If you have a lovely garden in your backyard, there’s a good chance that you will eventually see wild animals encroaching on your property. This problem will escalate if you are growing food. The way you can stop this problem is by installing a garden fence.
You could forsake a fence and use a farm dog, repellents, or scare devices, which can be effective. But a good garden fence is more reliable long-term and will provide around-the-clock protection without fail.
But how do you choose? Here are some helpful tips to finding the right garden fence for you.
Assess Your Needs
The biggest threat to your garden will likely be wild animals getting into your garden to feed. The most prevalent animals that you’re likely to find foraging are deer, groundhogs (woodchucks), pocket gophers, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and voles. Opossums and moles would be expected by many to be on this list but they won’t directly damage your garden and eat enough insects that they can be somewhat beneficial.
The first step to figuring out what fence to build around your garden is to find out what animals are getting in and causing trouble. Most animals leave a sign that can help you figure out which ones are damaging your garden. These signs can be footprints, tooth marks, scat, or the way they dig for food. Make sure to check your local extension service to see what kind of animals are known for damaging vegetable gardens in your area.
You can usually tell damage that might be caused by birds, squirrels, or groundhogs during the day but that task can be much tougher at night. If you can’t tell what animals are causing you trouble, station a $10 wireless motion-sensor light in your garden. Then turn off most of the lights in your house. When the light comes on, you should be able to find out what animal it is.
Kinds of Fencing
Once you’ve figured out what kind of animals are causing the trouble, it’s time to decide on a fence. Plastic mesh can be used to stop deer but rabbits will quickly gnaw right through the plastic creating openings for smaller animals to sneak through.
A fence can be used to control the movements of goats, dogs, pigs, and chickens. Most people like to start with a post-and-wire perimeter fencing. There are three types of basic fencing you can choose from for this purpose.
Woven Wire Fencing
Woven wire fencing must be forcibly stretched between sturdy posts. But it has enough flexibility to make it resilient and easier to install on uneven terrain than other types.
Welded Wire Fencing
Welded wire fencing is stiffer than woven wire fencing and requires minimal stretching making it easier to install. It works best when installed on relatively level ground.
You can also use welded wire products with smaller mesh laced around the lower edge, something intended to keep horses from getting their hooves caught in fencing, as it may deter some smaller animals from attempting to get through.
Stock panel fencing consists of panels that are 16 feet in length and are a good choice because they can be relocated easily if necessary.
The basic fences previously mentioned are a good start but more features are needed in order to keep out smaller animals. If the animals causing you trouble are pocket gophers, groundhogs, rabbits, or skunks, you’ll need a buried barrier of poultry netting, otherwise known as chicken wire, or hardware cloth that faces away from the base of the fence. How deep the buried edge needs to be is dependent on what animals are attempting to dig. The better the digger, the deeper the edge needs to be.
There are several things that you can use to deter deer from entering your garden and damaging your crops. Some of these include growing catnip and daffodils and hanging dirty dog blankets from trees in the deer’s access path. However, nothing is more effective than a well-built fence.
The fact that deer are such great jumpers, you may presume that height is the main factor. But that’s actually not the case. Deer have poor depth perception so having two fences is a critical factor to keeping them out.
A great aspect about fences are their ability to serve multiple purposes so If you already have a fence that is used for other purposes such as keeping children and pets in the yard, you can install a second fence about three feet inside the existing one. The two fences will keep deer from jumping over the pair due to their poor depth perception.
A garden takes a lot of hard work and patience so you don’t want wild animals coming in and damaging what you’ve worked so hard to grow. If you’re looking to build a fence to protect your garden or any other type of fence on your property, contact Secure Fence and Rail to do a quality job.