In my 2011 garden, I noticed that my beet greens were wilting or just falling over. Digging around where the beet should have been I found it wasn’t there, mice had eaten it like an apple. With my spading fork I turned over some of the fallen beets and out popped a fat mouse with bright red lips. After they wiped out my beets they moved to my carrots. I turned over a fork full of carrots and out popped two fat mice with orange lips. God’s little creatures were too fast for me, or they would have been shish-kabobed on the end of my spading fork.
So this past season I built a 3 foot square, 11 inch deep raised bed with 1/2 inch hardware cloth (welded wire mesh) on the bottom. I split 3 inch PVC pipe and attached it to the top edges making a lip that the mice hopefully couldn’t get over.
I’m happy to report that the beets and carrots grown in this bed were mouse free this year. Sometimes we win.
The young man in the hardware store looked very puzzled when I asked for hardware cloth, when I told him it was a wire fence type product he led me right to it. So, why is it called hardware cloth?? Originally it was woven on a loom just like cloth, hence the name.