Update: added 3 more 4x4 boxes marble chip pathways . Time for more space we reused one of the posts to support our ever expanding hop vines and to provide some natural shade when they grow
This instructable is suitable for one person to do by themselves with some ingenuity and limited set of tools.There were two goals with this project, keep out critters and make it aesthetically pleasing to look at. In years past i had used 4x4 boarders and metal fence posts with plastic mesh fencing while it did the job sort of it didn't look good and it didn't keep out animals.
Our location has deer, bears, groundhogs, foxes and assorted mini creatures all who love to feast on greens. This was also designed to be on a budget... I am sure the wood choices could be altered but i wanted something that could be flexible to expansion with out breaking the bank .What we used for materials is as follows:
For the Fence
9 - 8ft Landscape Timbers
2 - 8ft 4x4 posts
2 - 2x4 4foot x 50ft welded wire fence
100 ft - galvanized wire
2 bags quick set cement
1 4 ft x 50 foot poultry mesh fencing
Sharp pointed shovel
For raised beds, this is for each size 4x4 and 2x6
4 - 4ft 1x6" sections
4 - 2Inch blocks
2 - 6ft 1x6" sections
2 - 2ft 1x6" sections
Step 1: Digging Fence Post Holes
If you're lucky and dont have 1 foot round size rocks you can proably use a post hole digger but for me i used a shovel. I made the whole 2 times bigger than the posts which are 2x4 rounded edge landscape timbers i chose these for cost , 3.97 each .. i went down about 2 feet , and used a concrete form at the base that was only about 8 inches high. Once the whole was dug, i put the post in the middle of the form and added the quick set concrete. it took about 30-40 minutes to set which made it easy to move from one post to the next.
Once it set i filled the hole back in with the dirt and packed it down as we went. You can certainly use 2 feet of cement but after trying one i felt this was enough to support the posts without moving.. if i need to remove them its fairly easy to dig down a little and sawzall it off. Even if i have to replace ones its not as bad then if i used all cement.
My dimensions were about 20 x 20' . I use 4 corner posts and one in the middle. For the gate section i used 4x4 posts mostly because i had them left over and secondly it made it easier to hang door hinges. The gate posts were set 33 inches apart.
Step 2: Hanging the Main Wire Fencing
I chose to use welded galvanized non-colored wire so you can still look at the contents while keeping things out and it makes it more transparent to the surroundings . Also were not trying to keep large animals out so they wont be pushing on them .
Start at one side and nail them to the first post using poultry staples. If you're like me you will nail your hands with the hammer more times than not with how small they are , you can use anything you want to fasten as long as they are tight.
Some people will say with digging animals , like groundhogs to go 2 feet deep with the fence, I chose to go with 1 inch poultry wire at the base placed in an L-shape with the bottom part underground. more later.
Step 3: Adding Top Section of Fence
You can go up another level with the welded wire , but its costly and you will end up overlapping unless you use 2 sections of 3 foot high fencing. I choose to use galvanized wire strung across the posts , its easier to manage at that height and the main purpose is to keep deer away and all you need is something in thier way.
I also taped the wire so that deer would see whats in their way.
This is fairly easy, just screw the eye hooks in the posts about every foot then string the galvanized wire through the eyehooks , cut to length and twist them on. Repeat for however high you want to go.
Step 4: Building the Gate
if you measure right you can go out and buy a cheap screen door (40$) or make one custom, my opening was not straight and I messed up not measuring for a standard door size.
I used 2x4s for the long ends and then 1x4s for the cross members . The middle section is just 2 1x4s i used the same left over welded wire for the screen section
I then used 4" hinges , a handle and latch gate for the closures
Step 5: Securing the Bottom of the Fence
I have a dreaded groundhog in the neighborhood and they like to dig. Instead of going 2 feet deep with the fence i opted to use poultry fencing in an L shape under ground to deter digging.
I cut the 4foot high fencing in half and then bent it in the middle, i dug away by the base and made an L shape i buried the one part under the ground and attached the other to the fencing ,we shall see how smart the groundhog is .
Next step is electrified , with a couple wires going along the base if all else fails.
Step 6: Building the Raised Beds
You can go as high as you want with these but keep in mind you have to fill them with soil :) . I chose 6inches high for two reasons my soil is hard and clay about 8 inches deep i wanted 6 inches above , also it was done for aesthetics and a 'neater' look , you can make the boxes whatever size you need. I used 4x4' and 6x2' based on the size and existing.
I had my wood pre-cut to the lengths i needed at a big box store to save time and make sure they were uniform. Use whatever wood you like I'm, not here to make a war on wood choices. Just stay away from stained or checmically treated wood.
Take one end of the plank and use a a 2x2" block and secure to the end , take the next side and secure to the block and the end of the other piece. I used 2 inch galvanized deck screws. An air powered screw gun helps.
Step 7: Fill With Dirt and Enjoy!
That's it depending on how many boxes you have you can go to the box store and get garden soil bags and a mix of compost or anywhere else you want to get your soil from. make sure to aerate the ground below before fillign with soil and mix well.