Q: I have a problem with a groundhog that is eating the leaves off my hot pepper plants in Gordon County The only solution I can come up with is to put chicken coop wire around the plants.
A: If there is a small area of property that you want to protect from groundhogs (woodchucks), such as a garden or a group of fruit trees or ornamental shrubs, fencing can help reduce the damage.
Woodchucks are skilled at climbing and digging. Therefore, to keep a woodchuck out, fences must be at least three feet high. The top of the fence should make a 45° angle to prevent the woodchuck from climbing over the fence. Since they burrow, a wire deterrent (heavy poultry wire, welded wire) below the fence line must be used to keep them from digging under the fence. Bury the wire 12 to 14 inches underground, bending the lower edge (bottom two to four inches) of the wire at a 90° angle pointing out from the fence line.
A single electric fence wire located four to five inches above the ground outside the fence will discourage climbing and burrowing but you’ll have to be vigilant about keeping grass and weeds from touching it. Use hardware wire to exclude woodchucks from digging under porches and decks.