How to Build a Squirrel Proof Garden Enclosure for under $100.00
Keep your Vegetable Garden Safe
How much have you spent each year on trying to deter squirrels from destroying your vegetable garden?
Well, after trying everything under the sun, I decided to build a garden enclosure to keep the squirrels out of the vegetable garden for good.
It cost under $100.00 for the supplies. It only took me a couple day's to complete. And that was because it was the first one that I had ever built.
The good news is that I have already went through the whole "trial and error" process for you, so you should be able to complete the garden enclosure in one day.
And unlike the sprays, moth balls and homemade concoctions..you only have to do this once.
If you would like to read my story that explains all of the things that I tried and why I decided to build this garden enclosure....click HERE
Just this year alone my father had spent about $115.00 on the following items:
(And it was only the very beginning of the summer.)
Repellant Spray $18.00
Coyote Urine $30.00
Blood Meal $12.00
Cayenne Pepper $ 3.99
Moth Balls $ 4.00
Motion Activated Sprinkler $48.00
The only one of these items that worked was the motion activated sprinkler, but this only worked on one side of the garden. Also once the plants start to grow the squirrels hide behind them.
Tools and Materials:
(Hopefully you already have these items, if not see if you can borrow them)
1 Pipe cutter
1 Wire cutter
1 Spool of twine, rope or string
1 Dark colored marker or sharpie
1 Measuring tape
Or large axe with flat end on one side
If you go to your local Post Office and ask for "a moving package" they will give you an envelope that people use when they are moving to a new address. The envelope includes a Lowes 10% off coupon. Comes in handy for this project or for any other project you might have.
We guarantee our everyday competitive prices. If you find a lower everyday price on an identical item at a local retail competitor, just bring us the competitor's current ad, and we'll beat their price by 10%. If a competitor is offering a percent off discount, we'll match the final net price the competitor is offering. Our price guarantee does not apply to installation labor, to the competitor's closeout, special order, discontinued, clearance, liquidation or to damaged items. Limited to reasonable quantities.
The edges of the chicken wire are very sharp, so be extra careful when handling it. You might want to wear some work gloves while working with the chicken wire.
If you are pounding in the metal pipes by yourself, be sure to steady yourself on the ladder. You don't need to lift the sledge hammer or axe too high above the pipe. The weight of the sledge hammer does most of the work for you.
All of my measurements are for a 17 foot wide x 7 foot deep x 6 foot high enclosure. If you are going to make a larger garden enclosure you may need more chicken wire.
If you don't have the items on the Materials list - You can order them here
There are many of these available all with different weights.
This one also comes in several weights, now that I think about it....I think that the shorter handle would have been easier to use.
This is the ladder that my sisters and I purchased for my Dad, It's also the one I used on this project.
If your enclosure is attached to a chain link fence, you will need to cover the fence with a plastic tarp. The squirrels squeezed right through our chain link fence before I sewed the tarp on.
Great price and so easy to use, just place it on the pipe tighten and spin around the pipe, then tighten again and spin.
- 14 Â½ inch diameter 10 foot conduit pipe
Lowes - 1/2" x 10 Ft. Electrical Metallic Tube EMT Conduit
These were $2.00 each
6 Steel Fence posts
Lowes - Garden Zone 4' Heavy-Duty Steel Utility Fence Post
These were $2.97 each
4 Â½ inch side elbows
Lowes - LASCO 1/2" Schedule 40 Side Outlet Elbow
These were $1.18 each
3 Â½ inch tees
Lowes - LASCO 1/2" Schedule 40 Tee Fitting
These were $0.99 each
3 Packs 100 foot Picture Hanging Wire
Lowes - The Hillman Group 22-Gauge Galvanized Steel Picture Hanging Wire
These were $2.83 each
3 Packs of 24 Anchor pins
All for Under $100.00
Take 7 of the 10 foot pipes, use the sharpie/magic marker and place and mark around the pipe 2 feet up from each end.
Use the pipe cutter to cut 2 feet off from one end....that will leave you with an eight foot pipe. Do this to all 7 pipes.
(The pipes need to be sunk 2 feet into the ground so make sure that end of the pipe that has the marking is facing down towards the ground. This will make it easier to see when you have reached the 2 foot depth)
Save the cut off ends of the pipes for use later.
Step 2 - Measure and Pound
The difficulty of this next step depends on how many rocks are under the soil. I had to dig a one foot whole by hand for two of the pipes because of rocks. The other five pipes went in easily.
You can test the soil by using one of the 2 foot pipes that you have left over and just pound it in to see if you hit rocks or not. If you do run into this problem just twist the pipe out and dig up about a foot of the dirt and rocks.
Standing on your ladder.... hold the pipe with one hand and pound in the pipe with your sledge hammer with the other. If you have someone to hold the pipe for you that's even better.
When I did this I must have hit a root or something along the way because the end of the pipe that I was pounding began to bevel out. What I did was pound it down an inch or so short of the 2 foot mark and cut off the beveled top of the pipe. If you leave the beveled edge around the top of the pipe the fittings will not squeeze over the pipe.
I used old window screens for the doors...if you have another idea for the door....now is the time to decide if you need to adjust the location of the door pipes
Step 3 - Center Pipe and Fence Posts
Take 1 of the 10 foot pipes, use the sharpie/magic marker and place a mark around the pipe 2 feet up from one end. On the other end of the pipe make a mark 1 foot up the pipe
Use the pipe cutter to cut 1 foot off from the one end.....that will leave you with a nine foot pipe. Place this pipe in the center of the Garden Enclosure. This pipe will help to make a dome shape at the top of the enclosure
Now take your 6 steel fence posts and pound them into the ground. Make sure that the tabs on the post are facing out, these will be used for securing the chicken wire. I just placed these at approximate center points between the pipes.
Step 4 - Nylon Rope
After you have set all of the pipes and steel posts into the ground......tie some nylon string from one pipe to the other.
Start from either the right or left pole of the doorway. Tie the nylon string around the pipe and make a knot, then wrap the string around the next pipe and pull to tighten just enough to make the pipes sturdy and straight. Continue all the way around the garden enclosure until you reach the other end of the door.
This will ensure that the pipes are straight and not bowed.
Step 5 - Chicken Wire and Joints
Unpack the chicken wire. There is a long piece of wire wrapped around roll, just unravel that and cut some pieces off using your wire cutter.
Starting at one of the pipes that will be used for the doorway....wrap the chicken wire around the pole using your hands to mold it to the pipe. Now take some of the wire that you just cut up...and using the same principle as a twist tie, secure the chicken wire to the pole. Just feed it through the chicken wire, then around the pipe and twist the two ends together.
Make sure that the bottom of the chicken wire reaches all the way to the ground. Once you have that secure, roll out the chicken wire until you reach the next post.
The poles should be very sturdy at this point so you don't have to use the twist tie method until you reach the last pole. Then cut excess off the chicken wire, wrap it around the last pole and secure with the cut up pieces of wire. Now you should have the lower 3 feet of your enclosure covered with chicken wire.
Place the tee and corner elbow joints on the ends of the pipes.
Step 6 - Measure Twice Cut Once
The measurements that I used for the remaining pipes worked perfectly for my garden enclosure...but here is where you should double check the length of the pipes before you cut.
You are going to need to confirm the measurements for the 4 red pipes pictured above, remembering to allow for the ends of the tee and elbow joints. You want to make sure that the end of the pipe goes all the way into the joints.
Step 7 - More Chicken Wire and Nylon String
Time for the second row of chicken wire, use the same procedure as step 5.
Tie the nylon string from one corner of the garden enclosure.....through the middle pipes tee fitting, then diagonally across to the other corner of the garden enclosure. Repeat this step for the next corner.
This will give more support the the frame and also help to raise the top layer of chicken wire.
Step 8 - Top of Garden Enclosure
For the top of the enclosure, roll out the chicken wire and walk across it as you're rolling it out. This way is will not curl back up as much.
This part was not too easy to do alone, what I did was....roll out the chicken wire, then I draped it over the top pole. (I started at the left front corner) move inside of the enclosure...with the palms of your hands, lift and feed in the chicken wire until you reach the other end of of the enclosure.
Once you reach the other end...secure the chicken wire to the pole with strips of wire that you had previously cut using the same twist tie method.
You don't have to use too many of the ties here because you will be making it more secure in a later step.
Now take your wire cutters and cut off the excess chicken wire. Now secure the chicken wire to the upper pipe on this end. Don't pull the chicken wire too tight across the top of the enclosure or you will bow out the pipes.
Repeat the above steps for the next two rows of chicken wire.
Step 9 - A Stitch in Time Saves Nine
Now for the tedious task of sewing up all of the seams to keep the squirrels out.
Unroll some of the picture hanging wire (not too much it coils up and is difficult to work with, starts to kink) weave the picture hanging wire through the seams and pull taught after every loop.
Do this for the seam between the bottom and top row of chicken wire, then close all of the seams at the top of the enclosure. Don't forget to stitch the seams along the poles to the chicken wire too.
Step 10 - Anchors Away
Secure the chicken wire to the ground by tapping in the anchor pins with a hammer all the way around the perimeter of the garden enclosure.
Secure the chicken wire to the steel fence posts by pulling the chicken wire under each tab that runs down the posts.
Step 11 - Doorway
Hopefully you or someone that you know has old window screens to use as a door for the Garden Enclosure.
I had already completed the entire garden enclosure and then after staring at the open doorway realized that old window screens would work.
I stitched each screen to the adjacent pipe the same way that I had stitched the seams of the chicken wire, just not as tight. You want to be able to swing the doors open and closed.
The screens were not tall enough...so I had to use another screen for the top, I had to stitch a strip of chicken wire to the top of the screen. And then attach that to the top of the doorway.
The top screen flips up and the two bottom screens open out.
Completed Garden Enclosure
See why I built the Garden enclosure and the results.
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