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Need help designing a fence

Posts: 1
Location: Powell River, B.C., Canada
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Hello, I'm new to this forum. And thankful to have found it. Looks like some really good information sharing going on.

My wife and I are currently trying to design a critter fence to go around our garden which is starting to become interesting to our small deer, black bears and racoons. Right now, we have mostly corn and other vegetables with some raspberries strawberries as well as apple, plum and pear trees. Eventually, I'd like to have a pit greenhouse (more on that later) and bee hives.

I don't think our deer can jump as high as others but we know the fence has to be high, maybe 7 feet above ground. And we clearly have to discourage the black bears. So I'm thinking a fence charger as well as a fence. The Zareba 30 mile Solar Low Impedance Charger looks like a good one: http://www.zarebasystems.com/store/electric-fence-chargers/esp30m-rs (Any thoughts/advice on that?)

We don't want our garden & fence to look like a stockade so I've been exploring several ideas regarding creative fence designs involving only wood and some wood with plastic and/or metal fencing.

My main question right now is regarding the fence posts: Living where we do there is a possibility of salvaging some cedar tree tops (4" up) that have been bucked and piled in logging slash. Some of it is very fresh, green wood which I know will shrink in diameter as it dries.

Seems like if I set these green cedar posts in concrete they will shrink and become loose. Or if I put them directly into the ground they may be eventually rotted off due to moisture and/or bio activity. Perhaps sooner than we want to have to go back and replace …

The other option is treated poles and/or dimensioned lumber that we can buy from the local building supply. But I'm not sure about putting treated wood into the ground so close to our garden, fruit trees, etc.

The money is a factor but not so much as it is the aesthetics, the organics and the desire to have something that works well and lasts a long time.

Sure would appreciate any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, wisdom anyone has time and interest to share?

Oh and any thoughts on protecting gardens from racoons would be especially appreciated. We've got some ideas but racoons are pretty inventive and capable as well! Maybe the electric fence will help?


South of Town
Powell River, BC

Posts: 1613
Location: northern California
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One simple solution for your wood posts is to drive in metal posts or pipes, and then bolt or otherwise attach the wooden posts to the metal ones, such that the bottom of the wood is above the ground.
I would put the electric wire along the outside of the physical fence.....there are special plastic insulators available for this that attach to wooden or metal posts, or you can devise your own (I used soda bottles one time!) and then BAIT it by hanging little tags of aluminum foil every few feet. My default bait is peanut butter, which is attractive to just about any critter. You might need a low wire for the coons and a high one for the big critters....you want the tags at about nose height. Put a swatch of peanut butter on the tags, facing out. Critter will give these a lick or nibble and get a really good shock. He won't be back for months. I've used this technique to keep deer out and goats in with single strand fences....
Posts: 1432
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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We use recycled hardwood, go to the salvage yard. And then we are building a normal wire fence with starposts etc. And we use rabbit mesh because it is
hard wearing. And take care when straining wires it can cost you an eye it is really dangerous. You will have to borrow something for rolling your wire off otherwise it gets tangled indefinitively.
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