How to Install a Vegetable Garden Electric Fence
If you want to keep hungry critters out of your vegetable garden, an electric fence may be your answer. An electric garden fence is effective and inexpensive, especially if you do the installation yourself and use a solar-powered charger. Installing your electric fence before the growing season is always best, because it will be easier to keep animals out of your garden before they become accustomed to eating in your vegetable patch.
Insert a post at each of the four corners of your garden. Insert posts around the sides of your garden, spacing the posts about eight feet apart.
Slide two connectors on each post, securing one at six inches above the ground and the other about 30 inches from the ground.
Place the solar panel charger on a cinder block close to one of the fence posts. Choose a spot for your charger that receives full sun exposure all day. Ensure that the solar panel faces the sun at noon.
Insert the ground rod in a moist area next to where you will install the charger. Hammer the rod into the ground so that it’s entirely in the ground except for two to three inches above the ground.
Turn the charger to the “off” position. Secure the ground wire from the charger to the ground rod using the clamp on the rod.
Connect one end of the spooled fencing wire to the fence connection post on the charger. Stretch the wire to the bottom connector on the closest post to the charger. Wrap the wire twice around the connector and stretch it to the bottom connector on the next post.
Repeat this wire installation for all the bottom connectors around the perimeter of your garden, until you reach the connector on the first post where you started. Run the wire vertically to the top connector on the first post. Wrap the wire twice around the connector.
Repeat the wire installation for each of the top connectors the same way as you did for the bottom connectors. Do it for the entire perimeter of your garden. When you reach the top connector of the first post where you started, wrap the wire around the connector twice and cut the wire, leaving about 1 foot extra in length.
Using pliers, twist the extra one foot of wire tightly around the top wire that runs between the first two top connectors.
Attach the electric fence “caution” signs to all four corner posts. Test the fence perimeter at different spots using the multi-light electric fence tester to ensure proper operation and appropriate voltage.
Things You Will Need
- Posts (at least 8)
- 2 connectors per post
- Adjustable wrench
- Cinder block
- Solar-powered fence charger
- Ground rod, 6 feet long
- Adjustable ground-rod clamp
- Electrical fence wire
- Wire cutter
- 4 Electric fence “caution” signs
- Multi-light electric fence tester
- Allow for three days with the charger in the “off” position to charge the battery completely before turning on the charger. Check the entire perimeter of your electric fence at least once per week to inspect for any broken wires.
- Check with your local authorities to ensure that electric fences are permitted in your area. Some residential zones prohibit the use of electric fencing. Keep children and adults away from the electric fence. Although the electric current that runs through the fence is non-lethal, people will still get an unpleasant shock when they touch the wires. Prevent grass and weeds from coming into contact with the fence wires, because this could ground the system and prevent it from working properly.