We built our first post and rail fence last weekend, to start protecting Lisa’s vegetable garden from critters both wild and domestic. We ran a rail right along the ground, then we stapled woven wire to it, so it will stop even our sheep. The rails top and bottom also stop the hinge-knot woven wire from hinging. It still needs a hot strand at 5 feet to convince the horses and raccoons to stay out. (We think there’s something in the water.)
We went into the woods to cut posts to go with the rails we milled on our sawmill the week before. This may be the last time I do that. We have lots of 12 inch oak, and little 4 inch. A 12 inch log makes four 4x4s, perfect fence posts in about the same amount of time. The rails by the way are 6/4 by six pine, which seems to be just about right.
We brought the posts back and set them, watered and tamped them in, and let the ground settle overnight. I definitely still have a lot to learn about using the post hole digger. Because it’s on a pivot, it wants to go in a circle. It’s hinged and there’s a handle to prevent this, but I’ve got a lot of learning to do. None of the holes was really where it belonged, so I couldn’t overlap the rails for strength. Still, I’m not ready to go rent an auger. We own this thing and those augers look like hard work.
Saturday Lisa helped me put up the rails, then planted peas, leeks and onions while I stapled on woven wire fence and closed up the edges. I still need to hang two gates.
After a beer break, we planted the posts for the short fence run between the coop and the yogurt shed. We had planned to do double height woven wire to really get the point to the chickens. Naturally, we drilled the only perfect hole out of 14 right there so the 8 foot post went three feet down (like it’s supposed to) and isn’t tall enough.
This fence is clearly more time consuming than high tensile but not that much so, and it will stop sheep, ducks and geese, which high tensile doesn’t. I won’t really hold pigs, but should keep them out of the garden for the hour or so we need to notice and recapture them. I hope to get it all around the house area this summer. We ought to be pretty good at running it by then.