There is something incredibly satisfying about cultivating your own garden. Whether you’re running a small-scale farm or simply growing a few plants in your backyard, the act of growing your own fruits and vegetables can make you feel accomplished and at one with nature…
That is until pests come into your garden and steal the harvest you’ve been growing.
If you want to keep wild deer, your horses, household pets, and other animals out of your garden, you’ll need to build a fence around the plants to protect them. Luckily, building a garden fence is a fairly easy DIY project — and we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need right here.
Supplies You Need to Install a Garden Fence
Before you start building your fence (or any other DIY project, for that matter), you need to gather all your essential supplies. For this project, you’ll need the following:
Wooden fence posts for corners
Wooden fence posts are ideal for the corners of your garden fence. These will be sturdy enough to support your fencing and take on the pressure of the rest of the fence so it keeps standing tall.
What size should your corner fence posts be? That depends on your preference, but we recommend using posts that can sit 2 to 2.5 feet in the ground.
The wooden fence posts are great for the corners of your garden fence — but how should you keep the fence line taught in between? We suggest metal T-posts, which you can drive into the ground to give your fence extra support.
We recommend using T-posts that sit 2 to 2.5 feet deep and three inches taller than the top line of the fence you are installing. This will ensure that you have plenty of space to securely set the post. How many posts will you need? For a simple garden fence, we recommend enough that you can set a post every four to eight feet.
Now it’s time to discuss fencing materials. A wire fence is great for any garden because it’s cost-effective, easy to install, and an effective deterrent against pests. However, it’s important to find the right type of wire fencing for your specific project.
If you want a fence that doesn’t require much maintenance, consider a square deal knot on your wire fence. This knot style is extra strong and rigid, which prevents the fence from sagging or buckling. You can also use welded wire fencing for a versatile and cost-efficient option (though we will warn you that this option is less durable and can cause injury if the wires become cut). And if you’re worried about vermin and other pests stealing your veggies, simply fortify your wire fence with any multi-purpose, light gauge, welded wire.
Take the time to find the right wire fencing for you and you’ll be much happier with the finished product.
Every fence needs to have a gate. Luckily, you can buy ready-made gates at your local hardware store or garden supply store. You don’t need anything fancy or too heavy-duty here — just something tall enough to keep the deer out of your crops. Although the gate is one of the last things you’ll install, make sure you incorporate your gate into the early stages of the planning process.
Finally, to complete your project you’re going to need several tools, including:
- Post digger or auger
- Quick-set concrete mix
- Fence staples
- Wire clips or zip ties
There’s a good chance you’ll already have these tools lying around your shed. However, if you don’t (and you don’t think you’ll need them for future projects), consider borrowing them from a friend for this job.
Steps for Building a Simple Fence for Your Garden
Once you have all your supplies ready to go (plus a friend or two to help you out), it’s time to start building your garden fence. Be sure to lay out all of your materials and outline the area you’re building your fence. If you’re including a gate, don’t forget to incorporate the gate into your fence plan before you get started. Overall, this project is fairly simple with four steps:
Step One: Set Your Corner Posts
The first thing you will need to do is establish the boundaries of your garden. To do this, you’ll need to identify each corner and place a wooden post there.
Use your post digger or auger to create a hole two to three feet deep and then place the wooden post into that hole. Then, use the quick-set concrete to fill the hole and stabilize that post. These will be your anchors for the entire fence.
Step Two: Set Your T-posts
Next, you’ll want to place your T-posts along the fence line. Remember, it’s best to put a post every four to eight feet, depending on the size of your garden and how much support you think you’ll need. Use a hammer or t-post driver to drive these into the ground about 2 to 2.5 feet, or until they are sturdy and a uniform height all around the garden.
Step Three: Attach Your Wire Fencing
Now is the time for your fence to really come to life! Lay your fence material on the outside of the wooden posts. This will prevent your wire fencing from separating from the posts; animals who try to get into the garden will push the fence material into the post rather than away.
Make sure your fencing material is about 3" from the top of each of your posts. Then, stretch the wire fencing along your garden boundary and secure it to the wooden posts with fence staples. You will also want to use wire clips or zip ties to attach the wire mesh to each t-post, as this gives your fence extra stability.
Step Four: Attach Your Hardware Cloth and Gate
If small gaps at the bottom of the fence are a concern, consider using hardware cloth to secure the openings. Bury the mesh deep enough to assure it remains stable and then simply attach it to the fence with zip ties.
Finally, your fence just needs its finishing touch – your gate.
Start by deciding where you want your gate to be and bracing the fence on either side of the gap where it will go. You can build your own gate with a few two-by-fours and some of your mesh wire fencing, or you can purchase a garden gate from your local hardware store. Then, simply attach your gate in the correct spot using metal hinges (you can screw them into your bracing posts. The result is a simple and effective garden fence.
This project is great for any skill level and any sized garden — just make sure you have the right tools and the right wire fencing and you’ll be ready to build!
Dain Rakestraw is the Director of Marketing and Client Services at Red Brand, a line of premium agricultural fencing products known as the most recognized brand of agricultural fencing in the United States.