Padlocked backyard?

halaeva(z6 Toronto)July 30, 2007

My neighbors around keep their backyards open.Gates are not locked during days and nights.I started to think about installing padlocks and keep my backyard gates closed after i found few days ago missing 5 plants,two of them potted.

I would feel so uneasy doing this.I wonder how can i protect my plants and my backyard in different way.Any sugestions?

Thanks I would appreciate any responce.

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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

My backyard is kept locked at all times (now). I live in downtown Montreal though and most of the places around me do the same.

What height are the fences in your area? Do they open onto an alley of other common space?

In my neighbourhood break-ins are a problem, so I added 6.5' high wooden privacy trellis to the inside of my fence (the fence is 5' high chain link. It looks much nicer and it provides a place for some climbing plants to reach for the sky.

You could install even the thinnest trellis for plants to climb on and it will provide quite a psychological barrier to people. Anyone entering will obviously be breaking the trellis or climbing over the fence and so they'll choose an easier target - one less likely to draw the attention of people when they enter. Since I put mine up ten years ago, we haven't had a problem with people entering our yard once. My next door neighbour has the same chain link fences as me but without the trellis and he's had several break ins and has frequent problems with kids and strangers entering his back area. None of the neighbours have complained about my trellis - quite the opposite actually. I frequently get comments on how nice it looks with all the plants - it seems to 'fit' and nobody thinks I'm trying to wall them out. It does help that I'm friendly with the neighbours and chat or share seeds and tomatoes :-)

If I were you I would lock your gate or otherwise make it difficult to enter and just explain to the neighbours that you've been having problems with theft - they'll understand (unless they're the thief, then you don't care what they think!).

BP

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 11:51PM
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sharon_sd(SW ON)

There are also alarms that you can get that will scream when a gate is opened. People get them to warn when small children go through gates unobserved. They can be set in an inobvious place, with the switch accessible to you.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 9:38AM
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ianna(Z5b)

In my neighborhood, we aren't allowed to lock the gates (for emergency purposes) but if I had that problem, I'd probably reconsider. I've seen my neighboring kids enter a backyard without the home owner's permission.

Ianna

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:13AM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Hi Bonniepunch.
I have chain link fence 4' high. It is easy to climb over. so keeping locked will not help to much. Thanks for suggestions.
I will have a serious talk with my husband and we will do a better protection.I appreciate your reply very much.
Hala.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 10:28PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Thank you Sharon.
The alarm is a good idea.I appreciate your response greatly.
hala.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2007 at 11:05PM
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ianna(Z5b)

Hala,

Use a motion activated light and a motion activated sprinkler. These aren't too expensive. The light will activate at night if anyone walks into the area. the sprinkler will also activate when it senses movement.

Also since you have a chain link fence, I would suggest getting better privacy fencing. You can probably do this in economical ways - like attaching screening materials to the fence, such as a bamboo screening. Explore your garden centres/hardware stores for anything on sale now. I would also suggest planting things that are thorny alongside of the fence. May I suggest a Rosa New Dawn - a beautiful climbing rose - if the area is suitable for this plant. Most certainly, if you have woody vines alongside the fences, it would help to deter anyone from climbing over. You will still need additional deterrants by planting low prickly groundcovers like barberries.

As for the access to your backyard, can you describe your gate? Colour, height, make?

Ianna

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:18AM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Hi Ianna.
Thanks for your reply.
A motion activated light i already have.I never heard about motion activated sprinkler.Will do some search,this seems to be good.
The gate is a simple chain link 4'high which i got with a 4' high chain link fence,It is easy access to my backyard.Since i have learned from you that you are not allowed to lock a gate i have to check if i am allowed to lock my gate,then accordingly plan any backyard protection.
Thank you for your suggestions and friendly response.
Hala.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 10:36AM
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ianna(Z5b)

Well a 4 ft gate is simply too short and I suspect it doesn't provide much privacy and even may encourage passers-by to walk in. For safety's sake, you will need to get a taller gate, one preferably that provides no view to your backyard.

Ianna

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 12:54PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Ianna,
You are absolutely right,I must do something.Thank you very much for a good advice.
Hala.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:08PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Hala - Here's a pic of what I've done. That trellis at the end is just wired to the chain link fence. It could be done much more attractively (lightweight framing like I have on the trellis on the left would look much better), but cost was an issue so I had to cut corners :-) Each 4'x8' piece of trellis cost me ~ $20. I cut them to 6.5 feet high - that gave me plenty of privacy without looking too tall. Even 6' tall trellis would give you privacy and provide enough of an obstacle that most people would go elsewhere.

BP

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 1:26PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Bonniepunch, It is fantastic.I must talk to my husband and persuade him that we need that.My husband have only a little needs related to aesthetics and i must cope with it all the time.So it will not be easy for me to make a nice change.Thank you very much for the idea and the picture showing your elegant place.
With appreciation,
Hala.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 2:08PM
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pkguy(5/6)

I don't know if you have an XS Cargo store near you or not but the one here currently has some driveway alarms for about $15. It consists of a transmitter, like on a sensor floodlight, runs on batteries, and a doorbell type box you keep in the house.. Anyone walks by it rings the bell in your house...You can use them for various applicantions.. like on your front porch so you know if someones come up the stairs and not rang the door bell etc.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2007 at 9:47PM
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Mystery_Gardener

Wow, this discussion reminds me (again) how lucky we are here on rural Vancouver Island. I worked in cities too long and so lock my house doors automatically. However, I often leave the garage open and only shut the main gate at night to keep deer out. No locks on anything but the house. My Dad never locks his door and he has never had a problem. My sister generally leaves her place unlocked unless they are going on vacation. Probably can't last forever but this type of problem is rare here.

I wish it were that way for everyone.

Cheers,
MG

Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 5:16AM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Hi pkguy,
I have XS Cargo store not far away,so i will go there and look at that thing.I found the sore online but couldn't fing the product.
Thanks for suggestion.It seems very good.I appreciate your response greatly.
Hala.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 10:47AM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

Yes,mystery gardener you are really lucky,i wish it were that way for me,in the City of Toronto.Thanks for your website address,i will visit it.
Hala.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2007 at 11:25AM
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