Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Nearly Free Garden Fence

Greetings! In a previous post, I spoke of my husband using wooden shipping crates as raised garden beds. Well, here is an idea that we are implementing.

We get the shipping crates free from a business in town that receives their manufacturing supplies in them. Normally, the business would burn the crates so they are happy to have us take them off their hands. Another free item that we get are old wooden pallets. We are setting up the border of the garden with alternating pallets & crates. The crates help to stabilize the pallets to make a very strong fence to keep wildlife and errant livestock from eating the garden's vegetable plants.

The pallets serve both as fence material and can be used as a trellis to support climbing plants or those such as tomatoes that need the support. The crates serve as raised garden beds as well as compost bins. Once we have the entire perimeter of the garden fenced with the pallets and crates, we will be adding rows of crates inside the garden for next year's planting.

The wood is weather treated so it will last a long time before needing replaced. The crates are tall enough (waist high) that we can easily tend the garden without getting sore. The height is great also for keeping many of the smaller animals such as rabbits away from the plants. If we run out of crates, we can easily make some using 4 pallets held together with metal strapping & screws.

Is this a rustic method, certainly. It is a wonderful way to recycle the materials though as well as provide excellent protection to the garden at very low cost. Our fencing & crates are costing us only the price of the screws used to attach the pallets to the crates and the time & fuel used to bring the materials home.

We are filling the crates about 2/3 full of old hay as a filler before adding the soil. In future years we will only need to ammend the soil by adding compost or other materials to fortify the soil. In all, it is a very easy method that will serve us well for many years to come.