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  • Writer's pictureMiriam Diaz-Gilbert

How We Created an Enclosure for Our Vegetable Garden With Discarded Fence Posts & Wood

Updated: Aug 4, 2023

Jon building an entrance door to the enclosed vegetable garden.

My husband Jon and I began vegetable gardening in April 2017 when we built our first raised vegetable bed. The following spring we built another bed. Last April 2021, we decided to add an enclosure around the beds to prevent deer and ground hogs from munching on some of the vegetables, especially the romaine lettuce.

It would be an expense. The price of lumber increased during the pandemic. But one day while on a training run, I came across four discarded 8 ft. fence posts on a curb. It looked like the homeowner was replacing their fence. I called Jon on my cell and told him about my new found treasure - some of the materials to build a garden enclosure. He drove over to pick them up. A couple of days later, Jon came home with leftover brand new wood planks, more posts, and several two-by-fours discarded at a work site.

One person's trash is another person's treasure.

How We Built The Enclosure

On a nice April day, Jon worked with what we had to build the enclosure and I assisted. When it was completed, I decorated the enclosure. These are the materials we used:

4 - 8 ft. posts.

2 - 50 ft. x 5 ft. 14-gauge Everbilt welded fences

3 - 6ft. green garden fence posts

2 - 6t. posts

A shovel

A staple gun

Our 12 ft. x 4 ft. raised beds sit parallel and are 3 ft. apart. Jon measured 3 ft. around the perimeter to create an 18 ft. x 17 ft. enclosure. This allowed enough room for a path between the outside of each bed and the fence.

Then with a shovel, he dug four 2 ft. deep holes on each corner to place the fence posts. Next, he lowered the posts in their individual hole and refilled each hole with dirt to secure the posts. Once all four posts were safely lowered and secured, he unrolled the 5' 14-gauge Everbilt welded fence and wrapped it around the posts to create the enclosure.

The welded fence was secured to the wood posts with a staple gun. At the bottom of each fence post, Jon added base support with wood pieces he cut from the planks to provide stability and to prevent the posts from collapsing. For additional support, a green garden fence post was placed in the middle of the three sides of the enclosure.

The garden enclosure was built and completed in two weekends.

With two by fours Jon made a 3 ft. wide gate to enter the garden framed by 2 - 6ft. posts. An old 2 in. gate hook and eye door latch we had was screwed in to keep the garden closed. I decorated the gate with an old Welcome to My Garden door wreath we had, and nailed to the gate a small decorative aluminum flower container I purchased at Dollar Tree. I potted the container with pink petunias. I repurposed soil-filled hanging baskets from the previous summer and fall, and potted them with pink petunias and yellow marigolds.

We hung a hanging basket outside each corner of the enclosure with old shelf brackets and secured them with wire. Two wrought-iron chairs that I rescued from the side of a road during a run, I placed in the garden. With the rest of the wood planks, Jon made planters and I painted them.

More planting in April.

We planted tomatoes, romaine lettuce, red lettuce, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, and peppers. After planting asparagus five years ago, the asparagus sprouted the last two years. As always, we get a lot of strawberries, cilantro, and oregano and kale through November, along with our potted ginger root. I planted more wildflower seeds. This year we planted sunflower seeds and they bloomed beautifully.

Our garden in June.

.Growing your own food is hard work but meditative, too. Gardening is a rewarding labor of love, as was building the enclosure from the treasures found in people's trash. Our vegetable garden is our little piece of heaven on earth.

Potatoes, cabbage, squash, corn, sunflower, tomatoes, carrots, and a pepper.

Gardening is not an exact science and requires patience. You never know what will grow, or how much, or what won't do well. We can't control the weather and the climate. You don't always know what the harvest will bring. You just need to experiment every year and keep learning. Take the time to learn the basics of vegetable gardening. In a couple of weeks, we'll start planting again for a new harvest of surprises! And you should too!

Kale, oregano, strawberries, pumpkin, and ginger root.

Gardening and protecting your vegetable beds, pots, planters, and containers won't cost much if you upcycle materials you find and already have. Upcycle, repurpose, and create an enclosed gardening space for little cost. Our only expense was the welded fence and the green garden posts; about $200 and well-worth it. I'm sure if I'd come across discarded green garden posts and a welded fence, I would have hauled them home.

Enjoy spending hours tending to your garden and vegetables as the birds chirp and chat, the hummingbirds flutter about, the butterflies dance around the buzzing bees as they pollinate the flowering vegetables, and the squirrels chase each other up and down trees while the deer and groundhogs stay at bay.


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