As we prepare for keeping chickens, fencing our garden is a critical task. Late winter is an excellent time to take care of this, on the coast, as the plantlife is still bare enough to allow for building, and other tasks in the garden can wait. To keep our lovely neighbour’s dogs from simply walking right under the existing fence, where they pose a cute but deadly hazard to our future hens – if only because chickens can be chased to death – I put together a simple apron fence.
An apron fence bends into an L shape where it meets the ground, and the fencing that lies along the ground is covered up with a bit of earth or rock. It is ideal for discouraging digging creatures. Being inexpensive and easy to install, and requiring only wire, gloves, a staple gun, and basic eye-protection, makes it quite appealing.
Attach wire along base of the fence. I used heavy staples. As you go along (or before you begin if your ground is predictably even) bend the wire into an L-shape where it meets the ground, so that it lays away from you, stretching out several inches beyond the fence. The wire mesh outside your fence is best buried under the earth somewhat, but our land is so rocky, instead I laid some large rocks over the apron to hold it down, and put a few on our side too. Chicken wire isn’t as long lasting as I’d like, but we had it to hand. Most animals will try digging in places along the apron and eventually give up.
Not a pretty thing, but the ferns promise to return with spring and mask it beautifully.