A New Fence For the Garden

When I set up the garden space, I used hoops and a fine mesh netting to protect the garden from bunnies and deer. Now, the plants are too tall for the netting. The beans are already poking way past the top and the tomatoes were being bent by the netting. I knew this was going to happen eventually. The netting was always just a temporary solution.

A couple days ago, we replaced the netting with some metal fencing we had lying around.

The length of fencing was the perfect length to go around both the cinder block bed and the squash plot above it.

We used a combination of rebar and wooden posts to keep the fencing in place.

For the “door,” we used a short piece of chicken wire.

It’s loosely attached to one piece of re-bar on the left (the hinge), and a brick is holding it closed on the right. To open the door, simply remove the brick and swing the chicken wire open.

It’s also short enough to step over, so when we don’t need to drag a hose or something into the garden area, we can just step over the fence. I realize this obviously isn’t going to keep deer out, but the deer haven’t been that aggressive and there’s plenty of food for them outside of this small garden space, so I think it’s probably enough of an obstacle that they won’t bother. I can also change this or add on to make it taller if it becomes an issue.

In my dream garden, I would make wattle fencing to go around the entire raised bed area.

Wattle fencing around the fig orchard in Seattle

But, I have neither the supplies, nor the time to make that happen, so this will have to do.

Also, while I was at it – now that the bed has more headspace – I added some tomato cages.

These are the cages I found for free on the sidewalk in Palo Alto. I like this style much better than the more common cone-shaped cages that don’t fold up, so I packed them in my car and brought them all the way to Portland.

We’re a few days into using this new fence, and it seems to be working very well – no sign of damage from deer or rabbits. It doesn’t, however, keep dogs out. My brother’s dog, George, in his excitement over having a ball to chase, jumped over the garden “door” and then couldn’t figure out how to get out. He almost trampled the squash, but I think they’re ok.

Leave a Reply