How to fence a garden

First, check with your local building department to see if a permit is required for your fence. Most likely, it won’t be, but the department will also provide you with important information like height specifications and set-back distance.

In our project, home improvement expert Ed Del Grande is replacing an old, rusty chain-link fence that has certainly seen better days; plus, it offered no privacy. Once the old fence is out of the way, the area is leveled to create a nice, level site for working.

Tip: It’s always a good idea to get a property survey, especially if you didn’t install a fence you’re replacing. Without a survey, you can’t be sure your new fence is in the right place.

How to Install

Attach a string around the perimeter of the area to be fenced, about a foot above the ground, pulling it taut. This helps keep the posts aligned throughout the post-setting process.

There are many material options when it comes to fencing, from wood to metal to plastic. Del Grande and his crew use pressure-treated wood since it offers long-term endurance. Many manufacturers rate their pressure-treated wood to last up to 40 years. The pine pickets featured here are attractive on both sides; this will likely help score points with the people next door — a good neighbor fence.

Don’t worry too much about figuring out how much material you’ll need. Just take the exact (and accurate) dimensions of your property to the experts at the lumberyard — they’ll figure out the right amount for you.

For our fence, Del Grande is using individual pickets as opposed to pre-assembled panels. As he explains, the cost is less (about 25% less than pre-fab panels), and secondly, they allow for contouring. Since the ground of this site slopes downward, the pickets will allow Del Grande and crew to follow the contour of the land, adjusting them up and down, to ultimately produce a good-looking fence.

Keep in mind that you’ll need an air gun/air nailer to make the job go quickly.

Important Tip: Make sure someone instructs you on how to use the tool, and carefully follow all safety precautions — especially the use of safety glasses.

Regardless of the type of wood you use, the nails should last as long as the fence, so choose hot-dipped galvanized nails if at all possible.

The number and placement of the posts you use will be determined by the distance of your fence. A good rule of thumb is to space them 6′ to 8′ apart. Once you’ve determined post placement, you’re ready to dig your holes. Here, Del Grande and crew use 8" auger to dig post-holes at the four corner points. The general guideline for setting posts is to place at least one-third of the length of each post in the ground.

Once a post is placed in the hole, check to see if it’s plumb and adjust as necessary. Hold in place by nailing scrap wood to the post to stake it.

Secure the posts by adding a bag of fast-setting concrete to each hole. Simply add a gallon of water and allow the mixture to set up; it will generally harden in less than an hour.

When placing the top rail, keep in mind that a good typical height is between 58" and 66" from the ground. The middle and lower rails should be spaced evenly below. The rail length is determined by measuring from the center of one post to the center point of the next. Use two 10-penny nails to fasten the end of each rail to each post, making sure that all the rails are on the same horizontal plane and the same distance from the ground.

Note: Del Grande created different heights along different sections of the fence, based on the amount of desired privacy at a given point. For example, the tallest section is built along the back of the property, which faces a neighboring yard. On the side, where there’s a nice view, the fence height is lower; this also prevents a "boxed-in" look. Consider creative options like this when building your own fence.

To speed up the building process, make sure all the rails are in position before starting to attach the pickets. Place a picket on the first post, with the bottom approximately 1" above the ground. Make sure it’s plumb, then nail it in place.

Repeat the process with a a picket on the next post, but only nail it in place with one or two nails. Then add a nail to the top of each picket and run a string between them, placing it a half-inch above the top of the picket. The top of each picket should then be positioned a half-inch below the string. This allows the pickets to gradually follow the contour of the yard.

Tip: To ensure a uniform space between your pickets, cut a small piece of one picket to use as a spacer as you work your way along the rails. (Be sure to keep placing pickets with the tops a half-inch below the string line.)

While holding each picket in place next to the spacer, secure it with a single nail right in the center. This will allow some leeway for aligning it later. Work your way around the perimeter until each picket is secured with a single center nail.

Plumb the Pickets

Now it’s time to plumb the pickets. Hold your level alongside and on top of each one to check that it’s plumb. Once it’s perfectly positioned, get the nail gun and add two nails to the top end (for a total of three, since the first one was put in earlier to hold the piece in place), then secure it with three at the bottom end. Repeat the process all the way down the line, then go to the other side and repeat again.

Note: For areas where a complete picket won’t fit, simply measure and cut pickets to fit around the post or rails.

Though we’re using pressure-treated wood, it’s always a good idea to use a weatherproofer to give the fence extra protection. Generally, there are three basic choices: a solid, which will cover up all the wood’s grain; a semi-transparent, which will allow some of the grain to show through; and finally, a clear version, which is used for a natural look.

For this project, Del Grande doesn’t apply any finish immediately; he explains that he’ll let the wood acclimate to the weather for about six months to a year, giving it a chance to dry out. Next season, the fence will be ready to be treated with a finishing product.

How to fence a garden

The best type of garden fencing depends on the kind of garden and the amount of shelter that is needed. Some gardeners choose vinyl garden fencing, while others opt for wooden fencing or bamboo garden fencing. Regardless of the type of fencing that is chosen, it should be the ideal fit for the garden. The right garden fencing offers protection and security, but it also adds to the visual appeal of the garden.

Vinyl fences are a very versatile and the preferred option for many garden owners. They come in many styles and can be designed for almost anyone’s needs. A short, vertical-slatted fence with narrow openings is a sufficient style for keeping out wandering animals. For some, personal security is the primary concern. For this, a taller fence is a good option, or perhaps a more classic model with spikes at the top. A taller fence with spikes at the apex will be a deterrent for intruders.

If your main consideration is privacy, vinyl fences are available in private or semi-private designs. Very narrow spaces between slats will provide a guarded, but not completely blocked view both in and out of the garden. A completely private fence is built like a wall, with no visible area between slats. The benefit of this style is that it provides protection against animals and intruders, and lattice can be added to it to provide support for plants and shrubs.

Wooden fences offer the same kind of visual appeal as a vinyl fence at a lesser cost. They look nice and offer privacy and protection as well as still displaying a view of the garden. Vines can be added to the garden to be wound around the slats of the fence for decoration. However, the vinyl fence wins in popularity over the wood fence because it is easy to clean with a hose and does not crack or chip. A wooden fence will need to be replaced sooner because of its vulnerability to the elements.

For a more exotic look in a garden, bamboo fencing is also a popular choice. Bamboo is environmentally friendly, and comes in a wide variety of designs and colors. However, bamboo fences are also prone to rot. The climate of the area of the garden is important in choosing the right fence. In a very windy place, concrete posts may want to be used to keep the fence in place. In a very wet climate, wood fences may not be the best option due to mold and deterioration. Knowing the advantages of each style is the first step in choosing the best fence for one’s garden.

While most anyone can appreciate the aesthetic appeal of a well-planned and maintained garden, often the type of fencing used can be an afterthought. However, one should not underestimate the importance and practicality of good garden fencing. It needs to provide adequate shelter and protection for the garden, while not detracting from its beauty.

Gardening is one of the most popular hobbies in the United States, with just over a quarter of Americans cultivating their own garden. Whether you spend your time growing beautiful flower beds or fruits and veggies for your family, gardening can be a fun and relaxing way to spend your time outside.

Of course, gardening can also be a real headache — especially when the neighborhood critters get their hands on your plants. Luckily, you can protect your precious garden by installing a proper garden fence.

Why You Need a Garden Fence

There are many reasons to have a fence around your garden. A fence can add charm and beauty to your garden, while giving your plants some practical benefits as well. Some benefits include:

Keep Critters Away

One of the greatest challenges for any gardener is dealing with the critters who want to get your plans. Rabbits, squirrels, deer, and other animals love locally-grown produce and flowers just as much as we do. If you’re not careful, your garden can easily become a buffet.

Separate the Garden from the Rest of the Yard

If you share yard space with your neighbors, a garden fence is vital to help you denote where your patch ends and another begins. Even if your garden is located on your own property, a fence can help your neighbors, friends and family differentiate between the garden and yard space. With a fence, you don’t have to worry about anyone accidentally tramping through your ramps or picking your petunias.

Control the Growing Environment

There are many elements of gardening that you can’t always control — namely, the elements themselves. However, a garden fence can help you gain a little more control over the way the elements affect your plants. A fence can be a partial barrier from the wind, and it can help limit the amount of sunlight that sensitive flowers or plants receive.

Add Beauty to Your Yard

Finally, a garden fence can add a touch of personality to your outdoor space. This can be a great way to beautify and make your garden more of a focal point.

Garden Fence Types

Garden fences are great for both flower gardens and growing crops. However, not every fence is suitable for every garden. The type of fencing you need will depend on what you’re growing and what problems you’re facing.

For example, if you are growing a flower garden in a relatively pest-free area, you have a little more freedom with the type of fence you can use. You can use white lattice wood for a classic look, or opt for woven wire for a more subtle fence that lets your flowers be the focus. Both options will offer the protection you need — in this case, it’s all about the aesthetics.

But let’s say you’ve noticed that your garden is overrun with critters. You’re going to need to step up your fence game. The fence you need will depend on what you’re growing and who is infiltrating your space. For example, deer require at least 8-foot tall fencing and a double-fenced system (two fences at least 3 feet apart) for an effective deterrent, while groundhogs and woodchucks need both tall fencing and buried fencing that prevents them from burrowing under the fence line.

Before you build your fence, make sure you thoroughly assess your needs so you can select the right fencing for your garden.

Building a Garden Fence

Garden fences are relatively simple to build and install. All you need is a little know-how, a few friends to help you, and (of course), the right equipment.

Choose the Material

The first thing you will want to do is decide what type of material you want to use for your fence. You can use wooden posts, vinyl posts, woven wire on a metal frame — the possibilities are endless.

Assess your unique needs and the look you want to achieve, and then choose a material that checks every box.

Install Wire Fencing

Even if you decide to use wood or vinyl fencing for your garden, you will also want to include some wire fencing around the garden perimeter. This will help you keep small critters out.

To install your wire fencing, start by setting posts at the four corners of your garden. Depending on the size of your garden, you’ll need to decide how far apart your posts should be. For a large garden, set t-posts 8 to 12 feet apart along the fence line, and then unroll your wire fencing along the length between the posts. Use a fence stretching tool to pull the fence taught and then secure it to the t-posts with clips or zip ties.

Finally, purchase a gate from your favorite hardware or fencing store and install it in a convenient location along the fence line. Once you’ve done that, your wire fence is complete and your garden is effectively protected.

Install Netting

If you find that birds are becoming a problem for your garden, you can also install some netting to restrict their access to your plants. Simply attach some netting to the top of your posts and stretch it across the entirety of your garden, making sure that all your tall plants fit comfortably underneath it.

With these tips, you can create a beautiful and effective garden fence that will help your plants and produce thrive all season long. And when you get your wire fencing from Red Brand Fence, you can be certain that your plants will be safe and secure from any critters that come their way.

Visit Red Brand online today to find the perfect fencing for your garden, farm, or livestock.

The following steps will show you how to fence a garden.

Choose the material you plan to use as your fence.

  1. Several types are available, such as wood, wire and mesh.
  2. Dig your post holes deep enough to bury half the pole.
  3. Add gravel to cover the bottom of the hole before setting the post. This will help with drainage.

Also know, do you need a fence around a garden?

Fencing is the most effective (and sometimes only!) way to keep unwanted visitors out of your garden. A fence that’s at least 4 feet tall will work for many deer situations. But if your neighborhood is overrun by deer, you may need one that’s 8 feet tall.

Similarly, how do you build a wire garden fence? welded wire fencing

  4. Step 4: TRIM EXCESS MESH.
  6. Step 6: ADD A CAP RAIL.

Correspondingly, how high should a garden fence be?

To keep animals from burrowing under your fence, bend the bottom foot of fencing to the outside of the garden to lay right on top of the ground. Unless deer are a threat – in which case you need a fence 5 or more feet high – a 2- or 3-foot-high fence should be adequate.

Transform your backyard fence from a boring, blank space into a backdrop for a gorgeous flower bed, bursting with long-lasting color, fragrance, and texture.

Backyard fences are functional, but not always the prettiest thing to look at. This garden plan will help draw attention away from the harsh lines of fence posts and slats with a mix of favorite flowers in shades of pink and purple, set off by foliage with complementary hues and textures. Most of the plants in this design are perennials, with a few bulbs and small shrubs mixed in for added interest. The result is a long-lasting garden that will require minimal maintenance year after year. Though the few annuals included in this plan will need to be refreshed every growing season, they'll help spice up the bed's look without having to totally replant.

Plants to Create the Garden Plan to Soften a Fence

  • 1 Maidengrass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus’): Zones 4-9
  • 8 Allium ‘Lucy Ball’: Zones 6-10
  • 1 Coralbells (Heuchera spp.): Zones 3-10, depending on species
  • 1 Boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Wintergreen’): Zones 5-8
  • 6 Fleabane (Erigeron karvinskianus): Zones 5-7
  • 3 Pincushion flower (Scabiosa columbaria): Zones 4-9
  • 3 Lambs’ ears (Stachys byzantina): Zones 4-8
  • 1 Purple-leaf plantain (Plantago major ‘Atropurpurea’): Annual
  • 2 Blue fescue (Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’): Zones 4-8
  • 3 Sea holly (Eryngium spp.): Zones 4-9
  • 5 Verbena hybrid: Annual
  • 3 Cosmosbipinnatus: Annual
  • 1 Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum superbum): Zones 5-8
  • 1 Cranesbill (Geranium spp.): Zones 5-9
  • 3 Pink (Dianthus ‘Bath’s Pink’): Zones 4-9
  • 1 Clematis cultivar: Zones 4-9
  • 3 Sedumsieboldii ‘Etoil Rose’: Zones 6-9
  • 3 Bouvardia ternifolia: Annual
  • 1 False indigo (Baptisia australis): Zones 3-9
  • 1 Meadow rue (Thalictrum delavayi): Zones 5-9
  • 12 Iris hybrids: Zones 5-9
  • 4 Osteospermum ‘Nairobi Purple’: Annual
  • 1 Alternanthera ficoidea var. amoena ‘Versicolor’: Annual
  • 4 Alliumgiganteum: Zones 6-10
  • 1 Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus): Zones 7-9

If you aren't able to find the exact cultivars listed above, substitute with others that have similar colors, shapes, and sizes. And because some plants can become overly aggressive and spread out of control in certain climates, always check which species are considered invasive in your area before planting. For example, Miscanthus can become weedy in some areas of the country, but this is usually less problematic when planting a cultivar such as 'Gracillimus' listed in this plan.

Get the Free Garden Plan to Soften a Fence

The garden plan for this design includes an illustrated version of the planted garden, a detailed layout diagram, a list of plants for the garden as shown, and complete instructions for installing the garden. Free, one-time registration allows unlimited access to all garden plans, available as printable PDFs.

No matter where you live, vegetable garden fences are an important consideration for protecting your garden from animal invaders. A garden fence provides a consistent and reliable barrier that isn’t provided by repellents or scare devices.

A Garden Border Fence To Keep Out Animals

Deer, groundhogs, gophers, mice, raccons, rabbits, rats, skunks, and voles are some of the most common animals that feed on vegetable plants. Bears can also be a nuisance at times! Please read the following for garden fence guidelines for each animal group. If you desire a completely robust fence, you will need to build a fence that combines the attributes of many of the animal garden border fences listed below.

Deer Fence – (Mostly Nocturnal, Eating Young Plants)

The simplest recommendation for deer is an 8-foot high wire-mesh garden border fence. Wood or stone is also an option; the more solid the fence, the less likely deer will be to jump over it.

A more robust option is to build dual vegetable garden fences (deer are confused by multiple obstacles). This option requires building a 3-foot high fence built approximately 3 feet inside the previously recommended 8-foot high garden border fence. Ensure that the second fence is visible.

Deer do not like to be in confined spaces and will be deterred from attempting to enter the vegetable garden.
Note: Some people have simply used two 4-foot vegetable garden fences (3 feet apart) with success.

Groundhog Fence – (Will Take Sample Bites From Various Vegetables)

Groundhogs require a garden fence that is 3-4 feet high, and buried around 1 foot into the ground. The buried portion should be angled slightly outwards for best effect. A 2-inch wire mesh will work for this application. A second option is to use an electric fence that has two or more wires. Place one wire very close to the ground, and the second one approximately 8 inches off the ground.

How to fence a garden

Rabbit Fence – (Active During Evening and Morning, Leaving Pea-sized Droppings)

A vegetable garden fence that is 4 feet high and buried 6 inches into the ground (angled slightly outwards when buried) will keep out the most persistent rabbits. Do not use plastic mesh fencing; rabbits will chew through it.

Gopher Fence – (Always Active, Tunneling, Eating Roots, Seeds, and Seedlings)

Gophers require a fence that is approximately 1 foot high, and buried at least 2 feet into the ground so they cannot tunnel under. 3/4-inch poultry mesh is recommended. Gophers are persistent, and therefore a raised-bed garden made of lumber may be an additional step required if the fence does not work.

Raccoon Fence – (Active Mostly At Night, Very Clever at Finding Weak Spots in Fences)

An electric garden fence is the best way to deter raccoons from entering your garden. A two-strand electric fence that has high-pulsating voltage and low-amperage (such as used for cattle) is recommended. Place one strand

6 inches off the ground, and the second strand 12 inches above the ground (6 inches above the first wire).

Skunk Fence – (Active At Night, Digging Up the Garden Looking for Worms and Grubs)

Skunks require a garden border fence similar to gophers. Use a 3/4-inch wire-mesh fence that is buried 8-12 inches deep (vertical), and curves out (away from the garden) 8-12 inches. This will prevent skunk (efficient diggers) from tunneling under the fence. Extending from ground level, the fence should be at least 3 feet high, angled slightly outwards from the garden.

How to fence a garden

Squirrel Fence – (Active During The Day)

Squirrels are agile and can drop into your vegetable garden from tree branches. An electrified vegetable garden fence is recommended. Use at least a two-strand electrified garden fence with one strand approximately 3 inches off the ground, and the second strand atop whatever other kind of garden border fence you have chosen to use (for other animals). This top strand will deter squirrels from climbing over the fence.

Vole Fence – (Active At Night, Making Small Gnaw Marks on Plants)

Voles require a vegetable garden fence that is 1/4 inch wire-mesh that is buried

10 inches deep. Additionally, the fence should extend 1 foot above ground level.

Bear Fence – (Active Any Time, Often Forage At Night)

An electric bear fence is the best solution to keep these animals out of your garden or backyard. They are very good climbers and will not be deterred by a tall fence. A two-strand electric fence is recommended with one strand approximately 3-4 feet off the ground, and another strand atop the fence. These critters are attracted to any meat or sweets in your compost pile, and will also eat the seeds from squash.

Upgrading the outside aesthetics of your home raises its values. Building a fence is one way to start the process.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. Let’s talk about how to build a garden fence with chicken wire.

Having a chicken wire garden fence protects your property. It keeps uninvited guests from trampling your grass and lurking around unnecessarily. You get the privacy you need.

Some other pluses are seclusion and protection from inclement weather. There’s nothing wrong with wanting some peace and quiet away from people. Fences shelter your home from debris brought in by rain and storms as well.

For keeping your pets and garden safe from outside critters, try using chicken wire. Here is how to use chicken wire to create a garden fence.

How to Build a Garden Fence With Chicken Wire: Set Markers

You don’t just throw a DIY chicken wire garden fence. You need to decide the approximations of it—where and how big.

Set markers on your property with the dimensions that you want. Chicken wire has pliability, so don’t drive yourself crazy if your measurements are off. Use white-marking spray paint to make an outline where you want the fence to go.

Also, you need to be mindful of pipes, so you don’t end up with a plumbing problem. Problems that’ll have you blowing up Plumber Castro Valley

Dig Holes for Your Stakes

You’ll need wooden stakes to hold your fence sturdy and in place. Gather as many 2x4s as necessary. Dig holes deep enough to hold the 2x4s firm

Make sure your holes are at least six to eight feet apart.

Place the wooden stakes in the ground and fill the space around it with the dirt you dug up. Pack and stump it down tight so that the stakes stand up straight.

Set up the Rails

Grab your precut 1×1 wooden rails and begin staging the top and bottom rails. Make a platform to nail the chicken to.

Start by screwing the 1×1 wooden rails to the stakes along the bottom to make the platform steady. Nail the chicken wire tight to give it firmness all the way around.

Roll the Wire Out

You’ll need gloves for this part. Roll the chicken wire out along the pre-painted boarder. Start with six-foot pieces, so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Staple the chicken wire to the rails. Start at the corners and try to staple down the wire every 10 inches or so. Continue all the way around until you reach the entire perimeter of your premeasured fence area.

Finish by adding the top border boards by nailing or screwing the chicken horizontally along the fence.

Remember to leave an opening to get in and out of the fence.

Build a Fence

When you’re learning how to build a garden fence with chicken wire, don’t get overwhelmed. The steps are basic. Use this guide to build your fence and get the privacy you long for.

Want to read about more home tips like this? Check out our home and kitchen guide for simple hacks around the house.

This post may contain affiliate links so I earn a commission.

Building a good, quality rabbit proof fence can help keep your garden safe from a destructive rabbit and your garden will look nice in the process. 

Gardens can be a lot of work and for most people they’re pretty much a labor of love.

So, if you’re going to spend a lot of time making your garden look beautiful, it’s equally as important to put up a nice fence to protect it.

A single rabbit can do a lot of damage to a garden.  

Plus, once a rabbit finds an easy meal it will be back again and again until the food is gone or until you find a way to stop them.

How to fence a garden

There a a few good rabbit repellents on the market that work pretty well.  

Liquid Fence Deer And Rabbit Repellent is one good example, but you have to continually re-apply repellents if you want them to work.

Taking an afternoon to build a nice fence prevents you from continually re-applying various repellents around your garden, and if you make the fence removable you can take it down at the end of the season to rototill your garden or clean up your backyard.

Do you have chickens?  

This design also works really well for building a chicken run for your chicken coop.  

It’s sturdy enough to keep out predators like raccoons, fox and coyotes.  

Even if they try to dig under the fence they won’t be able to get inside!

Just make sure to add a roof to your chicken run to prevent hawks and other animals from entering the chicken run from the top.

Rabbit Proof Fence – Using Chicken Wire

Although galvanized 1” x 1” or 1” x 2” fencing wire is more sturdy, using chicken wire is the least expensive and easiest to assemble.  

You can always replace the chicken wire with galvanized wire if you want for this project.

If you’ve ever used chicken wire before you know that it’s kind of difficult to work with.  

It constantly wants to roll back up and it’s flimsy so having some help from a family member or friend will make this project a lot easier.

The small size of chicken wire works great for keeping rabbits out of your garden, even baby bunnies!

To begin the rabbit proof fence you will need the following equipment:

  • 1 roll of chicken wire 4 feet tall and long enough for your garden
  • T posts
  • Zip ties and wire cutters
  • Shovel

How to fence a garden

Start by mapping out the location for the fence around your garden.

Next, take a shovel and dig a trench about 9”- 10” deep around the garden where your fence will set.

Now, pound a T Post in each of the 4 corners of the fence line (assuming your garden is square or rectangular).

After you have pounded a T Post in each of the 4 corners, space additional T Posts every 6′-10′ throughout the fence line.  

Even though it takes a few more posts, I like to space the T Posts every 6′ which keeps the chicken wire tight and prevents any bows in the wire.  

Do not space the T Posts any further than 10′ apart or the fence will sag.

Once you have your posts in place, zip tie the start of the fence to one corner.  

With the help of a friend, unroll the fence around the garden with the bottom of the fence resting about 8” in the trench you dug.

Some people like to bend an “L” shape into the bottom of the fence that’s buried underground, but as long as you burry the fence at least 8” underground a rabbit won’t burrow or dig underneath it.

Zip tie the fence at the top of the T Post and at the bottom of the T Post and add 3 more zip ties through the middle section of the post to securely fasten the fence to the post.

Continue to roll out the fence in the trench and zip tie to each T Post as you go.  

Once the fencing is up, fill in the trench with dirt, pack it along the bottom with your feet and you’re done!

You can put a step ladder over the fence to access the garden or if you want to make a quick entry door in the fence, simply leave about a 2′ gap on one side of the fence.  

You can just place a sheet of plywood over this gap and remove it anytime you want to enter the garden.  

Overall – Building A Rabbit Proof Fence

Building a rabbit proof fence around your garden to keep out a hungry bunny is pretty easy.

With a few simple supplies and an afternoon of work you can prevent your garden from being destroyed, and your fence will look great!