Install a Critter-Proof Garden Fence
Use pressure-treated lumber to build a sturdy post-and-rail enclosure that prevents animals from swiping your veggies
If you're Elmer Fudd, you thwart carrot thieves by sending an Acme Pest Control robot after Bugs Bunny. If you're a seasoned gardener, you know that fencing in your tomatoes, peppers, herbs, and other edibles is the way to go. Our version fends off two varieties of varmints, with wide, welded-wire mesh panels to keep out rabbits and dogs, and tighter, PVC-coated galvanized wire buried below to stymie subterranean-bound woodchucks and moles. A gate at each end allows you to wheelbarrow in garden amendments like mulch and compost. This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows you how to use common building materials—and not mechanical mercenaries—to preserve and protect your hard-grown produce.
Pressure-treated 44 posts, $14 each, and 24 rails, $4.37 each; pressure-treated post caps, from $4; gate hardware, $20; welded wire, $62 for 50 feet; all, The Home Depot. PVC-coated wire, $110 for 100 feet; Critterfence
Critter-Proof Fence Overview
Day 1: Install posts and rails (Steps 2–11).
Day 2: Attach mesh and build gates (Steps 12–18).
Critter-Proof Fence Cut List
4x4 corner posts: ten @ 10 feet (or 12 feet if the grade is severely sloped)
2x4 rails: sixteen cut to fit
2x6 gate top rail: two @ 34 inches
2x4 gate stiles: two @ 57½ inches
2x4 gate bottom rail: two @ 34 inches
2x4 diagonal brace: two cut to fit