How to Use Chicken Wire

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Chicken wire is a metal mesh wire, somewhat resembling chain-link fencing but much thinner. You may see it rolled up in the corners of garden shops or on the grounds of functioning farms. It is made of a thin, pliable metal twisted together to form the cells that make up the fencing. It derives its name from its very functional use in chicken coops, but this versatile wire is useful for many lawn needs. It can be used as a fence around a vegetable garden to keep out animals that would otherwise devour your fledgling plants. It can also be used as a tool to reinforce fence posts.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Metal garden fence posts
  • Wire cutters
  • Wooden fence post
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Cement powder
  • Sand
  • Gravel
  • Wheelbarrow or large container

Discourage Animals from Entering Your Garden

  • Measure the area around the border of your garden with a tape measure. This figure will guide you regarding how much chicken wire you need. Purchase more than your actual measurement to ensure you don't run out or can fix any mistakes made.

  • Dig four post holes--one in each corner of your garden--about 6 inches deep. Sink the small metal garden fence posts in, back fill, and then pack the dirt around the posts firmly so they do not wiggle. Dig deeper holes if you have loose, sandy soil to ensure the posts stand firmly.

  • Fix the end of the chicken wire to the post closest to you by wrapping the pliable wire around the metal notches on the post. Pull on the wire to make sure it is firmly attached to the first post.

  • Stretch the chicken wire from post to post, all the way back to the first post, pulling tightly as you move. Wrap the wire around the post notches at each post as you go. The tighter you pull, the more difficult it will be for animals to sneak under, or break through, the fencing.

  • Cut any extra wire after you've wrapped the chicken wire back around to the first post. Bend down any sharp wire edges on the fence.

Strengthen a Fence Post

  • Measure the bottom of your wooden fence post. Dig a deep hole, about 8 inches down (deeper if the post is very thick). Make the width of the hole a couple inches wider than the measurement of your post's width.

  • Staple with a staple gun the edge of the chicken wire to the length of the wooden post.

  • Pull tightly on the wire and begin to wrap it around the post. Wrap three times, or more, depending on how thick you wish to make the post and how heavily you wish to reinforce it.

  • Cut any extra wire after you've wrapped the post as many times as you'd like. Staple the other end to the post, again, pulling tight.

  • Mix a solution of 1 part cement, 2 parts sand and 3 parts gravel in a wheelbarrow or large container. Follow the directions on the cement powder bag for the amount of water necessary. Mix the water with a spade until the concrete is a thick consistency.

  • Lower your post into the hole. Pour the concrete mix in slowly and evenly. Allow the concrete to dry thoroughly and fill the hole with dirt around the bottom of the post. Pack in tightly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase metal garden fences posts from a garden supply or hardware store.

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References

  • Photo Credit wire mesh image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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