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This fence is easy to erect
By Nancy Szerlag / Special to The Detroit News
It took me five tries to get my tomatoes planted this spring. I’d plant them in the morning, and the raccoons dug them out at night. After the fifth go around, I’d had it. That’s when I told my partner to call the folks at Jaguar Quick Fence. We had seen this nifty do-it-yourself fencing at the Pontiac Silverdome Home and Garden Show last March, and it was the perfect solution to my problem — four-legged critters trashing my garden.
In the past, we had had success trapping the masked bandits, but this year we could not keep up with the hordes. But it wasn’t just the raccoons ravaging my garden. Deer were stopping by at night to nibble on the roses and shrubs planted in the holding bed, and rabbits obliterated the chard and cabbage. But it was the raccoons uprooting my beloved tomatoes for the fifth time that drove me over the edge. Upon discovery of the trashed plantings, we ordered the Jaguar Quick Fence for the garden and headed for Tractor Supply to buy a second Havahart animal trap (www.havahart.com.)
The box of fencing materials arrived a couple days later, and in less than two hours, our 50-foot by 50-foot veggie garden was fenced-in and critter-free. Traditional fencing can take days to put up, and is expensive. The average chainlink fence costs $16 to $20 per foot, installed. Installation and digging the post holes is messy, and some municipalities require a permit. Although it’s certainly strong enough to be considered a permanent installation, Jaguar Quick Fence is considered a temporary garden enclosure and usually does not require a permit for installation.
The do-it-yourself Jaguar Quick Fence Standard Kit (3 1/2 feet high) runs $3 a foot.
This innovative design allows easy do-it-yourself installation of professional quality, and it requires just a few easy steps to complete. In fact, it takes so little effort, it can be can be considered a one-person project — although two is better.
Step 1 involves driving the heavy-duty metal stakes into the ground using a short-handled sledge hammer. Because of their sharpened end and unique cross-shaped design, they displace much less soil than traditional square or round poles, so the stakes are surprisingly easy to sink, even in heavy clay soil. Yet, they are incredibly strong and stable. A stake-driving tool, included in the kit, increases the size of the stake head, making it easy to hammer, and the twin-level bubble guide assures the poles are straight and level.
Once the stakes are in place, the so-called heavy work is done.
Step 2 involves slipping the hollow poles over the stakes and adjusting for height. In cases where the ground is uneven, an easy height adjustment ensures all the poles are set at the same height. The rust-free metal poles are made of aluminum and painted forest green so they blend in nicely with the landscape and require no upkeep.
Next, the fence-retaining clips are inserted into predrilled holes in the fence poles.
Step 3 entails unrolling the fencing material and fastening it to the poles with the retaining clips. The fencing material, included in the standard kit, is made of C-Flex, UV stable black polypropylene with a breaking strength of 600 pounds per foot. It was designed to withstand the impact of a deer running at full speed. The fencing disappears when viewed at a distance.
It’s also available in a deluxe version, featuring a black vinyl coated chicken fencing. The Deer Barrier kit contains 6 1/2 -foot tall C-Flex mesh fencing.
The Standard Garden Kit, which includes everything you need to erect 50 feet of 3 1/2-foot-high fencing with an Easy Access gate, costs $169.
The Jaguar Quick Fence System components are available individually and can be configured to fit almost any size or shape.
The Invisi-Style Quick Fence System is also perfect for use as a dog run. It can also be used to protect trees and shrubs from browsing deer in winter. The fencing is easily removed and stored away in the garage in spring without damaging the materials. Only the inexpensive fence retaining clips will need to be replaced. Using just the fence poles alone, installing burlap for winter protection of tender shrubs such as rhododendrons is quick and easy.
We included a couple of extra poles in our order and used them to make a super strong 5-foot tomato trellis that held more than half a dozen plants and kept them high and dry all summer. Rose and clematis trellising is also a snap using this system.
Also available is a sprinkler kit accessory that easily mounts atop the fence posts. These post-mounted sprinklers may be used in conjunction with the Invisi-Style Quick Fence or installed anywhere a pole-mounted sprinkler would be handy. Priced at $26.95, when mounted on the end of a 6 1/2-foot pole, an impulse style sprinkler at that elevation can water a large area , including trees and shrubs, without having to drag around a hose.
The Jaguar Garden Fence and accessories can be ordered online at www.gardenfence.com, or call them at (800) 608-3315. The Web site also has a video that demonstrates just how easy building a fence can be.