The Garden Fence and Battling the Beast

For several years now, I have been storing some old redwood fencing that my brother took down in a project he did for his in-laws. Little by little the 1″x6″ fence boards have been pulled off for different projects that my brothers and father have done. The fence panels even played house for the occasional rodent and also was the chosen platform for the game “king of the hill” my dogs Philly and Nilla love to play.

After conquering many of my indoor to-do’s as my wife and I get ready for our baby, I decided it was time to show a little love to the back yard.

One of my goals to complete by Summer is to have a good size garden with an attached chicken coop. So I thought why not get it started this week. The first thing was to gather as many fence posts from the old redwood fencing as we could. Next, measure out the post lines perpendicular to the existing fence and mark where each post was to go at six feet apart from each other. My good friend Nick Giusto was nice enough to spend a couple of his off days of being a fireman helping me dig the post holes and install the rest of the garden fence.

We decided to keep the fence green and not use concrete to set them but just compact the dirt around the posts knowing the fence was more to keep the dogs out than to be structurally sound. Then we found some rolls of rusted wire fencing and cut them down to size and nailed them in place. The best part about using old fencing and posts and having a goal of making the fence look like its been there for a long time was we judged lengths with our eyes and didn’t have to measure anything. The funny part was that still most posts were unintentionally the same length and several of the rolls of fencing were the perfect length, only needed to be snipped to the right height. Nick started to question my construction skills as if my measuring ability was a gift from god. Ha!

Once the wire fencing was up, the garden was definitely starting to take shape. Unfortunately we ran out of our awesome rusted fencing so today we drove down to Friedman Bros our local hardware store and had to buy a roll. Finally we took some old 2x4s and framed out a gate. After the gate was installed the fence was completed. The hard and timely part was done and we now get to fire up the Beast and let her eat some dirt!


The tilling ended up being an adventure of its own. This Beast, my roto-tiller, had always fired up whenever I needed it to. Yet today I whole heartedly believed she was on vacaction. After many steps of trouble shooting and cursing the tiller to hell, I decided to check the gas tank only to find out it was bone dry. Once again, as in most cases I was able to prove that when machines fail its because of human error.

So I went into the shed and pulled out a can of gas and proceeded to fill it up. Easy fix right? Guess again. Now the Beast was mad at me for starving it of fuel and had decided she wasn’t going to fire up. I was now getting fed up and decided to pull the trump card and grabbed some starter fluid. After a couple sprays and with the Beast’s submission, the motor was running. But there was enough white smoke that Im sure it had caught the attention of Nicks buddies down at the firehouse. I didnt care though because the Beast was ready to roll and we were finally chewing up the ground.

After the smoke hadn’t stopped and not being at ease knowing the motor was only running when the choke was fully open, I decided I need to find some answers. Just then I looked down and realized I had dumped in gas that had been premixed with oil for my weed-eater which is a 2-stroke motor. Once again, human error. Luckily I didn’t fill the tank completely so it only took about ten minutes to burn most of the fuel out of the tank. I then added REGULAR gas to the tank along with some fuel stabilizer to help clear out the ultra rich fuel. Once the new fuel had made it into the lines and into the engine, we made some quick adjustments to the carburetor and the Beast was once again at the top of her game and by sundown we had the whole garden area tilled and ready for me to start planning out the garden design.

It took us two days to complete but the ground is beautifully tilled and I now have a one of a kind recycled fence that any gardener would be proud of. Now I just need to figure out what I’m going to plant. Any ideas?

One Comment

  1. Tomatoes, lettuce, onions, snap peas, cucumbers, carrots, anything you think you would use a lot of. Fresh chicken eggs are the best too. If you get a rooster, make sure you’re outside of the city limits in Sonoma. People in town don’t like hearing them early in the morning.


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