The Veg Plot

Getting your fencing ready for winter

Fence Preparation

As a remarkably warm summer makes way for autumn and winter, now is the perfect time for a few running repairs around the garden and allotment. Right up at the top of the list is making sure our garden fences are in a good state of repair. Not do ours need to defend us against the elements and shield us from viewing the neighbours cavorting their fancy hot tub, they’ve also been supporting our newly planted hop bines – and we demand more of the same from them next year.

To give us some expert insight we asked Cocklestorm Fencing for some tips and they kindly provided us with these points to be mindful of as we head towards the inevitable wet, wind and possibly worse.

What tools will I need?

You will need to dig out your trusty tool box and arm yourself with hammer and nails, fence preservative and a brush or spray tools to apply it. You’ll also find a garden rake comes in handy and, if more serious work is required, cement, a bucket and a shovel.

Where do I start with fence cleaning duties?

When preparing your fencing for winter, make sure the the bases are clear of weeds and rubbish. Keeping the area around your fence as clear as possible will assist drainage and will allow the ground to dry out more easily following inclement weather. Not only will this precaution help to stop your garden becoming a quagmire, sturdy (and not soggy) ground offers a firm foundation for your fence posts.

How do I manage running repairs?

Any rotten or cracked section of fencing or a fence posts should be replaced or repaired. Don’t put this off – ‘a stitch in time’ and all that! It will cost you more in money, time and inconvenience if your fence ends up in a neighbour’s garden. Even slight damage to a fence panel can quickly get out of hand in bad weather so patch them up with whole or partial new panels, securing fitting them in place with nails.

My fence is a bit wobbly in places. How do I improve stability?

Check that your fence posts are properly sited in the ground and have a good, solid foundation. Any that are loose might need refitting or shoring up with more cement so they can withstand high winds. Loose sections on panels – like Waney Lap – should be secured either by replacing damaged or broken wooden batons or by nailing everything back together.

What else can I do to help protect my fence?

While the weather is still relatively dry, it’s the perfect time to top up your fence’s surface defence with a good preservative – including on panels or posts that have been recently replaced or repaired. Fence preservatives can be sprayed or painted onto the surface of the panel; they soak into the timber to create a barrier against moisture penetration. In the windy and rainy winter months this can help stop your fence starting to rot and weaken.

Follow these simple tasks and you’ll ensure your fencing is in decent shape to face whatever winter has to throw at us.


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