Wednesday, May 21, 2008

HOW TO: Build A Deer-Proof Fence For Your Garden

When I moved to our property on Farm To Market Road in Whitefish, Montana, I chose to build a deer-proof fence to last 100 years. Though there is a path around the outside liberally sprinkled with deer dropping, no deer have gotten in for the past seven years. And I did it all myself.

Field fencing (4 ft. high hog wire)
5 six inch pieces of iron pipe, 10 ft long
Fencing pliers
Roll of smooth wire
Cement and sand/gravel mix
Fence post digger
Chain link gate, or one made from pipe and wire
Drill for hinge attachment
Fence stretcher
Coffee cans
L Bolt for hinge
T posts, 10 ft tall

1. Dig holes 2-3 feet deep (to frost line) at the corners of your garden, and one extra for a gatepost.

2. Mix cement as directed on the package with sand and gravel.

3. Insert the iron pipe into the holes, plumb with a strong and plumb bob.

4. Fill with cement mixture and let set for a couple of days.

5. Run a string between your posts and measure every 8 to 10 feet for placement of T-bars.

6. Pound the T-bars for a 2-foot depth, in line between the iron posts (I stood on the truck cab to do this).

7. Cut vertical cross wires out of two feet of the end of your field fencing.

8. Starting at the bottom, wrap horizontal wires around the post. Secure by twisting ends of wire around the first vertical wire tightly.

9. Unroll wire past the T posts to the gate and corner posts.

10. Attach a fence stretcher to the wire to tighten it along the fence posts, or pull with an attachment to your truck, or use a come along. Attach stretched fencing to the posts with wire fencing clips.

11. On fence corners, use smooth wire to attach each horizontal strand to the pipe.

12. At the end post, cut off vertical cross wires for two feet of horizontal wire to wrap and twist around the end post for secure fastening.

13. Repeat for the top 4 feet of field fence.

14. Wire top to the bottom strands by weaving smooth wire between the middle edges of the two fencing pieces.

15. Fit gate between the gate and corner post. Position so it is 6" off the ground for snow clearance and possible sagging.

16. Mark the hinge placement of the gatepost. Drill holes straight through the gatepost, and fit with a long L shaped bolt that can be tightened on the far side of the gatepost.

17. Use commercial chain link attachments or fit pipe gate with pipe clamps to hook onto the hinge.


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