How I Built a 150 Ft. Wooden Fence around my Garden for only $220!
Updated: Sep 7
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thank you.
I have wanted this fence since we moved into the house, and I built the garden! I wanted a good garden fence not just for the way it would look, but also to keep our dog and chickens out. We let our chickens free-range, so keeping them out of the garden is very important! One may occasionally fly over the fence or squeeze underneath, but it’s occasional and prevents ALL of them from destroying the garden because they will! Our dog is a digger, so keeping him out is also important.
See my post here for Why we free-range our chickens AND how we keep them from destroying our garden and vegetable beds (hint: a fence helps).
A little disclaimer:
I am not a professional or even that experienced of a builder! I just do the best I can with the materials, knowledge, and skills that I have, and I’m usually pretty pleased with the results! Keep that in mind as you read, and especially if you decide to build something like this yourself! If you do decide to build your own fence, send pictures, please! I would LOVE to see it!
Miter saw (or another saw that you're comfortable cutting 2x4s with)
We used a table saw, but this may not be necessary
Wheelbarrow (for mixing concrete)
Garden Hoe (for mixing concrete)
Propane torch (optional, but highly recommended)
9 bags of quick-set concrete
3-ft x 150-ft Steel Wire Mesh Roll
Here’s how I did it:
We used recycled materials, AND we used a method called shou sugi ban to weather-proof the lumber. The purchases we made were 13 4x4x10 boards and 7 bags of concrete.
The design I came up with is very simple. The fence posts are spaced 8 feet apart, set about 14 inches in the ground. 2x4x8 span the length on the top and the bottom of the posts, leaving about a 4-6 inch gap on the bottom to allow room to weed-eat the grass in the summertime. We installed 3-ft steel wire fencing between the top and bottom 2x4s, stapling it to the boards to keep it secure. To keep the 2x4s from sagging over time, we added a 2x2 board in the center of each 8 ft span. We designed the fence to have 2 exits/entrances, one on each side.
We got our lumber from tearing down a MASSIVE shed in our backyard about 2 years ago. We saved many pine 2x6s and 2x4s as well as various cuts of poplar wood that I used for other projects, like shelving, or our fireplace build.
The lumber honestly sat in our backyard under a tarp for about 2 years before we got around to this project. The wood was not perfect and needed to be used for an outdoor project. This fence was the perfect project. We needed about 150 feet total of fencing for the entire garden, and we had just enough lumber to do the job. However, in order for it to all be uniform, we needed to trim down the 2x6s into 2x4s to make it all uniform.
Because we used 2x4s instead of 2x6s we needed to add support every 4 feet to prevent the boards from sagging over time. We used the cut-off from the 2x6s to do this.
For the fence posts, we purchased 13 4x4x10-foot boards. We cut each of these in half to get 5-foot boards. Each of these served as a fence post. We set these about 14 inches in the ground, below our frost line of 12 inches. We used half a bag of concrete for each post, adding more for the corner posts, or posts that gates would be hung from. Ideally, we would have used a full bag, but in the spirit of keeping the cost down, we just used a half bag.
The Metal Fencing:
I purchased the fencing we used for the project last year. We used it around our garden zip-tied to metal T-posts. At the end of the growing season, we removed it and set it aside to reuse the new wooden fence. I originally purchased a 3-ft x 150-ft Steel Wire Mesh Roll. This system of fencing is very affordable and works great for a lot of gardeners, but I personally did not like the look of the T-posts and the steel wire fencing. It sagged in places and was nearly impossible to keep neat around the edges. I knew when I installed it that it was not a long-term solution.
After the initial design process, we prepared our lumber. This involved removing old nails, cutting the boards down to size (2x4s) on our table saw, and then charring each piece to weatherproof it.
This also involves cutting 4x4x10s in half to be 5 feet long. I would recommend charing these before setting them in concrete, as it will prolong their life. We charred them after they were set, which was fine for us since they were pressure-treated.
In the beginning, I charred each 2x4 and 2x2 over a fire in our fire pit. This is time-consuming but effective. I later purchased this propane torch, which I would highly recommend! The torch allows precision that burning over an open flame simply does not allow.
See my post here for How to Weatherproof Untreated Wood Naturally and Cheaply.
After all the wood was prepared, we set the 4x4s in the ground in concrete. We allowed this to cure for 24 hours and then came back and installed the 2x4s.
We opted to use decking screws to attach the 2x4s, as we had them left over, but most wood screws will do the job. We did not worry too much about keeping the fence perfectly level, just level to the eye. To do this, we tied a string at each corner and pulled it tight. If you want to ensure your fence is level, use a line level, like the one here. Line the 2x4s up with the string and attach using 2 screws. Be sure that you space the 2x4s to be 3 ft apart to accommodate the 3 ft wire fencing. I focused on keeping the bottom boards about 3-5 inches above the ground. This meant that some 4x4s needed to be trimmed so that they were all uniform.
We then attached our wire fencing. We stretched it one side at a time, opting to cut it at the corner for a cleaner look. This is a 2-person job, so grab a buddy. Using a heavy-duty stapler, we stapled it at each post and then came back through later and stapled it to the 2x4s.
After the wire fencing was installed, we came back through and installed 2x2s in the center of every 8 ft stretch. I simply sat the post on the ground, using a 4 ft level to ensure it was level, and screwed it into the bottom and top post. The 2x2s are not structural. Their only purpose is to prevent sagging. If you opt to use 2x6s, you would not need these 2x2 supports.
I came back through and trimmed off excess length off the top of 4x4s so that they appeared more uniform. But if you’re building your own fence, do what you think looks best. I came back through later with my propane torch and charred the tops of the 4x4s as well as any other areas that looked light.
We built our fence in the Fall of 2022, so prices may have changed since that time.
18 2x4x8’s: $56 (We used recycled lumber)
8 4x4x10’s: $118
9 2x2x8’s: $27 (We used recycled lumber)
9 bags of quick-set concrete: $38
3-ft x 150-ft Steel Wire Mesh Roll: $250 (We reused fencing from the previous year)
Total cost if materials are bought new: $489
Total we spent: $220
Tips for saving:
We were lucky enough to have saved lumber from an old shed we tore down. If you don’t have a pile of lumber sitting in your backyard, don’t despair!
Ask around! Maybe a neighbor or a friend of a friend has an old shed you could go tear down yourself and keep the lumber.
Check Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. I’ve often seen people either giving away used lumber for free OR for a very very good price. This is also a great place to find wire fencing!
Be flexible with the design. This is the BEST tip I have for building anything affordably. Adapt your design to your materials! Not the other way around.
Estate Sales are also a great place to find wire fencing! Even if you have to buy it in 8-10 foot pieces, trim it down and make it work! Brand-new wire fencing is expensive!
And that’s it! I’m completely in LOVE with my black garden fence! If you want to build something like this for your garden, I hope you can learn from what we did, and adapt it to your space. We later came back through and built 3 garden gates to complete the look! See my post here for how we did it! If you do build your own fence, let me know how it turned out! Send me a picture or comment below!