Choosing The Right Fence For Your City Homestead
You don't have to live in the country to have your own homestead. Small urban "city homesteads" are becoming more common. These go beyond the basic vegetable garden – your yard may also house chickens, rabbits, bees, or even small goats. When you are doing all this in the close confines of a city or suburbia, the old adage that fences make good neighbors couldn't be more true. The following tips can help you design a fence that matches the aesthetics of your urban environment while protecting the denizens of your homestead.
Check the Neighborhood Aesthetics
Some people are still put off by the idea of large gardens or backyard chickens, even if you are well within your legal rights to own them in your neighborhood. Most of these concerns are because people are afraid of the neighborhood "going downhill." Doing your best to fit your homestead into the existing appearance of your area can help alleviate these concerns.
Check out the fences your neighbors have. Is wood, vinyl, or stone the most common? Opting to choose a material similar to that already in use will help your homestead blend in and can help set your neighbor's minds at ease.
Know the Area Pests
Your fence doesn't just shield your homestead activities from your neighbor's eyes, it also protects your crops and animals from pests. Even urban neighborhoods have animal pests. Skunks and rabbits tend to live almost anywhere, and they can wreak havoc on your garden.
No matter what fence design you choose, add a dig guard to the bottom. This is a portion of the fence, often made of wire mesh, that extends 12 to 18 inches beneath the soil so animals can't work their way underneath. If deer are an issue, such as in some suburban areas, you may need to also install a tall fence, typically taller than 6 feet. Deer seldom jump over a fence if they can't see to the other side.
Go for Low Maintenance
With all the work involved with caring for your food gardens and livestock, you don't want to waste countless hours tending to your fences. If you opt for wood, choose a rot-resistant variety like cedar or redwood. Even better, choose nearly maintenance-free vinyl fencing. A quick rinse with a garden hose and your fence is ready to face another year. Stone and cinder block fences are also durable and require nearly no maintenance, but they can stand out if they aren't common in your area. Talk to a fencing expert, like those at Family Fence Company, to learn more about the options that are best suited to the environment in your area.