Fencing The Garden….

Posted: 10th March 2013 by Joe Prepper in On The Homestead, Permaculture, Projects

Garden Fence going in.

Garden Fence going in.

We decided to put in a 50’x50′ garden close to the house. I really like the idea of having food right out the back door and  it will get daily attention. I had a design in my mind that may or may not change, but one thing is for sure, I need it to be fenced. The other option was to fence the few acres around the house , but without an auger, or a free month to work on it….fencing just the garden will have to do.

I decided to go with 48′ field fencing and either a strand or two of barbed wire up top or maybe a hot wire at the bottom or top. I need to discourage deer  from coming to diner as well as rabbits and chickens. I had some poles so that is what we used. I sunk all the poles 3 foot deep in concrete  and capped around the base with clay from the hole to push the water away. For additional support every pole was notched with the chainsaw and has a brace wedged with a counter tension wire. I have seen this used before, but never tried it out. Since this was a garden, and not 1/4 mile field fence, I figure if it doesn’t work then I can go back and “H” brace everything. For now, my 16 y/o son was happy to hear we were only digging 6 holes today instead of 12.  I let him dig the first hole, then went out and kinda looked around like I am know to do. I said, yunno, I think we should put the garden poles a little to the west so we can fence off the aqua-ponics pond separate. I thought he was gunna stroke.  I have been know to change the game plan a time or two. Sometimes your in new territory trying to think 10 steps down the road and you have to change lanes to avoid oncoming traffic.  I know it’s cruel, but I got a chuckle out of it. What can I say, they are pretty good kids. They play and work hard, and as long as you feed them…..often….they don’t wander off much. As a reward for hard work, I let the 11 year old cruise the truck down our dirt road. First driving lessons. Life is good.

ratcheting tension

ratcheting tension

Brace Pole

Brace Pole

Anyway, we added T posts every 10 feet. They are 5′ above ground so I can add a strand of wire 1′ about the field fence and another strand of high tensile around just the main posts at 6′. I went with RedBrand™ sheep wire because it had the smaller 4″ squares and might keep cats and rabbits out without additional wire.

I used ratchet tensioners with 14 gauge wire to wrap from the brace pole around the bottom of the corner post.  I’m not sure if it will help, but I ran the wire through some vacuum tubing I had before tightening to try and prevent the wire from splitting the brace. I tried it both ways to see if it makes a difference.

We painted the poles with black fence stain mainly for looks.  I am going to make the gate similar to ones we made for the chicken yard. We kept it at a modest 5′ wide as we don’t plan to till or use a tractor in there. That is plenty big enough for a wheelbarrow.  Hopefully I will get the fence stretched out this week and can start planting soon. As I stood back and saw the posts in the ground the picture in my head was becoming clearer.  I humbly proclaim, we really got something here…and it’s only getting better!

Chicken Yard View from the Garden.

Chicken Yard View from the Garden.

Right gear for chainsawing the notches

Right gear for chainsawing the notches