Rabbit/Critter fencing

villain189February 22, 2011

This will be my first time gardening this year.

I was initially thinking of putting a 3-5' high fence around my entire SFG garden. I really didn't want to because we have a suburban backyard and a 3x8' garden would require at least a 9x10' fence to leave room for aisles. More fence, less garden. Deer aren't really an issue.There may be the random deer but we didn't see any all summer..we've only seen them late fall/winter so i'm not too concerned. Rabbits are the biggest issue and there are also tons of squirrels around but rabbits are #1 issue I would think.

Anyways, I saw someone post this fence and I was thinking this would be perfect. It would do the job and not add this huge fence in my backyard.


Anyone have an feedback on

* Would the fencing block out too much light with it being right on top of the beds? This is really the #1 issue I was looking for feedback on.

* How high i should make this go above my beds?

* What type of fencing would be best?

Also..I'm not sure of the proper term for this. But I was thinking if I went this route of fastening a T like peice of wood on each section. Then on my beds another piece that T would fit into so that I could easily slide it on/off.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? If it would work, where to get the parts to make this?


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The photo you have in the message is standard chicken wire fencing.

This would work well for the rabbit issue - but won't provide any kind of protection from deer since they are much taller.

You can buy chicken wire fencing in all kinds of heights (2, 3, 4, 5 feet from what I've seen). In your case, the 2-foot high would be more than sufficient for rabbits.

The fencing won't block out any light at all - especially with as low to the ground it is - so that isn't an issue. Even if placed over the top of the beds, the wire mesh is so small that it wouldn't make any difference to the plants.

How high to make it above the beds? Well, if you are going to cover the beds with the fencing - you of course need to ensure it is high enough so that your plants don't grow through it. So this all depends upon what you are going to be planting. Green beans, lettuce, etc - 2 feet is fine. Tomatoes - highly recommend not putting the fencing over the top because they grow too large.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 3:33PM
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Thanks...I was thinking of leaving the tops open as in that photo. That way the peppers and tomatoes on the trellis won't be effected by the fencing and I could leave it on all summer.

So it sounds like 2-3' Chicken Wire fence around the perimeter as pictured should work well.

And then wait and if I end up having any deer/squirrel issues and cross that bridge when I come to it since it doesn't seem too much of an issue at this point.

Any recommendations on plants to put on the borders that might deter deer or other animals like squirrels?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 4:02PM
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I definitely know that I've had exceptional luck keeping deer out by putting onions around the borders. I grew onions in my front bed last year and even had corn growing in that same bed. The deer love corn - but wouldn't come near the beds because the onions.

Once I harvested the onions and took them out, I caught deer out scavenging for my corn! So that was proof enough to see that deer cannot stand onions.

As for the squirrels - can't comment on that one.

Here is a link that might be useful: BsnTech Gardening Blog

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 4:55PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)

bsn didn't mention it, but the Green Beans he is referring to would be bush beans. Pole beans would end up growing through the wire... that wouldn't be a problem, really because the vines are so fine that it would matter, but they might actually end up growing all over the top, and then would end up shading out the other plants.

I am putting some chicken wire around my garden this year, because the rabbit population around me is getting out of hand! I'm not going to put a top on it, because then I would need to take it off each time I wanted to harvest, weed, etc. (I don't have any deer around me, so it isn't a big deal.)

BTW, why would you need a bigger fence than the 3'x8' garden itself? A 3' wide garden is narrow enough that you really shouldn't have any trouble reaching into the center. Instead of adding extra fencing around the perimeter, I would just set up the fence so that you can access your garden from more places. (Chicken wire is very light, so it is actually conceivable that you could just pick it up and move it as needed without much hassle (you could even fashion into two halves 3' x 4'). Then, just weigh it down a little when you want it there. The wind isn't really going to grab it too much, so it won't require much effort to weigh it down.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 11:03AM
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I am talking from my ACTUAL experience with fencing around my vegetable garden. I used "RABBIT GUARD" fence and on three different occasions found a full grown rabbit in my garden. He/she jumped through the top square and wiggled his way through,,,,,saw it with my own eyes. baby rabbits run through it like it is not even there. I had to use chicken fence "its about 1" octagon wire holes" around over the rabbit fence to keep the rabbits out. This has worked great and is about 30" high.....no deer problems

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:38PM
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eaglesgarden(6b - se PA)


That is the precise reason that I was going to go with chicken wire. Rodents (and remember, that's exactly what rabbits are) have a tendency to get into places that we generally wouldn't expect, and have the uncanny ability to problem solve much better than we often give them credit for. With a 4" x 4" opening, even if it is 18" off the ground, would still be big enough for a rabbit. I figure that no rabbit will be small enough to fit through the chicken wire, and wouldn't be able to jump 30" in height.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 5:45PM
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So, I've had rabbits try to enter my garden in the past and I had rabbits as pets for a couple years.

A 30" height fence will deter rabbits, but it won't really stop them. They can jump up to 36"-48" when they want to. Personally, I have a 48" chicken wire fence around my garden and only had a problem once when I didn't close the 'door' to the garden.

I hope your solution works, it all depends how hungry/persistent the rabbits are in your neighborhood.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 12:53PM
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I really like the idea of the wire cage that Mel has in the book on page 65. It includes a top, so nothing can hop over and in. It looks very light weight so it will be easy to lift off as necessary. He suggests building it as high as your tallest plant will grow.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 9:34PM
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