Hubby was finally able to get the fence up around my garden yesterday… yay! Now I don’t have to worry about the rabbits, deer, or goats eating all of my hard work!
I held out buying fencing for as long as I could. I really didn’t want to spend any money on a fence. I was hoping I’d find some for free somewhere, but… no luck. I knew it would be foolish to plant a bunch of stuff and not have a fence to protect it, so I finally gave in and bought materials.
Before making my purchase, though, I searched everywhere for the cheapest fencing ideas. And although many were pretty to look at, everything was way too expensive for me. My husband checked out a local salvage place, and found that they could order chicken wire for less money than other places.
Why You Need Garden Fencing
While you can probably get away without having to use fences if you are just growing a few ornamental flowers here and there, if you’re growing a vegetable garden (or any kind of edible crop), a good garden fence is an absolute necessity.
There are several reasons to consider using a garden fence.
The primary reason is to keep animal pests out. The most common garden pests are deer, gophers, raccoons, rabbits, skunks, voles, squirrels, and woodchucks. In order to find the right garden fence, it’s going to be crucial that you first figure out which of these pests is actually the one causing you problems!
Usually, you’ll be able to watch these furry pests as they wreak havoc in your garden.
Sometimes, though, it will be harder to figure out which animals are causing problems. You may need to look for signs like direct damage to garden crops, footprints, scat, or tooth marks. In some cases, you may be able to identify the kind of pest by looking at the way that it digs.
Unfortunately, there are some gardens that prove to be so enticing that they attract multiple kinds of pests. Therefore, you will need to erect a super-secure fence that keeps out multiple types of pests.
Garden fences serve other purposes besides deterring pests. They can help create a nice visual barrier that enhances the appearance of your property. They can also keep out animals that can be problematic for a garden but aren’t necessarily ones you would consider pests – like your own pet dog or your flock of backyard chickens, for example.
Inexpensive Garden Fencing Ideas
Use Treated Pine
Making a fence out of treated pine wood panels isn’t going to be the cheapest solution you will find, but it’s not a bad idea if you don’t have a large area to fence in. install the boards in a horizontal fashion to keep out most kinds of pests. Remember that treated wood can warp or twist a bit after install, so you’ll want to choose panels that are not damp or green.
Nonetheless, pine is still a cheaper option than cedar or redwood.
If you don’t want to splurge on brand-new wood, why not use reclaimed wood? Options like barnwood are all the rage. If you can find a good amount of it, it doesn’t really matter if the boards are cracked or warped. It just needs to keep out the animals! Install a framework of posts and add some horizontal supports before you attach the boards vertically. That’s all there is to it!
Try salvaging some recycled panels made out of fiberglass, anodized aluminum, or corrugated tin. This will give your fence functionality along with a gorgeous multicolored appearance. You can attach the panels to a wood fence or intersperse them with wood or lattice for a unique statement, too.
Making a stone fence is a great option if you have a ton of rocks on your property and aren’t quite sure what to do with them. This kind of fence works well as a low barrier but can be difficult to use as a full garden perimeter fence. Unless you set up some sort of bracing system, the rocks can tumble over – or worse, you won’t be able to get them tall enough to keep pests out.
However, if you can glue or cement the stones together or even line your stone wall with a wire barrier, you should be able to keep them contained and keep your garden protected at the same time.
Cinder Block Fence
If you have a ton of cinder blocks lying around, you can easily stack them up to make a simple garden fence. The same goes for old bricks. Don’t go out and buy them, though, as that makes this fencing option a bit more expensive!
In many parts of the world, wattle fences were and are still used in rural areas to keep animals either out or in. you can use brush and saplings to make a strong wattle fence that will help keep your garden and your livestock (or assorted wild animals!) separate.
You can use any kind of flexible sapling for your weave, but the longer and stronger it is, the more successful you will be. Maple is a good option, but as long as you have a good set of pruning shears and a solid pruning saw, you’ll be able to make a wattle fence out of just about any kind of wood.
Here’s how to make a simple wattle fence.
Chain link is one of the best fence types if you’re trying to keep pests out. This material, which consists of thick steel wires that are bent and then hooked together, doesn’t offer a lot of privacy, but that doesn’t matter much if you’re fencing in a garden (and not your lawn). It’s not all that attractive, but at just $10 or so per linear foot, it can help keep out a variety of garden intruders.
Here’s a cool chain link fence idea to try.
Make a Fence Out of Recycled Doors
If you are able to score some free doors, you can easily make a garden fence out of this rustic, antique option. While recycled doors can be quite tall to use as a garden fence if you are posting them upright, you can also lay them on their side. You won’t need quite as many doors this way, either. You can even position one to swing open like a gate.
Like chain link, barbed wire is far from being visually appealing! Unfortunately, although it’s incredibly low-cost (only about $1.50 per linear foot) it’s not going to do much to keep out small garden intruders, like woodchucks. It works well at keeping out deer, though, as long as you hang the wires high enough so that the deer can’t jump over them.
If you have a few rolls of mesh hanging around (welded wire works, too) you can attach it to metal T posts or wooden posts. You can even make your wooden posts, if you’re working on a budget. This video has a simple and inexpensive mesh fence tutorial:
DIY Pallet Fence
If you have a ton of old pallets lying around, an easy way to build an inexpensive fence is to install pallets vertically or horizontally between vertical pallet posts. You can leave a bit of space between the pallets or you can close the gap. Just be careful handling them, as they can contain splinters or even nails.
If you don’t have any pallets lying around, check in with your local construction sites and nurseries. Often, you can pick them up for free there, too. Here are some tips on making a pallet fence.
Corrugated Metal Fence
If you have some extra sheets of corrugated metal hanging around – or if you can get some for free from a construction site – this is a great way to make a garden fence on a budget. You’ll just need to erect wooden posts every few feet to support the weight of the corrugated sheets of metal.
Often, you’ll be able to find free sheets of corrugated metal that might have a few holes, dents, or other imperfections that make using them on a jobsite impractical. They’ll still work wonders in your garden, though!
Here are some tips on making a fence out of corrugated or galvanized metal.
4 Rail Horse Fence
As long as you are relatively skilled with a hammer and a saw, you can easily make a four-rail horse fence to keep pests out of your garden. Using scrap wood will help cut down on costs, although doing so won’t produce the most gorgeous garden fence you’ve ever seen! Here are some tips.
I love the idea of this next fence because it’s easy – and it also serves multiple purposes. However, building it does require some careful planning.
If you’re on a tight budget and want to get more bang for your buck, why not use the firewood that you’ve already cut and spilt for the season? Rather than stacking it in the woodshed, you can stack it to make a perimeter around your garden. Just make sure it’s stacked tall and sturdy enough so that animals can’t crawl or jump over it – or knock it down.
Hog panels, also known as hog wire, can be used to fence small animals out of your garden. For the best results, get hog wire that has smaller openings toward the bottom – that way, you won’t have to worry about tiny intruders like skunks wiggling through. Here’s a cool idea to try.
Split Rail Fence With Mesh
Split rail fences around the garden don’t do much to keep out animals, but they sure are beautiful to look at! If you already have a split rail fence, you may want to line it with mesh (chicken wire will also work) to keep animals away.
Want to know how to do it? This article will tell you how.
Although electric fences are inexpensive, they are a bit more complicated to set up. You’ll need a receiver, transmitter, and multiple wire strands strung up between vertical wooden or plastic posts.
Electric fences are most effective against large garden pests, like deer, but you can also invest in electric netting to keep smaller intruders out. There are some kinds of electric netting that even keep chickens away – but keep in mind, netting tends to be much more expensive.
Unique Heather Brushwood Fence
You can make a rolled heather fence that’s inexpensive and super natural looking. You’ll find more details on how to do this here – but at its simplest, this kind of fence consists simply of heather shoots bound together with galvanized wire.
Weave a Basket-Style Fence
Have a ton of long, thin branches hanging around? This kind of fence is similar to a wattle fence but a bit sturdier. You’ll want to use green branches that are fresh and easily bent.
Recycled Timber Fence
Have a few odds and ends pieces of timber from an old project? Don’t throw it out or toss it in the fire pit! Instead, save it and make this kind of fence. The more jagged and uneven, the better.
Woven Hurdle-Type Willow Fence
Pre-made willow fencing and panels can both be expensive, but you can often pick up the sticks affordably and make your own. Willow can be turned into several fence types, like lattice fences and rolled fences, but I love this woven hurdle-type hedge instead.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere in which bamboo is readily available (or you can grow your own!) this is a super inexpensive fence type. It’s also great for the environment and it’s sturdy, so it will keep all the critters out. Here’s a cool bamboo fence you can build.
If you want to do double-duty, you may want to consider making your own composting fence. To do this, you’ll make a screen “holder” for the compost with chicken wire. Fill it with composting materials as you normally would – and you’ll not only keep animals out of your garden, but you’ll help replenish its soil over time, too!
A Frame Log Fencing
If you have a way to source logs freely or inexpensively, this A-frame log fence is a great way to go. It isn’t the best way to keep small animals out, but again, it can create a solid boundary and you can always add chicken wire on top of it.
DIY Quilted Style Fence
Again, you can use scrap wood for this kind of fence – or if you’re willing to pay a bit more, go out and buy fresh wood for a quilted-style fence. It’s tall and large and utilizes thin chicken wire to keep animals out of the garden.
Upright Log Fence
Another way you can use logs for your fence is to place them upright. Simply attach them to each other in an upright fashion, one next to the other. You can use logs all of the same height, or, to make your task easier, vary their heights. This will give you a unique, sinuous curve that will draw attention to your garden while also keeping pests out.
If you’re in love with the rustic look, you might want to consider making a log fence, like this one. It will only work well to protect your garden if you are trying to keep out large animals, like deer, but a bit of chicken wire wrapped around the outside will help you keep out the little guys, too.
Old Shutter Fence
Have a few old shutters lying around? Here’s a cool way to repurpose them and protect your garden, too.
Copper Pipe Fence
The elegant colors of copper go incredibly well with the green tones in your garden. If you have some old copper piping lying around, you can use them to set the tone for your brand-new garden fence.
Any Kind of Fence…But With a Flower Bed
If you don’t really like how your DIY, inexpensive fence looks, you may want to consider this idea. By planting a flower bed on the outside of your fence, you can deter animals from crawling inside your garden (bonus points if you use a prickly flower, like roses.
We bought 200 ft. of chicken wire for $58. That was the cheapest way we could find to do it. Jerry just used old lumber that we had laying around to create posts to secure the fencing to. If you don’t have any wood handy, try to find an active construction site nearby; usually they are happy to let you take the scrap wood that would otherwise be thrown away.
So, although it isn’t Better Homes and Gardens gorgeous, it is functional and serves it’s purpose. I am very pleased to have this project done! I’ll still be keeping my eye out for free wood fencing though. Maybe one day my garden will be beautiful as well as delicious!
One step at a time…
updated 06/09/2020 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.