Raised beds are great for your garden because they provide some protection from pests. These beds are too tall for small animals to climb, so they can’t reach your precious vegetables and other plants. However, larger animals can still reach them. This is why they need some sort of larger protection to keep them away.
You may easily build a special gate to keep pests away from your garden. These homemade gates are easy to build and they are removable, so you can easily have a garden bed with and without them, depending on your needs.
These gates (or walls) are a great protection against most of the pests because they can’t climb them and reach your veggies. The gates should be made around the raised bed to protect the whole bed from pests.
There are many gates and walls specially made to keep pests away. You can find them in many garden stores. You may also build a gate all by yourself. The advantage of these homemade gates is that they are more affordable (they save you money so you don’t have to buy a gate at the store) and they are also very practical. Unlike commercial gates, a homemade gates can be built to be completely removable. This makes the whole method more convenient. You no longer have to jump over a gate or try to reach to your vegetables over a gate. They are easy to remove and put back in place so they keep pests away from your garden bed.
Tools and Materials
Here is a list of all the tools and materials you’ll need to build a 4 foot wide and 1 foot high hate. In case you wish to build a higher gate, it’s easy to adjust these measurements and construct a gate that suits your needs.
This is a list of all the things you’ll need to build the gate:
- Wood furring strips (1″x 2″x 8″). Pine strips are standard but you may use a nicer quality wood. Keep in mind that you will have some extras left after completion of this project.
- Two 2 foot wood dowels (5/8″ diameter). Alternatively, you can use one 4 foot piece and cut it in half.
- A 2 foot piece of PVC pipe (1″ diameter).
- 8 wood screws 1 ½” (best to use #6 or #8).
- 8 wood screws ¾” (best to use #6).
- Two-four plastic conduit brackets (1″).
- A piece of hardware cloth (1 foot x 4 foot). You may need to buy a short roll. It’s also good to use a thicker, 1″ mesh type.
- Saw. You may use a handsaw, but it’s easier to use a jigsaw.
- Electric drill and drill bits. Make sure that the bit size match screws.
- Metal wire-cutting pliers.
- Tape measure (or ruler).
- Staples and staple gun.
- Optional: stain or weatherproof coating.
The bed gate is not difficult to make. Even beginners can do it with a bit of effort.
Follow these instructions to build your raised bed gate.
The first step is to determine how big you want the gate to be. A 4 foot wide and 1 foot high gate will accommodate most raised beds. However, if you have very tall beds or if there are larger animals visiting your garden, you may want to build a taller gate (in this case, you should account for the additional material).
Take two 1″ x 2″ x 8′ furring strips and cut out two pieces that are 1 foot long and two that are 4 feet long. Pre-drill the screw holes and screw the four pieces together to make a long rectangular frame.
Cut a 4 foot by 1 foot piece of hardware cloth roll. Attach it to the frame with staples. Keep 3 to 4 inches distance between staples. Do it on the same side where two 1 foot long pieces are on.
Pre-drill the holes and screw the two 2 foot wood dowels to the frame. Keep an equal distance from each edge of the frame. This will finish the base shape of your gate.
The next step is to cut the 2 foot piece of PVC in half (to get two 1 foot pieces). Use ¾” screws to attach the PVC pipes to the side of the bed with the plastic conduit brackets. To position them to the right spots on the side of the raised bed, simply slip the PVC pipes into the wood dowels of the gate. After this, place all of those against the side of the raised bed. Mark where you’ll need to screw in the plastic conduit brackets. This is the easiest way to mark the position where the brackets should be screwed.
When building the gate, make sure not to put any dirt or debris into the PVC pipes.
The gate has to move a little inside the PVC pipe, since the dowel is 5/8″ in diameter and the inside of the pipe is about ¾”, Technically, a ¾” dowel will fit inside the 1″ pipe, but you shouldn’t use this size. The water and outdoor conditions will expand the dowel so it would stuck in the PVC pipe if you use ¾” dowel. For this reason, it’s recommended to use 5/8″.
This gate is sturdy and high enough to keep critters away from your bed, but also light and easily removable so you can take it out when necessary.