How to Create an Enclosure For Your Vegetable Garden

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
4 min readApr 17, 2023

Upcycle Discarded Wood, Create, and Protect Your Vegetables from Critters

Photo by Lucie Douezi on Unsplash

One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Treasure

My husband Jon and I began vegetable gardening six years ago when we built our first raised vegetable bed. The following spring we built another bed. Two years ago, we decided to add an enclosure around the beds to prevent deer and ground hogs from munching on some of the vegetables, especially the romaine lettuce.

It would be an expense. The price of lumber increased during the pandemic. But one day while on a training run, I came across four discarded 8 ft. fence posts on a curb outside a home. It looked like the homeowner was replacing their fence. It was trash day.

And you know what they say about trash — one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

I called Jon on my cell and told him about my new found treasure — some of the materials to build a vegetable garden enclosure. He drove over to pick them up. A couple of days later, Jon came home with leftover brand new wood planks, more posts, and several two-by-fours discarded at a work site.

How We Built The Enclosure

On a nice April day, Jon worked with what we had to build the enclosure and I assisted. These are the materials we used. Our only expense was the welded fence and the green garden posts — about $200 and well-worth it.

4–8 ft. posts

2–50 ft. x 5 ft. 14-gauge Everbilt welded fences

3–6ft. green garden fence posts

2–6t. posts

A shovel

A staple gun

Our 12 ft. x 4 ft. raised beds sit parallel and are 3 ft. apart. Jon measured 3 ft. around the perimeter to create an 18 ft. x 17 ft. enclosure. This allowed enough room for a path between the outside of each bed and the fence.

Then with a shovel, he dug four 2 ft. deep holes on each corner to place the fence posts. Next, he lowered the posts in their individual hole and refilled each hole with dirt to secure the posts. Once all four posts were safely lowered and secured, he unrolled the 5' 14-gauge Everbilt welded fence and wrapped it around the posts to create the enclosure.

Garden enclosure built in April. Photo by Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

The welded fence was secured to the wood posts with a staple gun. At the bottom of each fence post, Jon added base support with wood pieces he cut from the planks to provide stability and to prevent the posts from collapsing. For additional support, a green garden fence post was placed in the middle of the three sides of the enclosure.

With two two-by-fours Jon made a 3 ft. wide gate to enter the garden framed by 2 6ft. posts. An old 2 in. gate hook and eye door latch we had was screwed in to keep the garden closed. I decorated the gate with an old Welcome to My Garden door wreath. I nailed a small decorative aluminum flower container I purchased at Dollar Tree to the gate. I potted the container with pink petunias. I repurposed four soil-filled hanging baskets from the previous summer and fall and potted them with pink petunias and yellow marigolds.

Our enclosed vegetable garden in June. Photo by Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

We hung a hanging basket outside each corner of the enclosure with old shelf brackets and secured them with wire. Two wrought-iron chairs that I rescued from the side of a road during a run, I placed in the garden. With the rest of the wood planks, Jon made planters and I painted them.

Upcycle, Repurpose, and Create

Gardening and protecting your vegetable beds, pots, planters, and containers won’t cost much if you upcycle materials you find or already have. Upcycle, repurpose, and create an enclosed gardening space for little cost. I’m sure if I’d come across discarded green garden posts and a welded fence, I would have hauled them home too.

Enjoy spending hours tending to your garden and vegetables as the birds chirp and chat, the hummingbirds flutter about, the butterflies dance around the buzzing bees as they pollinate the flowering vegetables, and the squirrels chase each other up and down trees while the deer and groundhogs stay at bay.

This post is adapted from a blog post originally published in



Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

My debut memoir Come What May, I Want to Run: A Memoir of the Saving Grace of Ultrarunning in Overwhelming Times is published. Website: