How to Build a Fence for a Raised Garden Bed
There are gardeners all over the world and from all walks of life. Some of us grow flowers in window boxes on high-rise apartments. Some of us grow food for our families in our backyards. Some of our sitting rooms are so full of propagating houseplants that we can hardly see outside.
But no matter where we garden or what we grow, there is something all gardeners have in common: we are passionate about caring for our plants. We put our sweat and our souls into nurturing these little beauties up from the earth — and that means we take special care to protect them.
If your garden has ever (or almost) been ravaged by rogue animals or carelessly stomping feet, you need a garden fence to keep your plants safe. Even a raised bed can benefit from some garden fencing, and building your own is actually rather simple.
Click to View Page Contents
Why Does Your Raised Garden Bed Need a Fence?
You might be wondering why a raised garden bed needs a fence. After all, the bed is already raised up — shouldn’t that protect the plants from harm?
In some ways, sure. Plants in a raised bed do enjoy some level of protection compared to those planted directly into the earth. However, there are still some dangers facing plants in a raised garden bed. Small critters like rabbits can still access your raised bed and make a feast of all your hard work. A fence will prevent them from getting to the good stuff.
Additionally, a garden fence can help others at your home take notice of the bed and avoid it. The fence works wonders to prevent your family and friends from tripping over the bed by mistake and flattening all your vegetables.
This project does require moderate skill as a handyman, so you may need to enlist the help of a friend or neighbor. But whether you’re working with someone or tackling your garden fence alone, the first thing you need to do is gather the right supplies. The necessities for this project are:
Wood Planks & Screws or Nails
For your garden fence, you’ll want to get exterior-grade wood boards. If you have your own miter saw, you can buy boards and cut them to your specifications later. If you don’t have a saw, it’s best to measure your raised garden bed and purchase boards that are the appropriate length for you.
Wire fencing is a great choice for garden fencing, as it keeps animals out of your garden without hiding your plants out of view. Chicken wire tends to be a popular choice among gardeners because it’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive, but you can also opt for rabbit netting or multi-purpose garden fencing.
L brackets are a great tool to give your fence panels extra support at the corners. Simply place two panels next to each other at a right angle and screw the brackets into place. This prevents your fence panels from falling over and making your whole fence unusable.
Staples and Staple Gun
Staples help your wire fencing stay taught against the wooden posts of each panel. Your staple gun will make this step quick and easy, so don’t forget to bring this important tool with you when you put up your garden fence.
Exterior Hinges, Screws, and Latch (for gate)
These pieces are somewhat optional, as you’ll only need them if you decide to build a gate into your garden fence. There are many benefits to having a gate (like accessing your plants without having to step over your new fence), but they’re not a complete necessity.
Steps to Building Your Fence
The first step to building your garden fence is to make several measurements and cuts. Measure the length and height you’ll want for each panel (hint: the height of your panels should be about two inches more than the height of your wire fencing), and measure the total perimeter of your raised bed.
Do not skip this step (especially if you’re an inexperienced DIY-er). You will use the panel measurements to cut your wooden boards to the appropriate size, and you’ll need the perimeter measurement to determine how much wire fencing you’ll need.
Construct Your Panels
Once you have everything cut to your specifications, it’s time to start building your garden fence. You can do this in two ways: by securing vertical wooden boards at each corner (secured by L brackets), or by building several square or rectangular panels that sit along the length of your raised bed. Panels are beneficial with long beds, as they can give your wire fencing additional support around the bed.
Whichever option you use, the process here is simple. Screw or nail your boards directly to your raised bed, using the L brackets to secure the boards at each corner. When you’re finished, your garden bed should have several wooden arms sticking up from the top.
Wrap with Wire Fencing
Next, take your wire fencing and stretch it along the length of your raised bed. Ideally, you will want to secure the fencing INSIDE the wooden panels.
Unroll your fencing and pull it taught, then use your staple gun to secure it to the wooden posts. Remember to cut the fencing at each corner to keep the fencing tight enough across each panel.
Install a Gate
Finally, decide where (or if) you want to have a gate in the fence. Cut the wire fencing at this place and secure exterior hinges on the nearest panel. You should have a length of fencing that swings on this hinge — in other words, a gate.
Use a board to keep the fencing taught across the gate and attach your latch to this board and the panel closest to it. Just like that, you have a quick and easy way to access your raised garden bed.
A garden fence can make a world of difference in keeping your plants safe from hungry critters or careless passersby. And when you have the right tools, building this fence can be a breeze.
Dain Rakestraw is the Director of Marketing and Client Services at Red Brand, a line of premium agricultural fencing products known as the most recognized brand of agricultural fencing in the United States.