described in the Wildlife Friendly Fencing page of this website. Instead use chicken wire or cyclone fencing as the hole profile is too small for the leg of a roo to go through.
- Ensure that fence line does not obstruct the wildlife paths (refer Point 1 above), as if it does, it will be more likely that wombats and echidas dig under the fence, and roos and wallabies attempt to jump the fence, risking entanglement.
<Photos coming soon>
3) NEVER using anti-bird netting. This netting entangles thousands of animals every year and has the potential to cause horrific injuries and in most cases death even if the animal is rescued. If you need to cover trees or veggies, click here to be taken to a website which provides information on how to protect crops in the the most wildlife friendly manner.
4) Ensure there are no loose strings (eg on a hay bale or on shadecloth) in your garden, as even these seemingly harmless material can entangle birds and flying foxes causing injury and death.