A wire fence is the perfect way to protect your precious garden from pets, children, and unwanted pests. Follow along on this simple tutorial to learn how we did just that!
Having a garden space that meets your needs and brings you joy is such a blessing. This is something we have wanted to accomplish since moving into our current home, over 3 years ago. The thing that prevented us was the lack of finances on our low budget. I am so grateful that our circumstances have changed and God blessed us with the ability to save up for the garden we have always wanted. When I say we, I mean I. My husband is super supportive of the garden, but it’s totally my thing that I’m passionate about and he just helps where needed.
Considerations I made before choosing this type of fence
When considering what type of fence I wanted to do for the garden, I needed to think logically. Originally, I really liked the idea of doing a cute little white picket fence. The more I thought about it, however, I realized that was not the practical choice for our needs. We have a toddler, an infant, and another on the way. Not to mention the biggest problem with a picket fence, we have 2 large dogs. Our black lab is old and probably wouldn’t try too hard to get into the garden. Our 6 year old red bone coon hound on the other hand, would get in no problem by jumping over or digging under a picket fence. We live in a neighborhood, for now. So pests, other than birds, aren’t really an issue for us.
All that being said, I went with a fence option that was still aesthetically pleasing but more sturdy. My style is more the natural wood anyways so it worked out to be perfect for our home. We decided to go with a black coated, 4ft wire fence lined by treated wood. I am totally against using treated wood in my actual garden beds, but I was okay with using it for the surrounding fence. We wanted to be sure we chose the fence that would not rot quickly, either.
Supplies you’ll need to build a garden fence with wood and wire
- Concrete, gravel, or both (you’ll need about a bag per post hole, depending on how big of a bag you buy and how wide you dig your holes)
- 4×4’s– We used 9 for a 50 foot garden space.
- 12 foot 2×4’s– 9 for a 50 foot garden space.
- Staple gun
- 12-14mm T50 Staples
- 3 inch decking nails
- Pilot drill tip
- Miter Saw
- Post hole digger or gas auger
- Wheel barrow or bucket for mixing cement or hauling gravel
- Gate hardware
- Wire cutters
- *Optional- chainsaw to level off posts if they became uneven when setting at all.
There is a lot of things to note about these supplies. These notes also include tips on what NOT to do according to mistakes I made. Read below for details on this.
Choosing gravel vs. concrete or both for setting the fence posts
There are some things to consider when you are deciding what type of material to use to set your posts. Originally, I thought that I would need both gravel and concrete to set my posts. I thought this due to research I had done ahead of time. It turns our that it was actually not necessary for us and here’s why. Our soil is super sandy. This means that using something like pea gravel to set our posts would not work well because of how the gravel would settle with the sand. I did, however, still want some security with the posts. For this reason, I opted to set them with concrete. If you have a soil that is very much clay-like, I would recommend using gravel instead. In some regions, it may be a good idea to use both gravel and concrete to set the posts.
Choosing type of wood for your garden fence
We opted for treated wood on our garden fence. This is because we wanted to get longevity out of the fence as well as prevent rot. Treated wood was that best option based on our needs. I do not use treated wood on our actual garden beds, so that the chemicals do not leak into the soil, thus into our food. Make the best decision for your family based on your needs and what is most important to you. Treated wood is a little bit more expensive, but it’s worth it. Like I said, we saved up for this for months, so we wanted to make sure we got exactly what we wanted out of the garden fence.
Choosing wire for fence
There are a few different wire options to choose from. There is plain 2x3inch wire fence that would work just fine. Be sure you choose 4 foot fence if you are needing height to keep pets or children out of your garden space. We opted to do a coated version of that exact wire fence. This decision was made due to the fact that it would last longer. I also liked the way the black wire fence looked with the wood from an aesthetic standpoint.
Choosing a gate for your garden fence
You want to be sure not to forget about a gate! How would you get to that precious garden without a way in. Once you get working, it can be easy to forget, so make sure you have a plan for the gate in place ahead of time.
Here are some ideas you could use for your garden gate:
- Make one out of wire and diagonal 2×4’s
- An old headboard
- An old door
My mom had made me a headboard out of old shutters, years ago. Now that I am married and have a new bed frame, we had that headboard in the guest room. We recently got rid of the guest room to utilize it as a home office for my husband and I to work from. I definitely knew I wanted to find a new use for this hand-crafted piece. It worked out perfectly for our garden gate! Get creative and see what furniture you have lying around, odds are with a little work you could repurpose it into a gate for your garden fence.
Step-by-step instructions on how to build a wood & wire fence
- First, you’ll want to get ALL of your supplies from your local hardware store. Double and triple check your supplies when you get home that it is all going to work together properly.
- Secondly, you’ll want to measure out your garden area and mark out where you are going to put your posts. The easiest way to do this would be with those little wire flags. I did not use those flags, I simply just measured out the posts and cut out a chunk of grass where the post would go.
- Now it’s time to get to work! Begin by digging your post holes down into the ground with a gas auger or post hole digger. 2 feet is a good depth for most places. It is recommended to make the hold 3 times as wide as your post. I originally followed that recommendation, but then changed. See below for a mistake I made in regards to this.
- Once you have those holes dug to proper depth and width, it’s time to set the posts into place. If using concrete, alone, follow mixing instructions on the bag for setting a post. Be sure to angle the concrete away from the post as it dries so that water doesn’t pool around the post and cause rot. Wait 24 hours for the concrete to dry before you fill the hole in with dirt. The next day, fill in the post holes the rest of the way with soil and pack down well. If using gravel and concrete both, you’ll add a couple inches of gravel first, then set the post in the concrete as listed above.
- Level-off the posts with a saw, if necessary.
- Unravel the wire fence ahead of time to let it rest. It will be easier to attach to the wire fencing if it is straight and not coiled. I recommend setting it out the day prior to working with it.
- Next, it’s time to attach the 2×4’s. Measure the exact distance between each post (should be 6 feet) and cut each 2×4 accordingly.
- Once all the 2×4’s are cut to the proper length, use a pilot drill to make 2 diagonal holes on each end of the 2×4’s where they will attach to the posts.
- Use a 3 inch screw to secure all of the 2×4’s ,for the top of the fence, into place with the pilot drills. Be sure to skip the space where your gate is going to go!
- Do the same thing to secure the bottom 2×4’s. Be sure to leave a few inches of space from the bottom of the post. I recommend measuring up 2-4 inches and attaching the lower 2×4’s there.
The wire fencing
- Now it’s time to cut and attach the wire fencing. Measure the exact length between your posts and using wire cutters, cut the wire fencing accordingly. Use your staple gun to attach the wire fencing to both the top and Botton 2×4’s. Use a staple about every 4 inches to secure the fencing.
- Lastly, attach the gate hardware to your gate, following the instructions on the package. Then, attach the gate via the hardware between the desired two fence posts. See a note on a mistake I made below.
- You did it! Enjoy your garden fence for years to come.
Some mistakes I made that I hope to help you avoid
- My first mistake was underestimating the time it was going to take to complete this project. As I said, I have 2 boys under 3 years old that I make time for and a baby on the way. So, as you can imagine I’m busy. Not to mention, the time I set aside during naps to work on my blog. Make sure you are realistic about the time it will take to complete this project, depending on your the season of life you are in.
- Another mistake I made is a rather silly one that I’m sure no one else will make. I’m totally blaming this one on pregnancy brain. I had originally planned for the posts to be 4 feet apart, but somewhere along the way I changed it to 6 feet apart. I originally bought 13, 8-foot posts for this reason and ended up not using them all because I changed my mind, for some reason. This silly mistake also messed up my gate idea. My headboard I used for the gate is only 3.98 feet long so it wasn’t going to fit between 6 feet posts. To fix this mistake, I used 2 of those extra posts to make up for the space to attach the gate to and it worked out just fine but the extra work could have been avoided.
- Thirdly, I would recommend rounding up help ahead of time. I am not good at asking for help so I was all hung-ho on doing this entire project on my own. Mind you, I have never done ANYTHING like this so that was not a smart idea. I ended up gathering help from my husband and father-in-law to set the posts in concrete, as well as teach me to use our Miter saw.
The post hole fiasco
- The recommendation for a post hole is for it to be three times the width of your post. I found that in doing this, I was going to need WAY more concrete than I had originally bought. My husband ended up going on an impromptu run to the hardware store to purchase 8 additional 80 lb. bags of concrete. I would recommend buying a bag per post hole and if you end up with extra, then you will have some for a DIY garden pot or something. It is also not actually really necessary to be that much larger, I found that 2 times larger than the post was sufficient. Setting the posts was also so much easier when the holes weren’t as wide.
- When we mixed the cement for some of the posts, the mix was rather watery. We were able to salvage it by adding sand to the concrete mix and pack it down into the hole. Avoid this mistake by CAREFULLY following the instructions on the bag of concrete.
- I ended up hand digging all of the post holes, with the help of my toddler. This is obviously not ideal. The reason I ended up needing to do this is that the people that were supposed to mark out our utilities miscommunicated what they mark. It turns out, I was going to have to hire a private party to mark out the irrigation lines, since my neighborhood is on private irrigation. I did not want to wait weeks for someone to come out, nor did I want to pay for that. The whole family pitched in and we got it done, by hand!
Leave a comment below with what type of garden fence you have or want! I’d love to hear all of the creative ideas out there.
More encouragement from My Abiding Home:
- The Best Essential Oils for Pregnancy
- How To Dehydrate Oranges for Decorations
- Homemade Sourdough Tortillas with Einkorn
- How To Sew A Curtain DIY Tutorial
Check out the links below for more garden inspiration from fellow bloggers:
- How To Create Beautiful and Sturdy Garden Trellises by Crowded Table Farmstead
- Why I Switched To A Raised Garden Bed by Little House Simple Living
- How To Grow Blueberries In Pots by Growing Dawn
- How To Plant Tomatoes with Egg Shells by Hilltop In The Valley
Thank you for such a detailed explanation on how to build the fence. I hadn’t even thought about using PT wood as I don’t use that in my garden beds either.
Breanna Wilson says
You’re welcome! I got behind on this project, so hoping to add progress pics to this post shortly.
Great information! Thank you!
Breanna Wilson says
You are welcome! I hope you find this helpful.