I'm building a garden fence about 50 feet by
50 feet. I'm setting 8 foot 4X4s two feet deep
in cement. And then I'm using 2in by 2 inch wire
fencing to keep the rabbits out.
About how far apart should the posts be to keep
the fence upright and tight? 10 feet apart looks
about right, but I'm not 100 percent sure.
> I'm building a garden fence about 50 feet by
> 50 feet. I'm setting 8 foot 4X4s two feet deep
> in cement. And then I'm using 2in by 2 inch wire
> fencing to keep the rabbits out.
You sure 2x2 wire fence is going to keep rabbits?
As I remember, it took 1" chicken wire to protect shrubs.
10 foot is probably OK for 2x2 wire fence, but I agree with Lew, you
want 1" mesh for rabbits. Chicken wire works, but will never work
with 10 or even 8 foot spacing. I doubt even hardware cloth will look
good with that spacing. The make special rabbit fence that has 1"
spacing for the first foot or two, and then 2" spacing above that.
Don't have any experience with it so I don't know if would span 10'.
One option you could consider if you don't want to space your posts
closer is to use a tension wire on top and bottom. This is wire rope
you thread through the top (and bottom) row of the fencing. You pull
this tight with turnbuckles and it keeps the top and bottom of the
mesh from folding over.
My garden fence has 4x4 posts on 7-8 foot centers, but I ran 1x4 rails
near the top and at the 30" line. I stapled 36" chicken wire to the
rail, and buried the bottom 6". So far so good.
Paul Franklin wrote:
> The make special rabbit fence that has 1"
> spacing for the first foot or two, and then 2" spacing above that.
Reminds me of the stuff my dad used for hog fences. Different size,
but same idea.
> One option you could consider if you don't want to space your posts
> closer is to use a tension wire on top and bottom. This is wire rope
> you thread through the top (and bottom) row of the fencing. You pull
> this tight with turnbuckles and it keeps the top and bottom of the
> mesh from folding over.
They are known as messenger cables and could solve a lot of problems
such as insuring the fence is kept down on the ground and allowing the
use of simple interior posts since most of the load is carried by the
Also, 3/8", 7x19, galvanized cable is fairly low cost, as well as the
cable clamps and turn buckles.
: My garden fence has 4x4 posts on 7-8 foot centers, but I ran 1x4 rails
: near the top and at the 30" line. I stapled 36" chicken wire to the
: rail, and buried the bottom 6". So far so good.
I'm actually not a gardner, but I listen to this radio show "You Bet
Your Garden", http://www.whyy.org/91FM/ybyg/ . And I have a mind like
fly-paper - all the stuff I don't want sticks.
Some of his answers are archived, and I found his fence advice at
http://www.gardensalive.com/article.asp?aih4 . It says that no
burrowing creature goes more than 1.5' down, so use six foot fencing
with poles, with poles six feet apart. Use a trench digging tool to
dig a two foot trench. Bury two feet of fence, stack three feet
abovce ground, and leave the top foot loose and bend it outwards at 90
degrees. That prevents burrowing and climbing critters from getting
past your fence. There's more advice at that URL.
[ Maybe we should start rec.woodworking.gardening :-) ]
If all you want to do is put up chicken wire to keep out rabbits,
you might consider steel T posts that can be simply driven into the
ground. 4X4s set in concrete is kind of overkill for chicken or rodent
wire. OTOH, if you might someday install pre-made fence sections onto
the posts, set them on 8 foot centers. I would recommend NOT using
concrete around the posts. PT 4X4s can be set directly in the ground
and will last decades.
Often wrong, never in doubt.
Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar. org
I think he's implying that frost heave would move them around. Doesn't seem
to affect shallow narrow objects much around here, where the ground freezes
solid even under the snow to a couple feet or more.
LOVE spring breakup and gravel roads.
Here where the frost can get 4 feet deep or more, a fence post especially if
in a concrete plug, will be pushed out of the ground by the frost. If your
soil is loose sand, 2 foot depth will not provide much support.
Odd. I've got three full degrees of latitude north of Buffalo, and
twenty-five years on the swingset, with ten on the clothesline posts all 18
inches in concrete. My bluebird houses are on their second set of cedar
posts only because they rotted off at the ground after fifteen years. Maybe
it's because we don't have many freeze/thaw cycles in a winter. Freezes and
stays that way.
but it has to have small openings. The rabbits around here
can go through a chain-link fence barely slowing down. Their
skull is smaller than it looks, and they have a flexible
skeleton, so where their head can go the body will follow.
They will not climb a fence or try to jump over it. I have
successfully kept them out of flower beds with an 18 inch fence.
Now, if you are talking about jack rabbits or Australian
ones, that is another matter.
Folks around here have a lot of problems with turkeys in the garden. The
buggers will eat anything, not just insects, and they scratch and wallow,
making a mess.
Called my extension agent and asked the best way to protect the garden,
since people with fencing were just putting the creatures on the wing. He
said "turkeys are stupid. They would rather walk than fly. If they see an
obstacle they'll fly over, but a nice electrified wire about ten inches
above the ground never seems to register as anything until they hit it."
Why not run one at four and one at eight and see if that doesn't do for the
bunnies? I don't have a rabbit or rodent problem, having a couple of fairly
large snakes in residence in my compost heap, but that would be my choice.
I find it easier to set T poles in come spring, after plowing and preparing
the soil. I remove them in the fall.
Now deer are another matter. The big ones respond to sight barriers, which
is why I use the polypropylene/stainless electrification. Young ones will
sometimes get in and panic after the first zap. Once only....
Skip the concrete. Buy some T posts and rabbit fencing. To keep out
the deer, add a couple strings of solar-powered electric line. How
far apart the posts should be set depends on the weight/height of the
fence. My posts are about 6 feet apart. Several years later I
expanded my garden--much easier to move T posts than cemented posts.
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