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“All I need is my buddies. A little help from my friends.”
If Joe Cocker was singing about building garden fencing, he might have been crooning about a recent project completed by Bekaert’s Fence Pros and the Our Wyoming Life crew.
The duo once again partnered up to have a little fun and combat pesky deer at Mike and Erin Galloway’s ranch while capturing every step in the tall-order project for Our Wyoming Life’s YouTube channel.
The goal of the project was to protect the homestead’s large garden from deer. The Galloways worked with Bekaert to design and build a new fence around the space where they grow produce for their farm store and the Edible Prairie Project’s veggie basket program. Keith Taylor, Bekaert’s western region Fence Pro, served as the installation expert for the demonstration.
“We needed a new fence around our market farm plots to keep the deer from eating and destroying our fruit and vegetable crops,” said Erin Galloway. “Every year, we were losing valuable produce and therefore income.”
The Edible Prairie Project connects rural food producers directly to consumers to improve equity, affordability, and accessibility of high-quality, culturally relevant, and nutritionally appropriate food for all members of regional communities.
It seemed that Erin had tried every possible fence combination to keep deer out of her garden’s goodies to no avail. The solution? A taller fence to keep deer from jumping over it.
The team designed a nearly eight-foot tall (90-inch) Solidlock® Fixed Knot fence with metal N-style corner braces boasting Bekaert’s newest pipe bracing system, the Fence Bullet. (Click for more information on pipe bracing systems.)
While the wire was tall, which required help from Our Wyoming Life’s pal, Jeff, along with both Mike and Keith, it was also lightweight and easy to handle.
“The Solidlock ® 1690 product has a smaller diameter (14 gauge) which is a little easier to work with compared to the Solidlock Pro line of products which are 12.5 gauge,” noted Keith. “It’s easy enough to work with that the average person can use it to protect their garden.”
Keith admits as a Bekaert Fence Pro who spends his days showcasing best practices for fence installation, he had a few tricks and tools up his sleeve that the average garden-owner wouldn’t.
The video shows Keith, Mike and Jeff using a skid steer with a post-pounder attachment to install the metal fence posts. “Most folks would use an auger to bore their pipe or post holes which, while it takes a little more time to dig the hole and then move dirt back in, it’s a more common skid steer attachment to invest in,” admitted Keith.
The other trick up his sleeve shown in the how-to video is the use of an eight-foot-tall stretcher bar used to evenly tension the fixed knot wire fence between the braces.
“Most people are going to be able to get a four or five-foot stretcher bar pretty easily, but it isn’t necessary to invest in an eight-foot stretcher especially for a garden fence,” said Keith. “If you’re doing miles and miles of a higher tensile orchard fence, maybe, but not the everyday gardener.”
Keith advises homeowners installing a 90-inch fence to use a 2x4 piece of wood or bolted together metal bars to tension the fence. “In all honesty, you don’t need to tension an exclusion deer fence like you would a cattle fence,” he admitted. “You’re trying to keep the deer from jumping over and you won’t have cows rubbing up against the fence, so a little tension goes a long way for a fence like the one we created for Our Wyoming Life.”
While the wire was easy to work with, the garden fence project was no small task. From design to build-out, the project took three full days to complete, not including the time Mike spent designing and building his custom gates.
“Bekaert Fencing was fast and efficient during the build of the fence,” said Erin. “Within just a few days the project was completed.”
Keith advises other garden owners to take their time building a project like this. “Maybe one weekend you design, measure, and plan the fence. Then the next weekend, you buy all your materials and then the next, you install the braces and then another weekend, you finally roll out and adhere the wire before using your last weekend to hang gates,” said Keith. “But of course, it can all be done in a matter of days depending on your needs."
Not only is the how-to video a great demonstration of every step you’ll need to follow to build your own garden protection fence, but it’s clear the Our Wyoming Life and Bekaert team works hard and has a lot of fun together.
“We are extremely satisfied with all of our Bekaert Fencing projects,” said Erin. “I wish we had added the deer fence years ago!”