Building Garden Fence Boxes

| 5/16/2012 8:07:46 PM

Tags: raised bed garden, garden boxes, fencing, hoop houses, covers, poultry mesh, chicken wire, PVC, Allan Douglas,

In this second part of my discussion on garden fence boxes, we’ll look at how I built the boxes for my garden. First a quick review.


Why boxes?  Because my property is on a mountain side and our yard is sloping, I chose to use raised beds to keep my garden from washing down the slope every time we get a hard rain.

Why fencing?  To keep rabbits and dogs out of my crops.  If coon, possum or deer were a problem for us I’d need to modify the design to suit the pest: at least cover the top with mesh too, and lock the boxes down.

Why not a perimeter fence?  My garden cuts a swath up the center of my main “yard”: the area with fewest trees and the most sunshine.  To perform routine maintenance I must traverse this area frequently with my lil tractor and wagon.  Having to get off the tractor to open and close gates is a hassle, and I have yet to be able to build a rabbit-proof gate.

Variations on a Theme

01 Hoop houses 

I am converting the hoop houses I built last fall, for reasons that were discussed in the last segment, to use a different design.

8/15/2016 8:26:16 AM

I covered my small elderberry bush/tree with sheer netting curtains that I picked up at the thrift store to keep the robins out. I tried using the bird netting but it's a hastle to put it on the tree, take it off and fold it up again for next year. You could probably use one for a flat roof on your square food garden to keep birds out. They were very inexpensive too.

8/3/2016 9:07:12 PM

Very nice :) WalMart sells double polished clear vinyl sheet (Kittrich Corporation brand) by the foot in their fabric area. That might be useful for crafting covers for the Winter. I used my sewing machine and clear nylon thread to make waterproof/snowproof covers from the vinyl but if you don't sew you could always use clear Gorilla tape to craft the covers.

1/23/2015 1:09:26 AM

I visited your link and was very much glad to see this beautiful project.I appreciated your insightful ideas.It is well said that People use fence for both safety and security purpose and for beautification as well. I also deal with fencing supplies and love to read your topics and I think your insight will definitely inspire to every homeowners. Nice share.

3/21/2014 8:42:20 AM

Several of you mentioned using zip ties: wonderful idea! I use zip ties for the roof tarps of our dog pens, I don't know why that didn't occur to me. Yes I do: I've only seen them at Lowes and they're pricy there. Will check out Big Lots the next time I'm in Jeff City. THANKS!

3/20/2014 11:14:57 AM

I prefer using zip ties also, they can be purchased at many lengths and they avoid the additional work of all that wire twisting. (they sell them at Big Lots very cheap) I have set mine up inside a 'dog cage' that was laying around, so there wasn't any PVC involved. A good outdoor paint keeps it from rusting, and the zip ties are much easier to 'arrange' than wire, and holds just as tightly. If you make a mistake, just snip the tie, and reposition it. It is 8' wide by 16' long and has a 'top' that keeps animals/birds out. To protect it during colder or wetter months, I use 6ml plastic (lowes) to cover on the outside (zip ties hold it in place) and since the 'top' is caging like the sides, there is no need for extra bracing. Using pallet wood (and pallets that are adjusted for size) I've built levels where shorter plants are closer than taller plants, and I use the "Square Foot" method for soil and garden weed fabric to line them and keep the soil inside the boxes. No weeding, no pests, and easy continuous sowing of the next crop.

3/20/2014 10:25:04 AM

Love reading about the beds. I found that my "girls" are kept out of the beds just using the plastic chicken fencing. It cuts easily, no shredded arms, and seems to do the trick. It's been a week and they haven't been in the beds at all. I have raised beds, and use pvc supports. I'm lazy, and just put the ends of the "hoops" into the dirt at the edges of the beds, except for one bed where I used those wonderful 90° corners from Lowes. It's fun to play with those connections, reminds me of tinker toys from my distant youth. Zip ties are another win for these projects. Thanks for posting your photos... it's inspiring. Think I'll go out and sow some more seeds...

11/21/2013 12:07:30 AM

Do I also see that the wood used for the beds is treated? Think of a cradle to cradle use of materials.

11/21/2013 12:04:32 AM

I like the idea, but the use of PVC. I was planning on doing the same, until I looked into it further Go to this link to find out why.

11/21/2013 12:01:12 AM

I like the idea, but the use of PVC. I was planning on doing the same, until I looked into it further Go to this link to find out why.

11/20/2013 7:56:08 PM

LOVE these ideas. When I make similar structures I use coated chicken wire since it "bites" less than non-coated. I also use zip ties.

michael underhill
3/26/2013 10:16:16 PM

Job well done. I might add,that if you cover in plastic. Spray plastic with Silicone. This will bead of the water and snow in the winter months. Just an idea. It works on camping tents, why not plastic covering. Thanks for sharing your idea. Mike Underhill , nashville,Tn.

robert fischer belanger
3/15/2013 5:37:58 PM

great idea

tj tarbet
5/25/2012 1:47:00 PM

Only one suggestion: go buy a BIG bag of zip ties and use them instead of bailing wire :)

nebraska dave
5/21/2012 1:43:25 PM

Allan, all great useful information. I feel your pain about the chicken wire. I still have some fences to shore up at Terra Nova Gardens. My first round of fencing was quite uneventful as I didn't have to cut the fence. I just wrapped the 48" wire around the 32'X32' area. Now I need to cut the rest into two foot strips to band the bottom of the current wrapped around fence to secure the uneven area at the bottom of the fence. I will most likely be feeling your pain with cutting chicken wire into strips. I will be trying to build a critter secure gate to the fenced area as well. I do have ideas about how to accomplish this but the first order of business is to get everything planted and growing. The weeds are under control but now the grass is going wild at the new property. This first year is a lot of work to tame the wild inner city garden plot. Thanks for all the good chicken wire fence tips. Have a great day in the critter proof garden squares. The planting aids are a great useful idea.

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