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Creative fence idea, will it work?  RSS feed

 
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I have an old field that I'd like to contain for a food forest.  The perimeter is about 500' and it is fairly flat.  My primary goals are:
  • Keep deer out
  • Look pretty enough
  • Be affordable
  • Last long enough for a living fence to grow through and replace it some day
  • Not look like Alcatraz

  • My "creative" idea is to take Concrete remesh and lay it out on edge in a wavy (or sine wave) pattern.  I could put a t-post at each bend in the wave to support it.  But I'd rather run a piece of wire down each side of the fence, connecting it to the wave at each peak.  I'd run a wire at the top of the fence (5') and maybe a couple more lower down.  The wire would tie the waves together so they couldn't flex and the fence would be self supporting.  They'd also create the effect of two fences.  Due to the waviness of the fence, the wires would create a pair of 5' high fences that are about 4-5' apart.  From what I've heard, two shorter fences spaced apart like this is an effective way to keep deer from jumping.  In the picture the wires are red and the remesh is black.

    I'd plant living fence shrubs in between the wires so that they are protected when they're young (half would be protected by the mesh, the ones outside the mesh would only be protected by the few strands of wire).  When the metal rusts away in 15-30 years the living fence should be well established.  Once it's been growing for 4 years it may obscure the fence entirely.

    The remesh would just rest on the ground.  Grass and other growies would help hold it down and I could stake it down periodically for the first year.

    So...  Is this a dumb idea?  Brilliant?  Interesting?  I'm interested in your thoughts.
    Remesh-fence-graphic.jpg
    [Thumbnail for Remesh-fence-graphic.jpg]
     
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    Looks workable to me.  I like it.
     
    gardener
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    I think this is a great idea, and with the waviness of it with the wires stretched the length of it I think will keep deer out. Perhaps a vining type of flowering plant, maybe morning glory, could be planted and it'll find it's way up and down the remesh, making it not look like alcatraz. :-)
     
    Mike Jay
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    Thanks guys!  I'm thinking the wire will hold it together kind of like the struts on a biplane.  I was also imagining grape vines would have a field day and would quickly cover it (if I want grape vines all over everything).  I just have to remember that deer could easily poke through the outer wire and nibble anything growing on the remesh.  So peas and beans probably wouldn't survive on the mesh.

    With a 150' roll of remesh costing $90, I should be able to do the whole perimeter for about $400.  So far I haven't had to worry about bears but I'd imagine I could possibly figure out a way to isolate one wire on the outside and electrify it.
     
    gardener
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    I wonder if you've considered lilac. It has the hardness you want, it produces high-quality fuel, it can be grown very densely, with young branches that can be woven and it is probably one of the heavier nectar producers that could grow in your environment. It might end up being more of a hedgerow than a fence, but a very useful hedgerow.

    I have seen lilac covered in wild grapes. The combination was difficult for me to climb through, when I was a little kid. I don't imagine that deer would want to enter such confined quarters.
     
    Mike Jay
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    I had not considered lilac...  Thanks for the suggestion!  My nose and eyes love them but I hadn't really thought of them as a yield producing plant.  I'll keep it in mind!
     
    gardener
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    I think it's a great idea.  I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work, as long as your land is relatively flat, otherwise you might have to fill some gaps underneath where the fence spans some dips in the lay of the land.  I like the wire idea to reinforce the fence instead of posts.  brilliant.  Some of the olive species might be good as the thorns will keep stuff from getting in.   I like the lilac idea.  I might steal that one myself.  
     
    Mike Jay
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    I just thought of one potential problem.  Does electric fence wire stretch/shrink appreciably with the seasons?
     
    Roberto pokachinni
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    I don't have any electric fence yet.  But I have observed some.  I can't see why it would stretch any more than any other wire.  You could run a regular wire right beside it so that your other wire takes the tension.   You would have to have insulators extend off your fence waves for your electric wire, and the wire would have it's own tension on this perimeter. You might need some posts somewhere to give you the right tension, but not many, I would think.  The folks at your AG supply would be happy to puzzle it out with you, I'm sure.  :)
     
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    We install 'star pickets' which are similar to your T posts I think. Farm fencing pots.

    You may ned to fit them every 10 ft on one side and them the next.
    This will stop the fence waving and falling over.
    If you fit strainer assemblies at the end of long runs and strain the wire it will be very strong.
    We use 12g high tensile farming wire for the strainers.

    But it may be easier to run the mesh straight and simply build a 5 ft tall mesh fence in the traditional farming away[ Australian traditional way]
    using the strainer system to hold it up.
     
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    Mike Jay wrote:I just thought of one potential problem.  Does electric fence wire stretch/shrink appreciably with the seasons?




    Not appreciably. It flexes a bit by design. And there are many to choose from. I've seen it work at -25degC and with an appropriate fencer will work colder than that.

    edit: ps: every branch an electric wire will touch will provide a loss of current over the wire. The separation of electric fence wire from your concrete remesh will be critical, because of the grounding effect (thus nullifying the effectivity of the fence).

    To keep deer out I recommend a 10000V fencer. And in the USA, they are cheap as chips.

     
    gardener
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    If deer can't see what is on the other side of a fence, they will not jump it. A deer can clear a height of 7 feet and a width of 4 feet so those figures should help you create a workable design.

    I like your idea but unless you space it wide enough or make it opaque, chances are pretty good that deer will end up clearing that fence should they want to do so.

    Redhawk
     
    Roberto pokachinni
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    If deer can't see what is on the other side of a fence, they will not jump it.  

     This is very true.  Deer, like most critters don't like to sprain or break an ankle.  

    In addition to this, if on the inner circumference of the fenced area a lot of convoluted woody material is placed, the deer will not jump a tall fence into such a zone.  It's too dangerous to make the landing.  I've seen this done on a garden on the North B.C. Coastal Islands.
     
    Lito George
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    An idea to consider that is visually appealing is the concept of an A-HA wall, popular in England and still in use today. However, it would cost some $
     
    Posts: 22
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    In 2 weeks, I'm going to see our property for the first time, and be "there" for 2 months - living in rental in town. My son and I need some face-time and walking the 105 acres! He's going to be very busy this Spring and Summer building the replacement house. So we decided that the only reasonable goals he might achieve beyond that, would be to put in trees/windbreak/orchard.
    I've been VERY worried about deer since the start, but he has not - even tho he saw them all over the place/driveway/etc when he was remodeling last Summer, and his giant German shepherd was running all over!
    We WILL have a living fence. The area to be fenced is in front of the intended house on a slight and smooth N - S slope - probably 1/2-acre rectangle, and running along the driveway to the East. I want quick-growing willows, etc to "weave"; lilacs; native honeysuckle; and other "shrubby" nectar/fruit-producers interspersed with native basswood for the windbreak on the West. Because the total area is relatively small, I don't want plants that will wildly produce suckers from roots. Willows might be a problem, but poplars are also - I'll have to go back to the WI DNR list to see what we can get for cheap. Will be planting the orchard trees individually at best times for them.
    MIKE JAY, I'm highly interested in this fence idea! My son and I can get it built even with frozen ground - I'm leaving April 3 - but how is he going to quickly plant within it when the ground warms up?? OPTION 1: I'm thinking we can leave off the outer strands and make a trench right up to the "re-mesh"; add some amendments to the soil; then plant the "sticks" or bare-roots; finish stringing the outer strands. All the new plants will be deer-accessible thru those outer strands.
    OPTION 2: We could dig a trench in February - we have access to "ditch-witch"; amend the soil; erect the "re-mesh" fence over the trench; plant the sticks; complete the outer strand barrier.
    PROBLEM is that our ground is VERY clay and will not be happy in March/early April - I don't want to create concrete.
    Very grateful to any and all who have advice/experiences - best regards.
     
    pollinator
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    To make the fence higher branches or saplings can be woven into the mesh to stick up higher.  Someone dropped a tin of tree ornaments on the road in front of my house and I used them on strands of bailing twine from branch to branch to make the barrier more visible.  In my case I had T posts and woven wire 4 foot field fence available on the farm. I figured deer don't crawl under fences so I left a 2 foot space at the bottom Which makes it easy to mow under the fence. Ask livestock farms in the area if they have used bailing twine to give away. If it is free you could afford multiple strands on each side of your wave of wire mesh.
    I have a wild rose fence between my field and the road. It started out as a pallet fence along the road but now the pallets and wood posts are breaking down and I am pulling them out and using the remains for firewood.  
     
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    Two problems I foresee: re-mesh welds are not very strong and may pop apart when stressed or repeatedly wobbled by wind; and I've seen cases where deer got hind legs caught in the top layer of fencing and broke them. These were small young ones following adults. They are herd animals.
     
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    Good idea but implementation will be a bit tricky. CMesh is quite springy so you will have to either preform it to shape or figure a way to restrain to shape till the living fence takes over.

     
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    Hoof rats, a.k.a. Deer will jump a double fence just fine if they can see where they will land.  However they may not even see the wires on the far side  You need to make that part very visible.

    Planting a vine on the mesh is fine, but I suspect that deer like grapes.

    Deer are also good at putting their nose under the wire, and worming their way forward.

    Deer proofing:

    A: Go to 8 foot game fence.  It's about the same price per foot as concrete mesh, and is galvanized.  
    B: Bury the bottom 6 inches.  You can do this after as a berm, or before with a trench.
    C: You can likely get away with using a 12 foot post every 60 feet and shorter T-bar posts between, with one strand of high tensile wire between the wood posts to keep the top edge up.
    D:  Guy the corner posts to a deadman.  Use the spring tensioners to put 600 pounds tension on the top wires.
    E:  Plant a hedge of your choice inside the fence.
    F:  Attach outriggers to the wooden posts, insulate and put a wire at nose height that is supported about 8" from the fence.
    G: Electriy the wire.
    H:  Take heavy duty aluminum (pie pan, roasting pan) and cut into 2" x 6" strips.   Put a hook on one end that will clip onto the wire.  Roll up the other end into a tube a finger in diameter. (1-2 cm)  
    I:  Bate the tube with peanut butter.
    J Hang the clip end on the wire and crimp with pliers.

    Deer comes smells peanut butter, licks aluminum gets shock.

    After a few repetitions, associates peanut butter with pain.  Now you can put a dab of peanut butter on anything you want to keep the deer away from.
     
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    Hi,

    From my experience, a fence is the first thing to build on a new property.  Fruit trees/bushes need to be planted first; but deer will take them out or hinder them at least.  Here's what I did over ten years ago to keep deer out of my orchard/garden:

    The area of the garden/orchard is 300' by 150'.  First I tried electric fence; but they still got in; 3,4,5 or six wires made no difference.  Here's what worked, and has kept the deer, and most other stuff, out of the garden for ten years.  I cut 12 foot 6-8 inch log posts on my property, and sunk them 3 feet every 20 or so feet around the perimeter.  I then strung 4 foot rabbit fence (welded wire) around the outside bottom of the posts.  Then I strung 4 foot (pig fence, welded wire) fence above that.  I tied them together with pieces of wire and zip ties.  As the years went by the posts started failing (I don't have any locust or cedar trees) and I've replaced them, at my leisure, with 10' Tbar posts, which works much better.  I've yet to have any deer, bears, or large animals in the garden. (knocking on wood).

    And let me stress this again: build the fence before planting.  To paraphrase a popular saying: "If you don't build it, they will come."
    Hope this helps somebody.

    Mike
     
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    Just a side note of an option for creative fencing... Back 30 some years ago I purchased our farm because of two reasons back then important to me. For one it was at the highest elevation,( so no one could be upstream), and the springs formed the headwaters to the two watersheds on opposite sides of our foothill along the Mason Dixon Line. For two the farm operation then was to become known as a concentrated animal feeding operation, C.A.F.O. or in other words back then called a caged layer operation under contract which I was very much against. My purpose was again two fold in acquiring the farm and making it home. One was to shut down the contract layer operation that I felt was destroying family farms and also to clean up the industrial mess. Second was to try to heal the land to do what I called then community farming. Thus for a few decades we ran again what became known as a C.S.A. ... anyways... my long story short was when I took a perfectly fine 11000 sq ft caged laying poultry building that was waiting for the next flock of hens to torture.... err lay eggs I instead gutted it for better use. Like a shop on one end and a community center with stage and dj booth on the other. Now if you can imagine when I gutted the building and emptied it out I was left with 16 rows of cages, each 250 feet long. The problem was I could pull the long rows of cages out with the tractor, one by one, yet what to do with it all once I did I was lost. Then one day after I piled one row on top of another, 250 feet long and now like 40 inches high, I thought DARN that looks like fencing!!! ... and well the rest in history. I went and pulled one row after another and line then up along and old perimeter fence of the farm, stacked two high for around 2000 linear feet. What this done was for me was... Yes you guess it ... two fold... again. One WaLa good strong fence and two since it was wide and vegetation grew up around it, it became perfect habitat for our smaller creatures like rabbits to seek refuge and nest which over the years our hawks loved... and of course in case I needed a meal or two. Now after thirty  some years the fence/old chicken cages are working fine except when the deer have over time decided to beat it down crossing it over and over again at places is their naturally course up along our ridge. So it was just a few days ago we had to go up to our highest meadow and fix such a place along one of our deer highways that it had came down. This became urgent since we just had several dozen lambs born the last couple weeks and before we rotate the flock up there to graze  it needed to be secure... if you wish to see how I took the cages and made the fence... here is a short video of us a couple days ago fixing our creative permaculture recycled rabbit habitat use to be torture chambers for chickens fence...  
     
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    Mike Jay wrote:I have an old field that I'd like to contain for a food forest.  The perimeter is about 500' and it is fairly flat.  My primary goals are:

  • Keep deer out
  • Look pretty enough
  • Be affordable
  • Last long enough for a living fence to grow through and replace it some day
  • Not look like Alcatraz

  • My "creative" idea is to take Concrete remesh and lay it out on edge in a wavy (or sine wave) pattern.  I could put a t-post at each bend in the wave to support it.  But I'd rather run a piece of wire down each side of the fence, connecting it to the wave at each peak.  I'd run a wire at the top of the fence (5') and maybe a couple more lower down.  /quote]
    I cannot find fault with your plan: It will do what you are setting out to do, for an affordable price, plus you will gain a band 4-5 t. wide and 500 ft long for additional crops you might  like. Those crops will also get *some* protection, and you may want to put those you consider more valuable on the inside of the wave. The set up will eat a fair chunk of real estate and may be a little messy to keep relatively weed free at first, but once established, it will look great and function very well.
    The big benefit is that the fence will eventually be opaque. It may indeed create the illusion of a double fence, which they would hesitate to jump, but opacity is what will keep deer out: They have no problem jumping a 5' fence but they really hesitate if they have doubts on sticking THE LANDING. I've seen a picture of a vegetable garden with a number of raised beds, and the gardener said there were no intrusions in spite of [only] a 5' fence. The beds looked to be almost 1' high which is tall for such a structure, but especially, the alleys were narrow, and close enough to the fence that a deer, jumping, would have to plan his jump accurately. Their eyes are on the sides of their face, so their depth perception is fouled up.
    You might have deer trouble in the first couple of years, but you should be fine afterwards, methinks. Do you have a large garden gate figured out? [I'm wondering how you might want to plant a cover crop, like clover, or how will you tend to planting a cover crop once you have the trees planted?] Depending on the size of a tiller/ tractor the gate might have to be sizable too, and tall and you cannot grow anything there that would be opaque. I have added to my original orchard, so now that the fence is down, I was looking for a good idea. and yours is a good one for the all-around fencing.
    Ready for the gardening show?

     
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    Years ago I read about a wall method invented by one of Americas founding fathers.  I'm thinking Benjamin Franklin.
    It was a sin wave pattern 1 brick thick.  It was nearly as strong as a 2 brick thick wall and used about 1/3 less brick.  It looked a lot like your drawing.
    There is a university in the eastern U.S. that has some of this wall that is around 200 years old.
    If that is any indication, I'd say your fence idea is worth a try.
     
    pollinator
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    I was inspired by your post to investigate the local cost of remesh vs. chainlink or welded wire,and i was delighted to find it to be cheaper by the foot and of equal or significantly thicker gauge wire.
    I will be using it as a base line for what I want to pay for mesh for fencing,hoop houses and ferrocement projects.
    I am especially intrigued by the idea of erecting it as a fence, and embedding it in ferrocement or some form of slip form concrete at a later time.
     
    Mike Jay
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    Thanks everyone for all the responses!  I like the idea of weaving extra branches through the mesh to make the fence seem higher.  I do figure the welds and the mesh in general won't last for more than a decade in the elements.  But hopefully the living fence will then be big enough to work.  I was planning on putting the deer resistant plants on the outside of the wave and the more tasty ones on the inside.  

    To erect it I think I'll unroll the 150' roll, flop it over so it wants to hump up, then drag it back over itself to kind of back bend it and hopefully flatten out its bend.  Then I'll put up temporary t-posts on the peaks and valleys of the bend.  Then tie it in place to the stakes and run the electric wire.  Keep in mind, I'm only using the electric wire as "wire", not as an electric fence.  The wire will hold it in place and then I can pull the t-posts and move down to the next section.

    I'm also thinking I could take some pallet boards and stick them through a bunch of the mesh gaps (horizontally).  That would turn a section into a wood wall with a curve.  I'm thinking...  Suntrap

    For those who believe the deer will still jump it, do you think increasing the depth of the waves to 6' would take care of the issue?

     
    Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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    Mike Jay wrote:Thanks everyone for all the responses!  
    To erect it I think I'll unroll the 150' roll, flop it over so it wants to hump up, then drag it back over itself to kind of back bend it and hopefully flatten out its bend.  
    I'm also thinking I could take some pallet boards and stick them through a bunch of the mesh gaps (horizontally).  That would turn a section into a wood wall with a curve.  I'm thinking...  Suntrap
    For those who believe the deer will still jump it, do you think increasing the depth of the waves to 6' would take care of the issue?



    --- 150' roll is likely to be very unwieldy: It is heavy and wants to flop as soon as you try to move it. I had more success with the help of a third party. First planted all my posts, tied one end to the first one and walked back, lifting the roll just above the ground. I did not want to use a tensor, but I stopped by each post and fastened it, then went on to the next. It was for the chicken yard. It is working well. I stood the fence over a 24" chicken wire, laid flat and nailed to the ground, stretched with tent poles to prevent chickens from scratching their way out or some dog to scratch his way in. Now, I can't mow around it, [it still curls up] so I'll plant stuff all along.
    --- I'm not sure I understand the pallet idea. Do you mean taking apart a pallet and weaving the boards through the mesh? That might look good and make an opaque fence immediately, but is going to be a heck of a chore, even if you skip a few holes!
    --- for the depth of the wave,  a 4 ft wave is imposing enough and should create enough of a distortion. I think a 6 ft wave is overkill. My other orchard, I fenced with 7 ft posts every 8 ft, a 24" chicken wire at the bottom to keep rabbits out. I used a solar fence with the thin yellow, black and bare wire, but I electrified every other strand so they would still get a good jolt if they tried. The strands were 6-7"apart, just enough so they could not stick their heads in. Even though they could see what was on the other side, they never jumped it. The posts were 7' but only 5 ft were sticking out. I did forget a few times to turn it on, but they must have learned to respect it because I never had a problem. I do like your idea better, though. Now that I doubled the size, I'm looking to redo the fence, and I just might take a page from your book.
     
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    First thing, I like the idea of using concrete reinforcing mesh for an inexpensive fence construction. I already have a 150 ft. roll I bought for just that, and a 50' roll originally intended for something else, but now fated to be fencing. Having horsed the 150' roll around, it's not exactly something you just unroll Having unrolled some of the 50' roll to make a container for a compost bin, getting the one third weight roll to unroll was a struggle.  The stuff does not want to uncoil and it fights back all of the time.  Not to be discouraging, just forewarning that managing the wire requires some significant work.

    I'm intrigued by your idea of getting the wire to support itself, rather than using fence posts. I had just been planning on cutting a bunch of posts, as our land is forest. Now, I'm considering your design pretty seriously.

    Something I see as a potential problem is the low visibility of the tension/support wires.  I can see a deer not spotting them and getting hung up because they misjudged their leap. This might injure the deer, and it also might knock that section of fence right over, depending on how much tension is in those wires.  So I would plan on using something to make sure they see the support wires.  String old CDs on them, aluminum foil flags, something.

    My inclination would also be to stake the mesh down.  The wire staples used for pinning down garden fabrics are cheap and might be sufficient.  I have a few pounds of them sitting around and I think I'll see if they do anything....

    The pallet idea isn't bad either, but I might recommend angling the boards.  I think that would better distribute the load on the fence...

    Something else I like about this concept is that it's relatively portable.  Yes, moving 150' of remesh isn't a casual job and yes, the tension/support wires need to be anchored - but it doesn't require a dozen or more fence posts and detaching /re-attaching the fencing to the posts.

    I'll need to chew on this a bit.  In our case, there's another factor - all the trees everywhere.  I can probably just nail the mesh to trees and run it wherever I need it off of them  
     
    Mike Jay
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    Ok, it's time to start the fence!  I've had some thought evolution on it.  My initial plan to just lay out the remesh flat on the ground and flop it up into position was a pipe dream.  My new plan is to take a long pallet (3'x6') and mount a pipe to the pallet.  When the pallet is on the ground the pipe will be vertical.  I'll spear the pipe into the middle of the remesh roll and then lift the end of the roll to upright it onto the pallet.  Then it will kind of act like a vertical paper towel dispenser that you put on the countertop.  Then I'll drag the pallet with the garden tractor until it's 50-100' from the start of the fence.  I think I can just pull it off the spindle as needed then.  I think....

    My big question:  How should I attach the wire to the peaks and valleys of the sine wave?  I'm using steel electric fence wire since it's cheap (I'm not electrifying it).  So I just need to find a way to connect the horizontal wire to either the horizontal or vertical wires of the remesh.  

    One thought was to unroll the fence wire until I get to a peak (or valley) and wrap it in and out of the fence to do a loop-de-loop and then continue on to the next peak (or valley).  

    Another thought is to put cedar posts at the distant outside corners of the fence and string the electric fence wire the whole way along the outside of the fence.  Then arrange the remesh into shape and somehow clip the wire to the remesh wherever it touches.  I really like this idea but what kind of clips can connect two wires strongly?  I bought hog rings and hog ring pliers but I haven't used them before so I don't know if they'll cinch down tight enough.

    Thanks in advance!  Pics will follow..
     
    Mike Jay
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    Ok, I got the fence up.  It took about a day to do 400' of fence.  First I laid out the peaks and valleys of the fence route with short wooden stakes.  I measured each section of fencing and did some creative division to get the peak to peak spacings.  All of mine ended up being in the 23-27' range.  I had a cedar post at the start and end of the run that I stapled it to.

    The pallet with a pipe spindle did work very nicely on the hefty 150' remesh rolls.  One unforseen issue is that when unwinding the remesh it would catch on the boards of the pallet constantly.  I slipped a chunk of plywood under it and that helped allow it to spin better.  I'd park 50-80' from the start and pull off enough fencing to do that much fence.  Too much more than that and it would flop over (which wasn't the end of the world).  I'd tug the fence into position around a stake and move on to the next.  I cut off the last 5' of fencing near the core of the roll since it was very tightly curled and wasn't worth saving.

    Once the fence was up it was very floppy.  I then ran the electrical fence wire along the outside to tie the peaks together (at the top).  I ended up wrapping the wire (spool and all) around a vertical wire in the remesh at each peak.  Keep it tight as you do each wrap.  At the corners I wrapped it around another cedar pole to maintain the tension.  If you were doing a round, elliptical or otherwise interesting shape you probably wouldn't need the cedar posts.  I think I needed them due to the 90 degree corners I was making.

    Once the peaks and valleys were connected with the wire it was fairly sturdy but not good enough.  I did one more run of wire down the middle of the fence (at the top).  This was harder since I had to keep reaching over the fence waves that were on my side of the fence.  Having a tall helper on the other side of the fence could be worthwhile.  That run of wire really stiffened up the fence.

    We added ribbons to the wires on the inside and outside for people and deer to see.  The missus stuck strips of cardboard under the remesh which we'll cover with wood chips in the days to come.  We'll also add chicken wire around the base of the remesh to keep the chickens and rabbits out.

    Here's a picture, it's so subtle that it's hard to get a good photo of.  That's what we wanted, something a bit less noticeable.  Hopefully it will work.  Let me know if you have any questions...

    DSC04213s.jpg
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    I would be interested to hear how your fence is holding up a month later.
     
    Mike Jay
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    So far, so good.  I haven't seen evidence of any deer or rabbits in it but I'm not 100% sure.  The fence is holding its shape.  We added chicken wire for rabbits and tucked cardboard under it and covered that with wood chips.  Our living fence plants are all installed and will someday replace the fence as it rusts away.  So far I'm happy with it.

    If I were to do it over again, I'd probably add inside posts at the corners instead of just outside ones.  Now that's partially due to my 90 degree corners.  If you were doing a free form shape you wouldn't need posts at all (I think).
    DSC04416s.jpg
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    Creative fence in action
     
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    Mike - What a great looking fence. Can you post photos of the corners and gates.  I'd love to see how you constructed them.  I would love to copy your fence! Thanks
     
    Mike Jay
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    Hi Wendy, sure, here are more photos and an attempt at a more detailed description.  Full disclosure - this has only been in place for two months so I don't know how it will handle the winter.  Also, I haven't seen deer in it but I'm not 100% sure they haven't snuck in without my knowledge.

    General construction:  The cement remesh material supports the fence wires and keeps deer from just ducking under the wires and walking into the area.  The two outer wires are the ones the deer would have to jump.  Since they're 5' high and 5' apart apparently that prevents deer from trying to jump them.  That's the "deer" part of the fence.   The sexy part of the fence is that by using a sine wave (or cosine) the remesh can support itself without needing fence posts.  It's a bit floppy so I needed to add a third wire down the middle which really stiffened the assembly up.  Plus it gives the deer more scary things to not want to jump over.

    End of Run connection:  I used two cedar posts to hold the inner and outer wire.  When I later added the central wire I should have put a board between the posts and tied the new wire to that board.  But I just tied it to the inner post.  It works so far.  This is shown in the first picture (Red is outer wire, Orange is center, Yellow is inner).  I tried to get the center wire to silhouette against the inner post so you could see it.

    Corners: I used one cedar post on the outside corner.  On the inside I probably should have used a post but I was out of them.  So I got some hefty rebar (purple line) and pounded them down at the point where the inner wire met that last wave of the fence before the corner.  I tied the rebar to the remesh at a couple spots so they could hold each other up.  So the outer wire (red) travels along the outside and wraps around the remesh wherever it touches, then it wraps around that post before traveling down the new side.  Since the outer wire goes to the corner but the inner wire (yellow) stops at the last interior curve, there isn't a deer proof two wire system in the corners.  Until:

    When I added the center wire it got messy.  When I came down the middles of the curves and hit the last one (leaving the fenced in area) I took the wire (orange) over to the post and wrapped it.  Then I angled over to the centerline of the next run of fencing and started that run.  Hopefully that shows in the second picture.  If I wanted to make it look sexier, I'd add a second post for the inner wires to connect to.  Then I'd run a board between the inner and outer post so that I could tie the center wires to it.

    The third picture is of that same corner from the other direction.

    Gates:  The gate I currently have is total crap so if you make up something that resembles a pallet leaning against a post and a few pieces of rabbit fencing, you've already done better than me

    DSC04459s.jpg
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    End
    DSC04462s.jpg
    [Thumbnail for DSC04462s.jpg]
    Corner
    DSC04463s.jpg
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    Corner from other side
     
    Wendy Smith Novick
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    Thank you again.  These photos give me enough information to feel confident trying it.  I will post a photo when I have finished and share any gate ideas. But don't hold your breath, it will be some time before i get to this.
     
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    I like the look and the price. I've been mulling over the same problem for a while and just saw this thread. If the living fence is supposed to grow through the wire its going to be hell on someone with a chainsaw some day.
     
    Mike Jay
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    Shane Atwell wrote:If the living fence is supposed to grow through the wire its going to be hell on someone with a chainsaw some day.


    That's very true!  I hadn't thought about it but luckily all my living fence plants are not trees.  I'll mainly rely on their bushiness, suckers and natural (or forced) intertwining to provide the barricade.  Yes it will be a pain to remove the fence if I ever want to but I figure I'll just pay some kid to do it if I really need it removed
     
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    Look at hedge laying, to make stock proof living fences.
     
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