Building A Garden - Part II
Building a fence
I don’t know if your area is like mine but, if is it, there are all kinds of critters around my yard. As you can see, I get deer on a regular basis coming through the neighborhood looking for things to eat and causeing a little trouble on the side. Mr. Winston tries his best to protect the yard for me but, I realized if I want a garden I need a little more than my loyal watch dog. I had an idea in my mind of the perfect garden fence but just needed to figure out how to make it. I wanted it to be made of wire and wood both to be functional and beautiful. What’s the point of putting up a solid fence blocking the view of the beautiful garden that you worked so hard on?
- Miter saw
- Measuring tape
- Staple gun
- 2 ½” deck screws
- Wire mesh fence
- 4 x 4’s treated lumber (amount determined on size of fence)
- 2 x 4’s treated lumber (amount determined on size of fence and length of capping)
- 2 x 10’s treated lumber (amount determined on size of fence)
- Kreg jig
- Power drill
I will show you the process of how I went about building my fence so you can build one in the same way but can tailor it to the exact dimensions of what you made you garden to be.
First you need to get some holes dug to be able to set your fence posts. The hole should be a minimum of 24” deep to make it strong enough. Start with you 4 corners then divide the distance between them from corner post to corner post to evenly space your other posts. I ended up dividing my longest end into 4-7’ sections and my short ends into 2-8’sections. Don’t forget about your gate and dig holes for 2 posts to accommodate it.
I wanted my fence to be 5’ high and including the 2’ holes I needed to make my fence post 7’ long out of treated 4x4’s. To get them level I placed them in the ground and started with a rough level just to make sure I was in the ball park and could make the holes deeper or more shallow where I needed to. If you place a long 2x4 over the posts with a long level you can get an idea of where your post are at. However, this only works if you on level land. If your yard is sloped, you need to use a long sting. I use this method also to fine tune the post when I know roughly where they are sitting.
First, add a little gravel into the hole just until the post can stand without you holding it. Wrap the string around the first post keeping it as close to the tip of the post as possible. Then, pulling it tight, wrap it around the last post in the fence line. Staring down the length of the string you can see that every post should be in alignment.
At this point you can either cement you posts in or fill the holes with gravel. I chose the gravel only because if I decide down the line I don’t want this fence to be permanent I can easily remove or change it. If you cement make sure you use a level to get your post nice and straight before the cement sets. With gravel you can fill the hole while continuing to move the post into a level position.
To build the fence panel, I’m using a combination of treated 2 x 10’s and 2 x 4’s and wire mesh. Buying and hauling lumber for these kinds of projects is super fun in my little car. But I manage to always git ‘er dun until I can buy a truck! Measure the distance between post to post and build each panel individually as each section will have different measurements.
First, cut a length of 2 x 10 and 2 x 4 each to the length between each post.
Then, cut 2 pieces of 2 x 4 for the height. If my fence is 5’ high and I have to include 10” and 4” from the boards (actually, it’s more like 9.5” and 3.5” because the wood has shrunk from the mill cuts) then the 2 x 4’s need to be cut to a length of 47”.
Use a kreg jig to make pocket holes in the ends of all the boards then attach together using 2 ½” deck screws.
Using a staple gun, staple your mesh to the back side of the panel.
Lift the panel into place and screw it into place by using the pocket holes you make in the ends of the 2 x 10 and 2 x 4 lengths.
Continue this process until ever panel is built and in place.
To give it a finished look we are going to cap it off with more 2 x 4’s. I used 10’ length boards to have less seams on the top. And I mitered my corners. Make sure the board is centered on the top and screw into place using 2 ½” deck screws.
Now all those pesky little critters and deer can stay out of your garden and only you will get to enjoy everything you grow.