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Protecting The Garden: Building A Critter Proof Fence


One of our big projects this year became putting a fence around the garden. I was having a serious problem with rabbits and possibly deer. Never mind the dog that also liked running at full force through the garden. 

Since I live in a wide-open rural area surrounded by farmland, the critters don't have a problem finding my garden nor eating what I planted. I lost 22 tomato and 12 pepper plants to them earlier this Spring. It was time to end the free buffet. 

What we bought and used:
200' - 4' tall wooden snow fence
200' rabbit wire fence
3/8" narrow crown staples (we used an air stapler)
post hole driver
several 6' fence posts
5  - 8' landscape timbers
3/4" fence staples
2" x 4" green treated lumber
1" x 6" green treated lumber
12 gauge fencing wire
2" and 3" coated deck screws
2 barrel bolts
2 - 4" hinges
chicken wire fence
4 solar lights

Just some information before we launch into how we built the fence. My garden is 25' x 60'. We didn't need all 200 feet of fence, but they were sold in 50' rolls. I choose snow fence for costs and functionality. Rob would have preferred a white picket fence, but that was a little more than my frugal heart could handle. 

First Rob set the fence posts in the ground. We did use contractor's string to make sure that lines were straight for setting the posts in the ground. We also set the landscape timbers in the corners and packed the ground them. We used a post hole auger for the corner posts and post hole driver for the fence posts.



While he was doing that, I was rolling out the snow fence on the ground. I laid the rabbit wire fence over top of the snow fence and stapled the fences together. The spaces between the boards in the snow fence were too wide so we needed additional protection from the critters. 



After that we put the fence up to the fence posts using the 12 gauge fencing wire in two spots on the posts to hold the fence to the posts. We used four fencing staples on each of the landscape timbers to hold the fence to the timbers. We suggest not picking a windy day to do this - it just makes the job harder. 



We live in a very windy area due to the flatness of the land. We regularly get 20-40 mile per hour winds. We need to add support to the fence and the corner posts to help keep the fence upright. We used 2" x 4" in 8', 10', and 12' lengths. We screwed them to the posts and each other. 



Rob built the gate to the garden using the 1" x 6" boards and chicken wire fence. We decided to use two barrel bolts to keep the gate closed. If you look very closely at the bottom of the gate, Rob buried a 1" x 6" in the ground to close the gap between the gate and the ground. We don't need to offer a way in for the rabbits. We also have a 2" x 4" across the bottom inside the gate for the gate to rest against and more support for the gate posts. 

We also put a solar light in each of the corners for light and looks. It does look very nice!



This fence looks simple, but it took us a lot of trial and error to put up. We reset the posts once. We added posts after the fence went up. The ground did not firm up like the concrete it usually is so we needed to support the corner posts better. 

We also made a few of the posts wide enough to be able to get a tiller into the garden. We can pull out the board where we overlapped the fences and roll back the fence. 

Are we done? For now. We are still thinking about putting a board around the bottom of the fence for even more support. Even though I don't mind the color of the fence, I might still paint the fence white. 

Did you need a fence around your garden? What did you do?

Thanks for reading,
Erica


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