Thursday, September 25, 2014

Homestead gardening...Please Fence me In!

We all seem to have images in our head of the beautiful plank fences of Kentucky surrounding fields filled with Thoroughbred horses.
They are wonderful fences but do they hold anything out? Rabbits, Deer, digging dogs?  Garden fence has a different purpose than perimeter or livestock fencing. It keeps things out of your vegetables  or Orchard or herbs!

Ralph and I have looked at all sorts of Garden fence designs and have decided our garden fence will have two purposes. [1] To keep things like deer and assorted critter's out of the garden and [2] Give us one more source of trellis for some of the climbing things we seem to grow.

Types of fence that we looked into.

Chain Link
6' foot high Chain Link Fence [Google Image]
Chain Link fence is beautiful to look at, reasonably easy to put up and is dog and even cat proof for the most part. If it is high enough it keeps out anything. It comes in various heights and grades. Homewyse
has an excellent fence price calculator and we used it to find out cost on 100 linear feet of 6' high Chain Link fence installed ourselves. It came to $1,141.23.
This quote seems high at first but when you evaluate the lifetime of the fence and the security of your garden it is worth while.

Deer Fence

 8' Deer Fence  [Google Image]

Also known as Fixed Knot Woven wire this is very durable of course will keep deer out of your garden but smaller animals can crawl thought the mesh. If you use this fence you will need a secondary fence on the lower section of the fence to keep the small critters out. We considered this fence and thought we could add a 3 foot section of chicken wire along the bottom. 
96" 330 foot rolls of   Fixed Knot Woven wire cost runs from $351.00 per roll and up. Kencove Farm and Fence supplies are an excellent resource for fence information and supplies.

Stockade fencing or Privacy Fence

Stockade fencing [image from Premier Fence]

Ahh  beautiful wooden Stockade fencing. It is beautiful and secure and keeps everything out. It is also expensive and high maintenance. The Homewyse price quote on 100 linear feet of this fence put up ourselves came to $1667.00.  This fence will require either stain or paint and it will need to have the paint redone to keep the fence in good shape.

Chicken Wire or Galvanized Hex Netting

 Chicken wire or Hex netting [Google Image]

This is good solid fencing but it does require more support than some types of fencing. We currently use this wire mesh for our Trellis's. Ralph drove in 10' T-Posts  at about 10 foot intervals. We attached the wire with the bottom, edge between 12 and 14 inches above the ground. After working with this wire we felt it would not suit our needs for a border fence around the garden area but would be excellent for trellising for tall and heavily vining plants. 

We bought 50' Rolls of 72" hex wire at Southern States for $54.99. This wire will last well as the galvanized coating helps stop corrosion and when we take it down we roll it onto a pole to help stop it from getting out of shape. This also helps when we remount it on the T-post for the next trellis. We set these trellis's in position so we can use them for two crop years. Then they come down and we rework our planting schedule.

 The above photo is the garden this spring, the trellis's were put in last year. This year they had peas on them first and now are carrying a bean crop. [With a stray squash climbing them here and there]

 This is one of the two new trellis's we put next to the small garden shed out back, they carried Cucumbers, beans, and tomatoes for the most part with one Pink banana Squash setting a fruit on it.  They are sagging a bit now from the weight of the plant material on them but they are sturdy and allow us easy harvesting of our produce. The hex wire is doing its job.

I do hope this helps you with some ideas about fencing for your garden area. What ever you do research and experiment. Find a fence you enjoy looking at and that does its job for you. There is nothing worse than coming home to find your garden has been decimated by something that came in through a fence that was not secure. There are a lot of good fence resources out there and most farm and hardware store will give you information about cost and durability as well as ease of installation. Happy fencing!



  1. Thank you to Fern from "Thought from Frank and Fern", she gave me great advice on how to set up links on these posts!

  2. You're welcome, Fiona. The links are working great and look good, too!


  3. Fiona, it has been our experience that chain link is permeable by rabbits. I would've never believed a good-sized rabbit could squeeze through that size hole but they can and do. We had to put a secondary barrier of chicken wire, and even then, the baby rabbits can get in. We have trouble with rats when neighboring cattle ranchers burn off their pastures. They come through, chicken wire and all. Also gates need special attention since there are gaps where the gate meets the post, many things can squeeze through there. Hope this helps. Hugs