If you are new to growing your own fresh vegetables, you may be unpleasantly surprised when they keep being gobbled up by unknown creatures before you even have a chance to enjoy them yourself. Experienced gardeners will advise you to build a garden fence to protect your bounty from squirrels, rabbits, voles, chipmunks, woodchucks, and deer.
If you don’t protect your garden, deer will quickly become the bane of your existence. Although the deer population in Georgia has declined in the past few decades, the DNR (Department of Natural Resources) estimates that there are currently about 1 million in our state.
Luckily, it is not too difficult to build a garden fence that will keep hungry critters out, even the smaller ones who like to burrow under barriers. You may not own all of the labor-saving tools that you need, but we can help you out at Northside Tool Rental.
- 4X4s: The number of 4X4s will depend on how big your garden is. You will definitely need 4 of these to serve as the anchoring posts and 2 more to form the gate posts. If you have a particularly long garden, you may need more. Plan on installing a post every 4-8 feet so that the wire fencing doesn’t sag. Pressure-treated pine will repel rot and pests, but in light of the fact that chemicals are involved in the treating process, you may prefer to spend more money to buy cedar lumber.
- Hand-Held Post Holer OR Auger
- 2 CF Electric Concrete Mixer
- Measuring Wheel
- Small wooden stakes, scrap lumber, and nails to make temporary supports
- Cement mix and water
- Fencing staples OR Brad nailer and 2-inch brad nails OR Heavy-duty stapler
- Heavy-duty welded metal fencing
- Aviation snips
- Metal T- posts and zip ties
- Wood sealant and paintbrush
- Using wooden stakes and the Measuring Wheel, mark the 4 corner posts for your garden fence.
- Use the Hand Held Post Holer to dig a 2-3 foot deep hole for each of the 4 posts. (A 2 Man Gas-Driven Auger would make this job go more quickly.)
- Place the first post in a hole and make sure that it is level. Attach scrap lumber or stakes to hold it in place while you fill the rest of the hole with cement mixture.
- You can rent a Concrete Mixer, or you can mix the concrete by hand in a bucket. However, the easiest way to handle this (by far!) is to use a quick-setting concrete called Quikrete. This doesn’t need any mixing. You simply pour it (dry) into the hole and add water. It will set in about 40 minutes, but you should wait several hours before continuing to build the rest of the fence.
- Repeat this step for all four anchoring fence posts plus for the two that will stand on either side of your gate. Make sure that these posts are more than wide enough apart to allow a wheelbarrow to pass through the gap.
- If your garden is large, you can save money on lumber by placing metal T-posts every 8 feet or so. They should extend at least a foot into the ground.
- Now dig an 18” deep trench around the perimeter of the garden between each post. The mesh fencing material will extend down there to keep out burrowing animals.
- As long as you have given the cement long enough to set, you can now remove the scrap wood that you used to support it.
- Unroll the wire fencing and begin attaching it to the outer sides of the posts with fencing staples, a heavy-duty staple gun, or a brad nailer and nails. If you installed metal T-posts, you can attach the mesh wiring to them with zip ties. Use the aviation snips to cut the wire fencing to make it line up evenly with the posts at the top.
- Now it’s time to install your gate. You may already have an old one, or you may buy one ready-made. If you want to build one yourself, there are several helpful YouTube tutorials available. (Video One and Video Two)
Note: Try splashing a few drops of water on your cedar posts. If the water soaks in, you will need to seal the wood. This doesn’t take long, and you can easily do it with a brush. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. If the water is repelled, the wood doesn’t need to be sealed – yet. Check it every year; cedar needs to be maintained.
Try not to stress too much over the aesthetics of your fence. It is definitely a structure where function is more important than form. As long as it is sturdy enough to keep animal marauders from entering and helping themselves to your beans, lettuce, and cabbages, you have done an excellent job.
If you don’t have the right tools you need to build your garden fence, Northside Tool Rental has everything you need for the job. Contact one of our experts today to discuss what tools you need and how we can fully equip you to get the job done. We have convenient locations in Marietta, Gwinnett, Doraville, and Buckhead. Call us at 404-233-6722 to get your project started.