Prepper Diary February 17: We Make a Start on the Garden Fence

A pile of wooden fence posts.
A pile of wooden fence posts.

We went to “the city” today. With fewer than 10,000 people, I can’t call it the “Big City,” but it is home to the closest Lowe’s Home Improvement and a Tractor Supply. Plus, we got to eat lunch out. Well, we ate take out in our car, but food we didn’t prepare ourselves was still a pleasant change.

The funniest thing is that it was sunny, and the temperature was in the mid-40s in the city with no snow. My wife said it felt like spring. When we drove home, it was partly cloudy and in the warmest part of the day. That’s mountain living.

I had stacked six pieces of firewood in the stove before we left. They had burned down to just a few coals, but it was still generating heat. I loaded the fire box back up and brought another wheelbarrow load of wood into the house.

I’m just glad we aren’t among those poor folks who have no electricity, as we discussed in greater depth yesterday. The latest reports from Texas are terrible. This article from ZeroHedge, includes a Tweet from a Texan showing the thermostat reading 37-degrees inside their house.

Fencing Supplies

Fenc Posts
We picked up an assorted sizes of fence posts on Tuesday. The thickest ones will be corner posts or gate posts.

We bought twenty four-to-five inch wooden fence posts and seven six-to- seven inch wooden fence posts for the corners and gateposts, and 200 feet of 2″ x 4″ welded wire fencing. They did not have the amount or size of the hardware cloth I wanted, so we’ll have to get that another time or place. Bracing wire, fence staples, and a few other odds and ends completed our order.

I had originally aimed to make the fences six feet tall, but I have since learned that you need to put your fence posts three to three-and-a-half feet into the ground, so I settled for five-foot tall fencing.

We gave the new pickup truck a serious test as that added up to a good bit of weight. My wife was a little concerned, but it chugged up the mountain with no problem.

Keeping Animals in vs Pests Out

When researching fencing, I have to remember that most fencing advice out there is for keeping livestock in. Our fence needs to keep pests out, from weasels (as a reader reminded me) and raccoons to foxes, coyotes and bears. Recognizing this helped me determine that while woven wire fencing is stronger and better for sheep and cows, welded wire should be fine for my use, especially when reinforced with electric fence wires. Research also showed that I could go with posts every 10 or even 12 feet instead of needing them every 8, which is what I had planned.

I could not find a definitive answer on whether I need my corners reinforced with H-beams, but I decided to do it just to be on the safe side.

I have still not determined if I will pound the poles into the ground with a nice big piece of equipment, auger the holes mechanically, or dig the holes manually. It will depend on what machinery I can beg or borrow and whether anyone helps me out.

Fence shopping with my wife allowed her to confirm that she definitely wanted wooden posts and not T-posts because they look better. She also determined that she wanted the plain wire electric fence wiring rather than the ribbons or ropes which are often yellow or white to be visible to the animals.

We’ll be following this project as it progresses into the spring, so check back for updates.