Any final thoughts on fencing?

lavender_lass(4b)May 28, 2010

I'm going to buy fencing materials this weekend, so if anyone has any final thoughts or ideas, I'd appreciate it. While enclosing the garden is partly ornamental, I also hope to discourage the few deer we have from walking into the vegetables.

I'm thinking of using a 3' wire mesh fence (2" x4") with a couple of wires above. The green metal fence posts will probably be about 4 1/2' tall, with one gate under a black metal arbor and a larger gate for the lawn mower...still deciding on materials for these. I might get a black metal gate from Lowe's for the arch (mom has this and it looks nice) but for the bigger gate, still thinking.

While the fence is fairly utilitarian, I'm hoping to surround the garden with both edible and non-edible shrubs and flowers to attract beneficials insects. Blueberries, spirea, forsythia, butterfly bush, with perennial flowers and some bulbs and lots of annuals to fill in until the shrubs mature. I have purple raspberries in the garden area, but I'm hesitant to put red raspberries along the border. They'd be great, until they spread into the rest of the beds.

Also using the lilacs as a hedge between the garden and the road, but will be able to mow around these, to keep down the suckers. Might have to do something like this with the red raspberries, too :)

We don't have rabbits or trouble with other smaller animals, since we have a lot of barn kitties, but smaller mesh fencing is supposed to work well. I often see pictures of split rail fences with wire mesh enclosing a potager. Pretty and very rustic, but I'm too lazy to dig post holes, so metal posts for me. (LOL) They go better with the metal posts used for the horse fence, too.

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Looks like a pretty good plan. I have a chicken wire fence with just 1x1 supports. The front of it disappears since I have a border on each side of it.

Last year I plant corn across the back which also helped to disguise it. It was a risk since I wasn't sure if the deer would take a little taste once the corn grew above the fence, but no problems.

I like the idea of the matching gate for your arbor. As for your other gate, I am the wrong person to comment. Mine is held on with some baling wire I found lying around. It is very sad.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2010 at 4:41PM
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Ali-b, Baling wire is the cornerstone of any good least out here on the farm :)

Well, the best plans...I ended up getting a bunch of forsythia and blueberry shrubs on now it's a hedge around the garden! LOL

I couldn't see spending at least $100 on fencing, when I could get all these shrubs for with the lilacs and wild roses I already have growing around the farm, I'm hoping to have enough to plant all the way around the garden. I'll be busy today!

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 11:52AM
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Those will fill in nicely and since rabbits aren't a problem that should work out great. It'll look great in early spring with the forsythias and later spring when the blueberry blooms and into fall when the blueberries turn red.

I hear you on the fencing cost. A little at a time, I've been buying black vinyl covered mesh wire fencing to replace my chicken wire. I thought the black would go better with the black aluminum fence that goes around our backyard and is visible from the garden. Now, as to when it will get installed.....Currently, the rolls of fencing are serving as a great place for garter snakes to warm up in the morning.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Black mesh fencing sounds like it will be perfect for your garden. Too bad about the snakes...they'll be "homeless" soon enough :)

I didn't finish until it was almost dark, but I did get all the shrubs a bunch of veggies and a few flowers. I need about four more blueberry shrubs and then I'm hoping to use some wild roses on the last side, to go behind some gallica roses and herbs. It's prettier than a fence and my husband likes I'd say it's a success! LOL

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 1:35PM
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I am impressed. That is a lot of shrubbery to plant. I'll bet you are a bit sore this morning. It's refreshing to me to be able to put in a day's work in the garden and the results are totally visible.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2010 at 8:41PM
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Hi All,
What do you suggest for fencing when rabbits are an issue? I have some rabbits in our back yard, and right now I have a green wire fence in the ground with metal posts around my vegetable garden. I'd like to turn the garden into a potager, and it would be great to have fencing that looks a little nicer. Are there any shrubs or plants that rabbits won't go around that would keep them out?

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 1:09PM
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I'm not really aware of any plants that will keep rabbits out. You could put some bee/bird attracting shrubbery around your fencing. Then it will camouflage the fencing and bring more pollinators to your garden. While they may be invasive in some areas, I have some butterfly bushes plus catmint, yarrow, anise hyssop, grasses to hide my poor fence. They all have a long bloom time and are covered in bees.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 3:58PM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

From what I see around here (coastal RI) we don't have many deer, but if it's a bad winter and they're hungry and desperate, they may eat those shrubs on the outside of a fence, then jump in and eat what's inside.

My present potager fencing goes up only 4 ft. on the north and 3 ft. on the south: not enough. Posts are tall, though. So I'll be adding horizontal strong wires at 1 ft. increments. These will be used to train my climbing roses onto, and have the additional advantage of garroting leaping deer. :)


    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 9:25AM
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Thanks Carol and Ali-b for your great suggestions. Carol, I grew up in northwestern Rhode Island and used to visit coastal RI every once in awhile. Loved it there!

I do not have any deer around my house because I live in an open development, but I do have lots of rabbits around. I like the idea of just planting shrubs and flowers around the fence to hide it. It might take awhile for the plants to grow tall enough, but eventually it should look great.

Thank you both!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 12:15PM
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You're welcome. BTW, I planted a new section of my front border last year and it has really filled in nicely. I tend to buy larger plants as they go on discount. Even if it's super hot out, the plants usually survive as long as I give them lots of water. I've even bought some perennials (only $1-$2 each!) just before the first frost and left them in their pots buried in my empty raised beds. All of them made it.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2010 at 6:12PM
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