DIY Raised Bed (Removable) Pest Gate

comments (8) April 12th, 2013

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yourownvictorygarden Greg Holdsworth, contributor
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PHOTO A. The completed outside frame.
PHOTO B. The frame with the hardware cloth attached.
PHOTO C. The wood dowels are now attached.
PHOTO D. The finished gate.
PHOTO E. PVC pipes attached to the inside of the raised bed with plastic conduit brackets.
PHOTO F. The gates in place.
Gates operational... check!
Click To Enlarge Photo: Greg Holdsworth (All photos)

 

If your garden consists of raised beds, they do offer some level of critter protection, depending on how tall they are. However, for certain animals that are taller, you will need a 'wall' around your bed of some sort. With this type of pest protection, it comes at the cost of convenience. This pest 'gate' solves that problem by being completely removable. This project will construct a 4-foot wide by 1-foot high gate. If you want to make the gate taller, you can certainly do so.


The list of things you'll need:

1. Two 1" x 2" x 8' wood furring strips (Pine is standard, but you may opt for a nicer quality wood. You'll have some extra left.)
2. Two 2-foot wood dowels, 5/8" diameter (You can also get one 4-foot piece and cut it in half)
3. One 2-foot piece of PVC pipe, 1" diameter
4. Eight 1 1/2" wood screws (I would use a #6 or #8)
5. Eight 3/4" wood screws (I would use a #6)
6. Two-four 1" plastic conduit brackets
7. 1-foot x 4-foot piece of hardware cloth (You may need to buy a short roll of it. I used the thicker 1" mesh type.)
8. Electric drill & drill bits (bit size to match screws)
9. Saw (hand saw is fine, but jigsaw is recommended)
10. Tape measure or ruler
11. Metal wire-cutting pliers
12. Staple gun and staples
13. Stain or weatherproof coating (optional)


Skill Level:

Easy to intermediate, depending on your wood-working/cutting skills.


Construction:

1. First, determine how tall you wish to make your removable gate(s). For this project, I built a gate that was 4-foot wide by 1-foot high. You may need a taller gate depending on the existing height of your raised bed and/or the type of critters you're trying to keep out.

2. From the two 1" x 2" x 8' furring strips, cut out two pieces that are 4-feet long and two pieces that are 1-foot long. After pre-drilling the screw holes, screw the four pieces together. You'll have a long rectangular frame shape (Photo A).

3. Cut out a 4-foot by 1-foot piece of hardware cloth from a roll or sheet. Attach it to the rectangular frame with staples, about 3"-4" between staples. This is done on the same side that the two 1-foot long side pieces are on (Photo B).

4. After pre-drilling the holes, screw the two 2-foot wood dowels to the wood frame, an equal distance from each edge of the frame (Photo C).

Your pest gate is essentially finished (Photo D).

5. Cut the 2-foot piece of PVC into two 1-foot pieces.

Construction Note: In this project, I installed the pest gate in a raised bed that already had soil in it. This is obviously more difficult than installing the gates in a newly-built bed that didn't have soil put in yet.

6. Using the 3/4" screws, attach the PVC pipes to the side of the bed with the plastic conduit brackets (Photo E)Tip: To position the PVC pipes in the right spots on the side of the raised bed, slip the PVC pipes into the wood dowels of the gate, then place all of those against the side of the raised bed. Then mark where you'll need to screw in the plastic conduit brackets.

And you're done! Caution must be taken to avoid getting dirt or debris into the PVC pipes (Photo F). The gate will move a little inside the PVC pipe, since the dowel is 5/8" in diameter, and the inside diameter of the PVC pipe is about 3/4". A 3/4" diameter dowel will fit inside the 1" pipe. However, DO NOT use this size! I found out the hard way that water and outdoor conditions expanded the dowel to the point that they were literally stuck inside the PVC pipe.

This is a great addition to your raised bed, and hopefully will help keep those critters out!

 

 


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posted in: pests, raised bed, animals, Pest control

Comments (8)

Jennyve writes: Thanks for the great project, and very clear and thorough instructions. I just made these gates for my raised bed, altering them slightly making them 2 feet tall, instead of 1 foot. These gates are a huge improvement over my previous "solution". I'm really happy with the end result!
Posted: 11:42 pm on April 21st
fabricaholic writes: Greencomer,
I like your idea of putting the pvc in to allow mesh to be placed on top but I'm not sure I understand how to do it. Can you post a picture so I can see how it looks? Really need something to keep the critters and birds out. They ate all my brussel sprouts just when the sprouts came out. Thanks!
Posted: 9:12 am on March 24th
greencorner writes: An easy way to put a bird net or clear plastic over a raised bed is to make a PVC pipe curved skeleton brace every three feet and add the covering. I just make sure to anchor it firmly inside my bed and then bend to match inside the other side. have used the same 1/2 lnch PVC pipe braces for three years. Get tomatoes a month ahead of usual date and eat fresh lettuce, kale, oriental greens year round.
Posted: 9:48 pm on January 13th
FLGardenMom writes: Where are the instructions/materials list to build the actual bed? I'm excited to start!

Posted: 2:36 pm on May 9th
Stasia writes: To sha45pc, Here's the design I used, based on on another popular gardening magazine's step-by-step instructions for a 4'X8' raised bed:
1) To hold hoops for bird netting or row covers, attach four 12-inch pieces of 1-inch PVC pipe inside the bed: On the long sides, space pipes 4 feet apart, 2 feet from each end; screw on two tube straps to secure each pipe.
2)To cover newly planted seedlings with bird netting or season-extending row covers, simply bend two 6-foot pieces of ½-inch PVC pipe to form semi-circles, and slip their ends into the 1-inch pipes inside the bed.
3)Then drape the bird netting or row covers over them.
I have only done step 1, since I am hoping not to have critter problems, but wanted to be prepared in case. Would seem much easier to install the PVC housing inside/attached to the bed BEFORE filling with soil, yes?!
Posted: 11:02 am on April 24th
sha45pc writes: I have used rabbit fencing around my raised beds but they still climbed in. Chipmunks can climb in and eat the seeds before they germinate too. So how can you keep squirrels, chipmunks, racoons out of your garden too? We have tried everything. I am tired of my potatoes, fruit (grapes, blackberries, pears, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, etc., tomatoes, vegetables and everything in general being eaten.
Posted: 7:43 am on April 24th
thyme4tea writes: I just finished struggling with a roll of rabbit fencing and dowels, in sections. I attached the sections by wrapping the prongs of the wire to each other. Probably the LEAST effective project ever! I may dump the whole mess and use this idea.
Posted: 11:39 am on April 12th
MikeTheGardener writes: Another great project to share. I actually just added something similar to my garden this year.
Posted: 8:55 am on April 12th
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