Weigh the Pros and Cons of Wire Fencing for Your Garden Project

Installing fencing around your garden can provide many benefits, from keeping out pests to adding decorative flair. Wire fencing, in particular, offers durability and versatility for gardeners. However, wire also has some downsides to consider before incorporating it into your landscape.

With so many types of wire fencing materials available, from basic chicken wire to more heavy-duty welded wire, it’s important to assess your specific goals. Factors like the purpose of the fence, types of pests or animals to deter, aesthetic preferences, and installation requirements should all weigh into your decision. The key is finding the ideal balance of functionality, cost, visual appeal and ease of use that aligns with the vision for your outdoor space.

Popular Types of Wire Fencing for Gardens

Let’s start by taking a closer look at some of the most common wire fence options used in garden settings:

Welded Wire Fencing

Welded wire fencing consists of steel wires welded together in a grid pattern, creating uniform square or rectangular openings. The welded joints make this one of the strongest and most rigid wire fencing styles. In gardens, welded wire fencing can provide durable perimeter boundaries or divide planting beds.


wire fencing for gardens
  • Very strong and sturdy
  • Standardized hole sizes create uniform look
  • Sturdy enough for large animals like deer


  • Not as decorative as other wire fence options
  • Difficult to work with and bend into custom shapes

Chicken Wire Fencing

As the name implies, chicken wire fencing is ideal for containing poultry within an enclosure or run. The woven hexagonal pattern of thin, flexible steel wire allows for visibility while keeping birds safely contained. Chicken wire fencing can also protect gardens from rabbit or rodent invasion.


  • Inexpensive and easy to install
  • Lightweight mesh allows high visibility
  • Can be shaped into custom enclosures


  • Not durable enough for larger livestock
  • Prone to rusting
  • Provides less privacy

Hog Wire Fencing

As the name suggests, hog wire fencing is ideal for containing hogs and other small livestock within a pen or pasture. It consists of thick, galvanized steel wires woven vertically with slightly larger spacing at the bottom to prevent animals from escaping by digging underneath. The closely spaced wires along the top portion contain livestock within the fence line.


  • Prevents digging escapees
  • Sturdy for containing pigs, sheep, and goats
  • Galvanized coating prevents rust


  • Not recommended for small pets who can slip through gaps
  • Provides less privacy than solid fencing

Woven Wire Fencing

Woven wire fencing features horizontal and vertical wires twisted together in a decorative, diamond-shaped pattern. The style brings an open, ornamental look to gardens and landscapes. Often seen in pastures, woven wire also makes a functional barrier for garden plots.


  • Visually appealing, ornamental look
  • Allows air circulation and light penetration
  • Effective for defining garden boundaries


  • Less rigid and sturdy than welded wire
  • Not recommended for containing large livestock

Vinyl-Coated Wire Fencing

For increased longevity, vinyl-coated wire fencing starts with a galvanized steel wire core that is coated in PVC plastic. This adds protection against corrosion, rust, scratches, and UV damage. The vinyl coating also allows you to choose from various color options.


  • Excellent rust and corrosion resistance
  • Vinyl coating resists scratching
  • Custom color options available


  • More expensive than basic galvanized fencing
  • Plastic coating can become brittle and crack over time

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Wire Fencing

When evaluating the wide range of wire fencing materials available, keep the following key considerations in mind:


Determine the primary goal you want the fencing to achieve. Is it purely decorative to add visual interest? Will it enclose compost or garbage areas? Do you need strong containment for chickens, rabbits or other animals? Establishing a clear intent will guide you to the best style.

Animals/Pests to Deter

Factor in what creatures you aim to keep out of the enclosed space. Deer require a taller, stronger barrier than rodents, for example. And small pets or chickens need fencing with smaller gaps to prevent escapes. Identify potential problem animals ahead of time.

Aesthetic Preferences

Some wire fences like woven styles have ornamental appeal, while welded options are more industrial. Think about your desired look and how the fencing will complement structures and landscape plantings. Aesthetics may guide your choice of materials and colors.

Durability Needs

Consider environmental factors that could affect the fencing over time. For gardens in windy regions or exposed areas, rigid, sturdy welded wire may outperform decorative chicken wire. And for coastal climates, vinyl-coated versions resist corrosion. Evaluate expected conditions.

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Are you comfortable installing the fence yourself or is contracting a pro worth the added cost? Look for lightweight fencing that’s relatively easy to work with for DIY-friendly options. More complex projects may justify hiring an expert.


Compare the material and installation costs for different fencing styles within your budget. Basic chicken wire and galvanized welded wire are typically the most budget-friendly. For added durability and aesthetics, be prepared to invest more in vinyl, powder-coated and decorative wire fence options.

Pros of Using Wire Fencing in Gardens

Now that we’ve looked at types of wire fencing and important selection criteria, let’s dive into the key benefits this versatile material can offer for gardens:

Durability and Strength

Wire fencing is inherently strong, resilient and designed to last for years. Compared to wood fences which can rot and degrade, wire’s durable steel construction maintains its integrity through all weather conditions. It is difficult to compromise or destroy and stands up well to animal encounters.

Low Maintenance

Since it does not rot, warp or splinter, wire fencing requires very little ongoing maintenance compared to wood fences. Other than occasional repairs to connections or damaged sections, wire holds up well season after season without needing repairs or refinishing.


The lightweight steel or aluminum construction makes wire fencing more affordable than wood privacy fencing for the amount of coverage area. DIY installation also lowers costs. The long lifespan recoups the initial investment over years of use.

DIY-Friendly Installation

Working with rigid panels of wood fencing can be cumbersome for DIY-ers. Wire fencing comes in convenient rolls that are easy to handle. Simple tools like wire cutters, pliers and a post driver are all you need to set sturdy posts and attach the flexible fencing.

Allows Air Flow

Unlike solid wood or composite panels, the open wire construction allows air, light and moisture to pass through while still providing boundary definition. This can benefit gardens by preventing excessive shade and promoting airflow to plants.

Variety to Suit Needs

With the diversity of wire gauge, mesh size, patterns and coatings available, there are styles to serve nearly any garden purpose. You can find the ideal blend of strength, holes size, visibility and aesthetics for everything from decorative borders to protective enclosures.

Deters Animal Pests

For vegetable gardens plagued by rabbits, groundhogs and deer, wire fencing provides an effective barrier to keep these hungry pests away from your plants. The right mesh size and fence height will securely exclude problem animals.

Cons of Using Wire Fencing in Gardens

Of course, wire fencing also comes with some potential drawbacks to weigh against the benefits when planning your garden project:

Prone to Rusting

Unlike wood, the steel used in wire fencing can corrode and rust over time when exposed to moisture and the elements. To prevent this, choose galvanized or vinyl-coated wires along with routine maintenance.

Not as Decorative

For those desiring an ornamental garden fence, wire styles lack the natural visual warmth and privacy of wood. Though woven and vinyl-coated options add some decorative flair, wire still has an industrial look.

Damage Risk

Falling tree debris and branches can more easily damage wire fencing by bending, warping or breaking wires. In wooded areas, this hazard means repairs may be needed over time.

Ongoing Repairs

While wire fencing is quite durable overall, it is still susceptible to damage from animals, weather events or other impacts that require mending broken wires, connections and posts. Expect occasional maintenance.

Obstructs Views

The criss-crossing wires, while somewhat transparent, still obstruct views and sightlines more than a living fence of shrubs and trees. This reduces the sense of openness compared to a less dense barrier.

Less Privacy

Wire has an inherently see-through quality unlike solid wood. For gardens desiring seclusion from neighbors, wire fencing provides less privacy and noise reduction than other opaque options.

Tips for Getting the Most Value from Wire Fencing

To maximize the performance and lifespan of your wire garden fencing, keep these tips in mind:

Choose the Right Gauge

Heavier gauge numbers indicate thinner, lighter wires. While fine for decorative borders, choose thicker 12 or 14 gauge wire for high-traffic areas or animal containment. It will resist bending and sagging much better.

Select a Protective Coating

For longevity, galvanized or vinyl coatings prevent corrosion and rust compared to bare steel wire. Choose galvanized for strength and vinyl for added color options.

Use Proper Installation

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for properly installing wire fencing over level ground. Securely anchor end and corner posts, making sure the fencing is pulled taut. This prevents sagging and maximizes useful life.

Combine with Plantings

Strategically place shrubs, vines or trees along the fence perimeter to soften views and add visual interest. This can help offset wire’s industrial aesthetic.

Inspect Frequently

Periodically inspect wire fencing for loose connections, rust, or damage and make repairs right away. Addressing minor issues quickly prevents more extensive repairs later.

Choose Strong Posts

Use galvanized or aluminum fence posts to match the longevity of the wire and prevent rust stains. Strong wood posts anchored in concrete also provide robust anchors.

When it comes to choosing garden fencing, wire offers unique advantages but also some aspects to carefully weigh. On the pro side, you can’t beat the durability, strength and cost-effectiveness of wire over time. Maintenance requirements are also minimal. However, wire lacks the ornamental beauty of wood and does not provide as much privacy or noise buffering. It is also prone to rust without a protective coating.

Once you realistically assess your expectations for functionality, aesthetics, installation and upkeep, you can determine if wire fencing is a smart choice for your specific gardening needs. And by selecting the proper gauge, coating and style for your setting, wire can provide lasting, rugged performance with minimal hassle. For many gardeners seeking the benefits of strength, affordability and longevity, wire fencing can be an ideal solution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *