Friday, September 18, 2009

Fencing on the Cheap

new garden
I forgot to mention that I did most of it in the rain...

After tilling and weeding, fencing the garden has become our most pressing project. A decent fence is an absolute necessity for us with four dogs racing through the yard all day long. My two main concerns are cost and utility. That is, I want to keep the dogs out at the lowest cost possible. Our first thought was rabbit fencing, since chicken wire is too lightweight and cyclone is too expensive. We made the trip to Tractor Supply, where were disappointed to find them out of stock on everything we wanted. After an hour of walking around in the store I eventually decided on running 4 strands of electric fencing wire around t-posts. While this system won't keep little bunnies out, it does deter the dogs from running through the middle of the rows. At a total cost of only about $50, it was probably 1/4 the price of a traditional garden fence.

The system worked beautifully for the most part. My wrapping technique improved drastically as I went on, so the top lines are (unfortunately) stronger and tighter than the bottom. Because of this, Digby (the little one) can slip between the bottom two wires in a few places, but he's not the one we were worried about doing any damage. Next time, I'll sink wooden posts at the corners, concrete them in place and use one piece of wire per side instead of running it all the way around.

There's the possibility, of course, that it won't hold up over the winter. If we go with something stronger next season, we can use the same posts and will only have to pony up for rolls of fencing. The long term goal is a permanent wooden fence made from scrap of some kind, possibly split rails carriage bolted to 6 foot wooden posts.


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