Monday, May 2, 2011

Fencing, as in the Garden: Green Acres Weekend Update

As I mentioned earlier, Byron spent the bulk of his spring break enclosing the garden.  Here are the photos, along with a few how-to and money-saving tips.

H-brace, two of which are built at each corner.  See the wooden stick in the middle?  Byron split a 2x4 in half and twisted one at each H-brace to create tension in the wire running diagonally between the posts.  You can buy something for this very purpose for about $5 each, or rip down a 2x4 you have laying around for free.

Staple and wrap fencing around the posts to terminate a run.

At Tractor Supply, fencing staples are about $1/pound less if you buy them in bulk instead of in the box.

Joining fencing is a bit tedious!

"Stretching" a fence is just that - pulling it taught from one corner to another.  Since fencing doesn't behave well and stand up on its own, we had to tie it to the posts intermittently before stretching it.

Another way to save a few bucks: Byron made his own brace out of another handy 2x4 and some bolts.  This brace provides something for the "come-alongs" (ratcheting mechanisms...not sure of spelling) to grip onto so the fence can be stretched.

Byron uses the come-alongs to pull the fence taught against the posts.  At this corner, he had to install a dummy post (right) on which to chain the come-alongs.  Once the fence is stretched taught, it can be stapled to the posts.

The garden is fenced!  The locust and cedar posts, both rot-resistant, were free, salvaged from an old barn and cut from overgrowth on our property; the 4' wire fencing was about $60/per 100 feet.  We could have gotten a lighter gauge garden fence for a little less, but decided this would last a lot longer.  We haven't had any deer problems yet, but since they can easily clear a 6' fence, we may end up stringing wire along the taller corner posts.
So here is the price breakdown:
Posts: free
H-brace wire: We bought a bigger roll which we'll use for the rest of the property, and maybe used about $20 worth of the wire?  I will confirm this!
Wire bracing and brace for stretching the fence: free
Come-alongs: Byron's dad graciously bought these.  Thanks...they made the job so much easier!
Fencing: about $60 x 3
Fencing staples: Approx. $5
Chains and bolts: Approx. $15
Gate: $15 on craigslist

So the whole thing cost less than $250, will save our veggies from critters, and will last for years!  Despite the initial investment, I'm guessing it will pay for itself in the cost of vegetables over the next couple years.  And again, here is a link to video clips Byron watched for this project.

In addition, I had my own little project I began over spring break: creating a manifold rain barrel system.  We have a lot of roof surface at the back of the house, and during a heavy rain water will still sometimes pool near the foundation.  We're hoping some regrading and the rain barrels will help with this problem, preserve water, and provide us with water for the garden.  However...

...since big projects like that intimidate me, I found a few ways to procrastinate.  Since Charlie had begun taping drawings to his newly-painted wall, I used a craft store coupon to buy him a bulletin board.  Painting it was a fun distraction.  I also worked on Akea's room and the parlor a bit...

...but I did eventually get my act together and begin the rain barrel project.  Details to come in a long and drawn-out series of posts as I continue to plug away (um, find ways to procrastinate).
I'm again linking this to Homestead Revival's Barn Hop!  Click below to see what others are up to this spring...

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