Fencing: Farm Sport

We are putting a fence around our garden spot.

It was never a question of whether we’d need the fence.  Only when and how.  Not only do we have free-ranging chickens, but the deer out number the people around here by a great deal.  While some of our new neighbors claim no issues with deer ravaging their gardens…I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Which way to the garden?

Which way to the garden?

The When-  Dave & I got busy working on figuring the fence out immediately after moving.  The garden is to be an essential part of our lives here.  Many hours are going to be spent and we need to protect that investment of our resources.

The How:

We did a lot of figuring and scouting materials before we finalized the plan and purchased the supplies.  After measuring off a couple of different size areas we decided on dimensions of 77’X77;X70’X89′.

The property line and existing livestock fence (which we are building our fence on the inside of), is not square.  There are a few fruit and nut trees that we needed to work around….thus our dimensions came out as they did.  It provide us with over 5000 square feet of protected garden space.

The fence will be 8 feet tall.  Consisting of two runs of 4 foot mesh “goat fence”  (one on the bottom + one on the top).  For extra chicken-proofedness…we are tying chicken wire to the goat fence around the bottom.  I will bury part of the chicken wire to help keep out bunnies as well.

The soil is heavy black clay down to a sand and gravel mix.  I am digging the post holes using 2 types of human powered post hole diggers- …excellent pieces of exercise equipment.  Here is a picture of one of them:

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Here is the other one In Action:

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Fortunately it is not like where I grew up.  There, one would need a breaker bar as well to bust through the plentiful rock.

The corner post and gate holes are all about 4 foot deep.  We bought  2 3/8″ steel pipe for corners and the gate frame.  The pipe will be 2 foot into the ground…with several spikes of rebar welded around the bottoms to make up the other 2 feet of hole (as suggested by my dad- the post hole expert).  Then we’re gonna concrete them into place.

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Dave gazing upon his masterpiece.

To add greater strength (we only want to do this fence ONCE)- Dave has given three of the corners knee braces in both directions.  These too will have rebar spikes on the ends sunk into holes with concrete.

The fourth corner integrates the gate.  An “H” frame with the gate being five feet across and 6’7″ tall.  It’s also going into the ground and will have a knee brace on one side.  Dave welded 2 pieces of re-bar at the bottom.  This will be buried under a “threshold” of concrete bordered by some bricks that were here.

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Fred our rooster and a hen inspecting Dave’s work.

In between corners we are driving 10 foot T-posts about every 10 feet.  Dave likes to build things to last.   Hopefully, all this effort will result in a super strong, chicken and deer invincible garden fence that we can appreciate for years to come.

Dave has spent the last few days welding things together and he has many little burns to show for it.  His welding gloves are in desperate need of replacing.  At the moment their life is being expanded with the ever useful Duct Tape…..(anyone else watch the Red Green Show )

Currently we are stalled by extreme wind.  It is difficult to weld and make clean welds with the wind buffeting the work.   So in the mean time we are getting the other holes dug and making sure everything is laid out as straight as possible.  Only 5 more holes to go.

I am designing a piece of metal artwork to go across the top of the gate.  I’ve drawn it onto a sheet of steel and Dave or I will cut it out with a plasma torch.  It is an arch with half of a sun and half a moon in the middle…with stars on the moon side.  I will post some pictures when it is cut out….IF the wind ever dies down!

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