DIY







Choose the Best Garden Fence

The best garden fence is whichever fence will reliably keeps the critters from your crops. When you have it in place you can love the wild things and still sleep peacefully at night.

| April/May 2010

  • best garden fence
    Picket fencing adds a note of country charm, but your best garden fence option may require livestock panels at least, if not chicken wire.
    ILLUSTRATION: ELAYNE SEARS

  • best garden fence

Most gardeners eventually have heated encounters with unwanted wild animals. The best and kindest solution is to keep them out with the right kind of barrier. A good farm dog can be a huge help, and repellents and scare devices work sometimes for some animals, but you can’t beat well-chosen garden fences for reliable long-term, around-the-clock protection.

Assessing Your Needs

When the primary purpose of a fence is to deter animal pests, you can't choose the best garden fence until you know what they are. The eight most prevalent wild animal pests of gardens are (in alphabetical order): deer, groundhogs (woodchucks), pocket gophers, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and voles. Note that opossums and moles are missing from this list. Neither species directly damages garden crops, and both eat enough insects to be considered beneficial.

To help you identify which animal (or animals) is making mischief in your garden, match the evidence you see to the damage descriptions in Who’s Raiding Your Garden? Most animals leave signs of one kind or another — footprints, tooth marks, scat, or the way they dig as they forage for food. Check with your local extension service to find out which types of animals are known for damaging vegetable gardens in your area.

You can often witness damage being done by birds, squirrels, or groundhogs during daylight hours, but the night shift can be harder to track. If you can’t figure out which critters are doing the damage, station a $10 wireless motion-sensor light in your garden, and then turn off most of the lights in your house. The light might scare the animals the first few times it comes on, but after that they will accept it if doing so means getting a good meal. Have binoculars handy to get a good look at your new enemy.



Permanent Perimeter vs. Temporary Pop-Ons

Do you need to fence your whole garden, or are there only certain plantings in need of protection? If your only problem is protecting strawberries from birds and squirrels, making a  secure cover for one bed using chicken wire, row cover or both is much less work than putting up a fence. Raccoons after your sweet corn are another problem that can be handled on a small scale with a carefully positioned two-strand electric fence, with one strand 6 inches above the ground and the other 12 inches high. See Electric Fencing for a full report on your electric fencing options.

You probably need a perimeter fence if you need to exclude chickens and other domestic animals, if deer are a serious problem, or if you are battling territorial critters such as pocket gophers and groundhogs. Plastic mesh fencing can be an inexpensive option to deter deer, but be aware that rabbits will quickly gnaw through the plastic, creating openings for smaller critters. You may be able to cut some of the posts you will need from your own land if you have rot-resistant woods such as cedar, locust, mulberry, or Osage orange. In locations where appearance is important, you can build an attractive wood fence and line its base and the ground surrounding it with poultry netting (chicken wire) or hardware cloth to keep animals from digging their way in. This add-on feature is necessary if any fence is to exclude rabbits, pocket gophers, and other small animals with sharp teeth.

swetha
8/28/2015 2:05:17 AM

Nice article. this is very useful to choose the best fence. Thanks for sharing. http://www.adithyaconstruction.co.in/


juliaroberts2403
7/30/2015 4:43:08 AM

This was so useful and informative. The article helped me to learn something new. http://sangeetha.com.hk/


Ranjitha
5/25/2015 4:42:35 AM

Thanks for your above article. http://www.lykfencingworks.com/







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