Wattle me this… Why did we not get into this sooner? I have officially claimed my love for wattle fencing.
This year we tried a new method of fencing, wattle fencing. It cost us zero dollars and has been quite effective. Since the fence has been up, we haven’t shared one bite of our kale (though in truth, that’s the one thing I don’t mind to share), and our sweet potatoes have been given a fighting chance.
There are many ways to create a wattle fence. All you need is strong enough posts for the size of your fence and material to weave between the posts.
For the particular bed we were fencing in, bamboo poles were reused from the trellises made for our Knox bed last year. I used loose sticks from the yard (we have a lot of trees) to weave between the posts. If we did not have bamboo for posts, we would have used thicker sticks, sharpened the ends, and secured them in the ground.
The bamboo was cut to equal lengths of about three or four feet. We spaced the posts equally and pushed them into the ground about a foot. With the bamboo in place, I was on the hunt for sticks to weave between them.
The first few months at our new house were spent clearing fallen limbs, sticks, and leaves (in the name of compost). So the hunt for limbs was short lived. As I loaded up the wheelbarrow, all I could think was how glad I was that we hadn’t had them hauled off yet. We thought we would use them in a hugelkultur bed in the back, but in order to save time we went with double digging. I was also thankful we had yet to fill the raised beds with dirt (another prolonged hugel bed). I was able to to pick through and get more roots and sticks.
Prior to building the fence, I spread woodchips around all the beds to create an edge (the ones from our surprise delivery). This ended up making a good base for the structure of the fence.
Do not let those flopped over leeks fool you. As soon as this fence was complete, I packed compost around them and got everybody standing upright again.
With the stakes in place, you just take a stick and weave it in and out of the poles. I tried to create an equal layer around the entire fence before putting on the next vertical layer. Of course some sticks were longer than the bed and others didn’t bend or form well to the bed, so I cut them to fit.
With the ones cut to better fit, I overlapped sticks to continue the weave where the break was made.
Putting the wattle fence together was like putting a puzzle together, and I love a good puzzle. Once the first few sticks were in place, I was on a roll. Unlike a puzzle, I didn’t spend much time organizing the pieces, I just dove in.
There wasn’t much more to it than that. Within a few hours, I had completed my first wattled fence.
Now we just need to gather more bamboo to build a fence around our ‘L’ shaped bed. The sooner the better because this is the new favorite chow-down location for the neighborhood critters.