Designing and Building a Custom Garden Fence
Designing and Building a Custom Garden Fence just got a whole lot easier thanks to Simpson Strong-Tie’s Fence Planning Software
I love gardening and growing produce for my family, but last year the local wildlife found my garden and they ate just about everything. So of course, this year I was bound and determined not to let that happen again.
I’ve been gardening most of my life, but I had never actually built a fence before. Since we had already built our raised beds, greenhouse, and chicken coop, I needed my garden fence to be completely custom to fit the garden area.
This spring, I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with Simpson Strong-Tie using Free Fence Planning Software to design and build our new garden fence. The software is incredibly helpful and user-friendly. I was able to design my custom fence in no time at all.
One of my favorite features is that once your fence is designed, the software gives you the option to generate a report. The PDF Report gives you the full plans, specifications, materials list, and cut list taking all the guesswork out of the project. If you’re looking to DIY any kind of fence for your yard, you’ll want to check out SST Fence Planning Software when you get started.
To get started designing and building a custom garden fence we opened the software and started designing. We chose to make our fence 53 ft long and 34ft wide. We added a 6-ft double front gate and a 3-ft side gate.
It meets up on either side of our greenhouse and chicken coop as well. In the Fence Planner Software, I chose the 3-rail fence panel in the SST Fence Planner and then just planned for two more rails on my own for a total of 5 rails to make our garden fence extra tall. The goal is to keep the deer out of my garden, so I wanted the extra height.
Once the fence was designed we ordered our materials and before we built the fence I decided to go ahead and lay out all the lumber outside and prepaint all the boards and posts in advance.
Next, we measured out the spacing around our garden area and staked the four corners. We squared it up with string before marking the grass with spray paint where each 4×4 treated post needed to go. We rented a huge post hole auger to dig the post holes and I am so glad we did! My son and husband were able to dig 22 holes in under an hour with that machine! It was a huge time saver.
Whenever we do a project where we have to assemble anything that needs to be exact and that’s super repetitive, my husband makes a jig.
He cut a few scrap blocks and screwed them into a sheet of OSB where the fence brackets needed to be in-between. Having a two-sided jig worked great to attach the Simpson Strong-Tie Fence Brackets to the 4×4 posts. I kept the top rail flush to the top of the post and then spaced out the remaining 4 rails evenly down the post.
After all the 4×4 posts were pre-assembled with their fence brackets, we started setting them one at a time. We started in the front center (where the double gate was going) and added concrete in the holes for extra reinforcement on either side of the gate. We used a four-foot level to set each post, all while making sure we kept our post flat to our string line and that our depth was correct.
Instead of setting all the posts and then going back to add the rails. We decided to set two posts and add the 5 rails as we went along. We anchored all the rails to the SST Fence Brackets using the #9 1 ½ inch hex screws. We worked our way around the garden until we came to the greenhouse. We used the same fence brackets to anchor the rails directly to the side of our greenhouse.
Once all the posts and rails were in place, we built three custom gates with treated 2×6 boards and secured all the inside corners using Simpson Strong-Tie Ridgid Tie Bracket to prevent any sagging on the gates.
After our gates were hung, I gave the entire fence one more coat of paint using Behr Marquee Exterior Paint in the color “Whisper White” to match the chicken coop. Then I installed hardware cloth to the entire interior perimeter of the fence and gates to help keep any unwanted critters out of my garden.
The top fence rail is 5 feet tall and they say deer can jump up to 8 ft, so I will add a string of hot wire around the perimeter a few feet above the top rail if that becomes an issue. We built this fence at the beginning of May and it’s late August now. I’m happy to report it’s kept the garden safe and we haven’t had any deer jumping it.
The Simpson Strong-Tie Fence Planning Software makes it super easy to design a beautiful and safe fence that is custom to your family’s needs. Last year, sadly, my entire garden was lost to deer and wildlife so building this fence was high on my priority list. I am absolutely thrilled that phase #2 of my backyard project is finished and I can rest assured that all my produce and flowers will be safe!
We built this garden fence early this spring and it’s done a wonderful job of keeping wildlife out!