While looking around the garden recently, I was surprised by the many uses that I’ve found for an ordinary roll of vinyl coated garden fencing material.
For me it’s the gardening equivalent of a handy man’s roll of all-purpose duct tape.
Quickly Construct a Simple Garden Fence
A fifty foot roll of the 28-inch tall wire fencing material sells for about $25 at the local garden center. The green, vinyl coated fencing is stiffer than chicken wire but still flexible and easy to cut with pliers or wire cutters. Best of all the material will last indefinitely even when constantly exposed to extreme weather conditions.
I initially obtained a roll of the vinyl covered fencing to construct a barrier around the garden to prevent critters from having free access. Used along three foot metal fence posts, a garden fence can be constructed quickly and easily.
It won’t be foolproof for keeping intruders at bay but it does provide some deterrence and has worked to keep larger animals such as dogs, cats, and groundhogs away from the raised beds. Even animals such as possums, squirrels, and raccoons that could easily climb over the short fence haven’t seemed to bother.
Creating a Trellis for Climbing Plants and Vines
Fortunately there are no deer around because they could step right over the fence just as I do. And the rabbits usually figure out ways to slip under or jump right through it, but even they are discouraged from making the extra effort. You can also find versions of the wire fencing with smaller openings on the lower half to help exclude smaller animals.
Another favorite use for the garden fencing material is as a trellis to support climbing vines of everything from tomatoes, pole and runner beans, cucumbers, peas, and melons, to various flowers and other climbing vines that require support.
The trellis can be created by attaching the wire fencing to the tops of sheds or other tall structures, or you can support it with tall metal posts, A-frames, or a homemade wooden framework.
Protecting Garden Containers and Planters
Do you have trouble with squirrels, chipmunks, cats, and other animals digging in your favorite containers? Pieces of the wire fencing can be cut to size and secured across the tops of the containers, or laid directly onto the planters soil to discourage critters from making themselves at home in your container gardens.
Groundhogs always pruned the lower portions of container grown vines until I started surrounding the plants with a sheet of fencing bent to form a shield around the growing vines. Snip off the leading edges of the fencing to create prongs that can be inserted into the soil or used to clasp ends of the material together.
Other Uses for Garden Fencing Material
Sometimes I’ll fashion small tubes that can be placed around individual plants to protect and prevent damage as well as provide some support. The green colored material will blend in and not stand out as much in the landscape, or you can remove them once the plants have sufficiently grown out.
Other uses include forming a hoop like framework to support floating row covers, shade cloth, or plastic cloche material. When groundhogs and skunks began seeking refuge underneath the deck, I simply cut and attached a few pieces of the garden fencing to make the area inaccessible.
These are just some of the ways that I’m using garden fencing in and around my organic garden. The material is inexpensive, easy to use, and very long lasting. I’m sure you’ll be able to put it to many good uses in you own garden, just be sure to let me know of any creative applications that you come up.
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