Wire garden fencing is great for keeping cats and other critters out of your vegetable or flower beds. Garden fences are easy and inexpensive to set up. Soft, fertilized soil is very tempting for neighborhood cats and it’s worthwhile to deter other wildlife from your garden, so it is worth the effort to put up a wire fence to keep them out. This how-to will walk you through each step so you can surround your garden with a protective barrier.
Step 1 - Prepare Chicken Wire
Chicken wire is sold in rolls of 25 ft. and is available at hardware stores. It is very springy, so you will need to unroll it and straighten it out. Once you've straightened the length you need, bend it in 90-degree angles.
Step 2 - Determine the Perimeter
Calculate the number of feet you will need to cover with the fence. If you have raised square or rectangular beds, you may want to surround them. If, on the other hand, a wooden fence or structure is to the rear of the garden, you won’t need a fence for that area. To calculate a total for your wire fence measure all lengths.
Step 3 - Cut the Chicken Wire Fence
Measure the length of wire to be cut, then use the wire cutters to snip each piece of chicken wire until the section is free. You will have to make about 40 separate cuts for each length. It’s a good idea to wear gloves for this, as the wire ends can scratch and poke your skin. If your fence will surround a raised bed, make the 90 degree bends in the approximate place. You don’t need one piece of fence to wrap around the bed. Rather, you can combine pieces to make it work.
Step 4 - Position the Fence
Whether it’s around a raised bed or on one side of a bed, position the length of wire fence. Take a garden trowel and dig out along the perimeter. This will give the fence a place to sink into the ground and be supported.
Step 5 - Place the Posts
Thin, ¼ inch thick bamboo rods will work for posts, as will doweling at least ¼ inch in diameter. Green, sturdy garden rods will work too. Every few feet along a straight bed or at every corner of a raised bed, snake a rod through several openings in the wire and push it into the dirt. Also, wherever you join two pieces of wire, overlap the ends and snake a rod through the pieces to secure them together. Make sure you push the rods at least a foot into the ground for the best support.
Step 6 - Create a Wire Cover (optional)
To keep birds or squirrels out of a strawberry patch or other bed, consider bending a piece of wire over so it covers the bed or simply lay another length of wire over the bed. If you lay another piece over, use the perimeter fence as frontal support and stick a couple of rods into the ground in the rear of the bed to support the backside.
A chicken wire fence is great to keep small animals out of your garden beds, and it can easily be folded up and stored for next year.