For light duty or temporary fencing projects, "U" posts are an ideal product. While not constructed of the heavy duty steel used in "T" or "Y" posts, they are still perfectly serviceable for enclosing a small temporary pasture or protecting a vegetable garden from deer damage. Some "U" posts are equipped with a welded-on anchor plate to give them more holding power. They can be purchased at many home improvement or hardware stores. For this example, let’s assume you are fencing a 6-foot-by-12-foot vegetable garden with two strands of polywire and a portable, battery-powered fence energizer, and that you'll be setting the posts at 6-foot intervals.
Things You'll Need
- 6 "U" posts, 6-feet each
- 12 plastic "U" post fence insulators
- Measuring tape
- Small piece of chalk or marking device
- 100-foot spool of polywire
- Utility knife
- Post driver or hand sledge
- Portable fence energizer and grounding rod
- D cell batteries, as required (usually 4)
Using the measuring tape, measure 2 feet up from the bottom of each post and mark it with chalk or a marker. You'll drive the post until this mark is even with the soil line.
Using the post driver or hand sledge, drive each post to the predetermined depth. When finished, you'll have one post at each corner and one in the center of both long sides of the garden for a total of six posts. The posts will extend 4 feet above the ground.
Measure 18 inches up from the ground line and install a plastic insulator. Measure another 18 inches up and install a second insulator. Repeat this process for each post.
Select any post and tie the polywire to the top insulator. Unwind the polywire and slip it onto each of the top insulators on every post. When you return to your starting point, thread the wire back through the insulator and unwind it to the bottom insulator.
Secure the wire to the bottom insulator and go around the perimeter again, slipping the polywire into each of the lower insulators. When you reach the lower insulator where you started, wrap the polywire around it several times. Unroll an extra 12 inches of wire before cutting the rest of the wire spool free with the utility knife.
Knot the last 12 inches of wire securely to the bottom insulator. This prevents the wire from unraveling. At this point you have fashioned a continuous loop of fencing wire.
Using the hand sledge, drive the grounding rod to the depth suggested by the energizer's manufacturer. Attach the energizer to the top of the grounding rod and install the batteries.
Following the manufacturer's instructions, connect the energizer to the lower strand of polywire. On many energizers, the wire is slipped under a metal contact and secured with a threaded insulated cap nut.
Turn on the energizer. Your "U" post fencing project is complete.
Tips & Warnings
- Assuming you select a premium grade of D cells, your fence energizer will remain "hot" for approximately 30 days of continuous operation. If the deer are only attacking your garden at night, turn the energizer on at dusk and off again each morning. The batteries will last much longer. The current generated by the energizer will not harm the deer. But it will frighten them away.
- Even a small battery-powered energizer produces a fairly powerful electrical pulse. Be sure to keep small children away from the fence any time it's turned on.
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