Tuesday, February 4, 2014

GARDEN FENCE ANIMAL PROOFING QUESTION

Something I thought of that I need to do, some protection from animals that might want to come through the fence pickets (ones that would fit of course).

Garden area fencing
So do you all have some good ideas for screening this?  Our thought was to put some screening of some sort, like chicken wire, along the the bottom 1/3 or so of the fence.  At first, I was thinking of just stapling them onto the outside of the fence and onto the pickets.  BUT, we're not sure we want it on the outside of the fence, just in case we want to paint or stain the pickets later.  Plus it would just 'look' better if it was on the inside of the fence instead of the outside.

Then I realized, looking back at pictures of the fencing, that the inside will be a bit more difficult to attach to.  I suppose I could just take a narrow strip and dig it into the ground a bit and then staple to the bottom rail and the onto each post and just leave it as high as the bottom rail (bottom red line)?  Or should I just go higher and staple it to each post and go up 2 feet or so (top red line)? 

Any other suggestions on what to use?  Something other than chicken wire?  This might be part of the weekend work, depending on weather (as usual).


25 comments:

  1. been there done that. i used black plastic mesh and stapled it along the fence about 2 feet high. i turned it in toward the garden and weighted it down and covered it with mulch. it kept the cats out but everything else just ran up the mesh and jumped in the garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, not a bad idea either. Except for the everything else just running up it, ha.

      Delete
  2. I guess it would be what you are trying to keep out, we just had some coyotes simply push through some stapled chicken wire, to enjoy several of our meat chickens, but yotes do not usually dine in a garden. It would work for bunnies I believe, and any wandering dogs for sure. If you want something a great deal more sturdy, look at hardware cloth.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, the pickets are a few inches apart so mostly worried about rabbits and field rats and mice. I didn't know about hardware cloth, will check that out. Thanks!!

      Delete
  3. Chicken wire sounds like the least expensive, easiest thing to start with. That said and not knowing what kind of garden critters y'all have there in TX I will add; If they want your veggies they will dig under or climb over your barricade. Plant more than you think you'll need so you can share with the critters :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know, another friend told us that as well, just plant extra and share, ha. Rabbits are probably the biggest worry but we'll see. I'm sure it won't keep out everything but most would be nice, ha.

      Delete
  4. Colour me romantic but I would allow the pickets to age and in the meantime grow roses over it all. I think that the prickles would deter foxes and such, and it would look fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, definitely romantic here too, I've already thought about flowers and roses around the outside. Here in Texas we have something called "Knockout Roses" that are used all over the place for landscaping. They are very hardy and very pretty. I was thinking of some of those with other flowers mixed in. Stay tuned, ha.

      Delete
  5. I don't think chicken wire is strong enough. Will you have problems with critters digging under the fence? If so I think there's something called hardware cloth which is a finer mesh and stronger than chicken wire. My SiL had to put it around their chicken run to keep the raccoons out. You will want it on the outside and bend it like an L shape so that the bottom of the L is parallel to the ground and buried under the ground and the vertical part of the L is fastened to the fencing. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've heard of this same thing, too.

      Delete
    2. thank you both for that endorsement. I will look into this since several of you have mentioned it. Sounds like work but probably worth it in the end to protect, at least somewhat, the things inside the fence.

      Delete
  6. I like the rose idea. We had to throw picturesque out the window for practical. We buried and folded out (at the bottom) a fine wire mesh, smaller than chicken wire, for the bottom metre of the vegetable garden then fenced the entire garden in chicken wire (this included the bottom metre into the soil) with bird netting on the roof. This was to stop mice, rats, birds, rabbits, possums, roos, wombats, snakes (it didn't), the odd escaped goat, a young child who liked to weed (whether the plant was a weed or not, no matter how many times we tried to show the difference) and a dog that has vegetarian tendencies. The garden is large, 20 x 20 metres, and has been up for almost 10 years. We are only now starting to see holes where the rats have been able to dig and chew through wire that has weakened with age and some of the tall wooden posts are starting to rot at the base. If I was doing it your way I think I would do the rose thing and just net the individual beds as needed. The journey with your garden will give you endless blog fodder and as anyone with a garden will tell you, new lessons, trials and tribulations every single year. Enjoy!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just to add further, it sounds like we buried the wire a metre in the ground. Just thought I would clarify that the wire was only buried about 1-2 feet, the rest of the metre was above the ground. Does that make sense?

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the details. Sounds like you've "been there/done that" as the saying goes, ha. It all makes sense to me. You know that did flash through my head as well, just do what I can around the outside, roses, etc and perhaps cover the individual beds. I'll check that out and keep it in mind. Thank you so much!!!

      Delete
  7. We put non climbable horse fence 7 feet high around our garden and chicken yard. (2 x 4 in) and then 2 feet of chicken wire(small hole) on the bottom. Keeps the deer and coyotes out. We always put our chickens in their safe coop at night because raccoons can climb anything....ditto for skunks. But rabbits and ground squirrels still get into the garden. We have found that putting hardware cloth down and then a tire with good dirt and chicken wire around the tire and in top keeps the little critters out of my lettuce. Rabbits don't eat potatoes and my tomatoes are in the greenhouse. Everything else takes chances. I would put the chicken wire on the outside of your pickets and then paint everything when the need arises or leave it natural. Also found some all water troughs that will do just fine. It is a struggle, for sure

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 7 feet! Yikes! We do have skunks, I forgot about them. Do they nibble gardens? I'll just have to do what I can do and hope for the best. It'll definitely be a struggle, man vs nature, right? Ha. thanks for the insight!!

      Delete
  8. One other easier option would be two strands of electric fence. You can put one at 6" up, and another strand at about 14" and don't bother to turn it on until you have something ready to eat. That's the ONLY thing that will keep the raccoons out of our sweet corn. It won't do anything to deter deer, but it's pretty inconspicuous, cheap and easy to put out there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, 2nd Man mentioned electric fencing at one point as well. I will definitely keep that in mind. There is no electrical out near the garden area. Do they make solar? I might look into that later on. Thank you for that suggestion. Great idea as well!!

      Delete
  9. Chicken wire is to keep chickens in. Chicken wires will not keep most animals out if they want in to get chickens or vegetables.

    Use 1/2 inch hardware cloth, GAW not GBW. Those letters are designations for galvanized before welding and galvanized after welding. Welding makes the galvanizing weaker. So, if the welding occurs first, the cloth is stronger and will not disintegrate so soon.

    This method below works to keep raccoons and possums from digging under the fence around my hens' yard. Digging is not something I can do, especially since it is recommended to dig a trench so the fence can extend into the ground. Picture this: The fence is perpendicular to the ground. On the ground and under the fence I put hot wire/dog wire, depending whether this is rural or city. The fence is on the hog wire with equal widths inside and outside the fence.

    The ground level hog wire will have to be cut for your fence. I set a chain link dog pen on my 4' width of dog wire. Nothing can dig under. Raccoons are not smart enough to think, "Hmmm, I need to back up and quit digging at the base of the fence because I can dig into the ground two feet back there." Nope, they just go away.

    I use garden pins to shove into the ground and hold sharp edges and cut pieces to the ground so they won't be a trip hazard. Even with the loose widths of wire, the lawn mower goes right over it. At first the wire was very visible and not pretty. But, the grass grows through the 2"x4" holes and hides it.

    To keep cats from getting into the new giant litter box, sprinkle the ground with red pepper. The ground does not have to be red, solidly coated. This might work for bunnies, too. The cats quit coming to places I sprinkled with red pepper. I had holes in the lawn that I filled with sand because I was stepping in the holes.

    If you put the chicken wire on the inside of the fence, you will regret it because grass clipping that get flung into the space will just pile up, rot and stain the fence and be a pain to remove from between the wood fence and wire. Ask me how I know.

    Remember, GAW. My hogwire was picked up from the side of the road by a friend who said he thought I could use it. So, used works just fine. Under the grass no one can see it is a ragged piece of fencing.

    Hope this helps.

    I cannot buy wide rolls here at Lowe's. Online, wider rolls provide a better option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hardware cloth is what I am talking about buying online.

      Delete
    2. Wow, you made a great point about the inside of the fence and the hardware cloth. I NEVER thought about that. You are totally right. Thanks. And I've pretty much ruled out chicken wire, lots of all of y'all said don't bother with that and lots suggested the hardware cloth. And you brought up the GAW. I will look for that this week. Thanks so much for such a detailed posting!!

      Delete
  10. We have deer, raccoon, bunnies and voles.. Our fence is chicken wire on a 7 foot fence... the base is buried and laid back a foot.. (the raccoons here can get under anything.. they move large boulders if they have to)...The bunnies can get in the smallest of holes.. then we have an electric wire along the top to stop the raccoons from climbing over.. (which they will)... .. We have very determined animals on the island.... last summer the deer caught a leaf off a tomato vine which had grown near the fence and they pulled the whole thing down the road... rascals.... I have given up on the beauty of the fence for practicality...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YIKES! Makes me think we might not have much luck. Bunnies definitely, though curiously, 2nd Family has rarely seen a possum or a raccoon. Weird huh? I'll do what I can and then just see what we have to do next. Sounds like you have been through it all. :-)

      Delete
  11. You've already gotten loads of great advice, so I'll just use my comment space to mention how much I hate working with chicken wire: THIS MUCH. I've done lots of fencing for (and against) all sorts of critters, with many different materials, but I haven't used chicken wire for anything in years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for that. In my mind, I didn't know what else use/call it, I thought it was just all chicken wire, ha. I will try the alternatives everyone has suggested. I don't want anything that's hard to work with, ha. Thanks!!

      Delete

Please leave us a comment! I have some comment moderation on and of course will approve your comment relatively quickly. We love feedback and hearing what others have to share with us all. Please know that I can't always reply to it right away, but ALL comments are read. I will reply just as soon as I can so be sure to come back and see my reply.

Now, let us hear from you!