Choosing Decorative or Basic Fencing

3 Aspects To Consider When Choosing Residential Cedar Wood Fencing

Posted by on Feb 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Aspects To Consider When Choosing Residential Cedar Wood Fencing

Cedar wood fencing is a great choice for your home, as it offers durability and aesthetic appeal. Whether you choose a stockade or lattice style, a classic Victorian picket fence, or a privacy fence, this wood species is not prone to warping or cracking, and you can choose from red or white cedar. You can easily work with cedar fencing, adding nails without worry of cracking or splintering. The natural oils in cedar wood help repel insects, and you can paint or finish them as you wish. When choosing cedar wood fencing for your home, there are a few considerations you need to ponder. Here are three important aspects to consider as you make your final choice: 1. Red or White Cedar: Which Should You Choose? Red and white cedar wood for fencing projects both offer similar benefits, although there are a few differences. Both choices are attractive and versatile and offer strength for drilling nails or refinishing. Red cedar is known as Western cedar, because it is easily found on the west coast and is suitable for the weather conditions of the region. It is a bit lighter in weight than white cedar, although it is not as strong as the white variety. If you live in a cold region and are looking for a more weather resilient cedar with a bit more flexibility, you might want to opt for the white variety. White cedar tends to be a bit more resistant to insect damage as well. 2. Choose a Design That Fits Your Needs and Reflects Your Style There are several designs or styles of cedar wood fencing to choose from. In most cases, selection is a matter of personal preference and needs. Here are four of the more common and popular designs of cedar wood fencing to consider: A Classic Victorian Picket Cedar Fence: You’ll find that the Victorian cedar wood picket fence will complement your contemporary or Victorian style home and neighborhood nicely. Choose from straight picket, rail staggered, top rail, step down, or scalloped. Unlike straight, the rail staggered offers uneven rail lengths, alternating in sizes. Top rails have an edged border on top. Step down and scalloped have a curved top rail. A Privacy Cedar Wood Fence: Due to its added height and solid construction, the cedar privacy fence will help conceal your yard or landscape as well as outside belongings from neighbors and passersby. Privacy fencing will also act as a barrier to keep wildlife out of your yard. It’s an excellent choice for the poolside or for outside entertaining and relaxing. If you prefer a do-it-yourself project, you might find privacy fencing in prefabricated panels. Your privacy fence panels can be composed of a solid piece, or you may choose a topper just for the aesthetics. Toppers may have various designs, such as lattice, diamond, or even shamrocks. A Stockade Cedar Wood Fence: Wood stockade offers an early American design, reminiscent of construction by the early pioneers. If you own a Colonial style home or you simply enjoy the old world charm of its appearance, the wood stockade may be a good choice for your yard. What sets this style apart from the others? Primarily, it’s in the design of the logs. Stockade wood fences are composed of logs with sharpened ends....

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4 Benefits Of Aluminum Fencing

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Benefits Of Aluminum Fencing

There are a number of options to choose from when it comes to installing a fence around your property. While most fencing materials can provide an attractive and secure fence, aluminum fences provide a few advantages over other materials that make them an excellent option to consider. Here are four reasons you should choose aluminum for your next fence. Low Maintenance Requirements If you are looking for a fence that requires minimal maintenance after it is installed, aluminum might be the best choice for you. Unlike wood fences, aluminum fences are impervious to rot and pests. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about restaining or repainting your fence over the years because the color of an aluminum fence will not fade over time. Wrought-iron fences are seen as one of the most premium fence materials available, but they have one key weakness: rust. Aluminum is a non-ferric metal, which means that it will not rust. The only maintenance that your aluminum fence will require under normal circumstances is an occasional wash-down with a garden hose. Highly Customizable Aluminum fences are available in a wide variety of styles and configurations. While metallic silver and black are the first colors that come to mind when you mention aluminum fencing, a wide variety of colors and textures are possible to complement the exterior of any home. Popular choices include glossy white, beige or brown with a fine-grain texture, and bronze finishes. In addition to color options, aluminum fencing is one of the most versatile materials available. For example, you can installed a racked aluminum fence if it will need to run over sloped ground. Racked fencing has multiple interlocking sections that can be “stair-stepped” to avoid leaving gaps between the fence and sloped ground. Aluminum fences can be made with several different styles of picket tops, railings, inlays, and posts to conform to any aesthetic. Lightweight and Durable Just because aluminum is a less expensive metal than wrought iron or steel doesn’t mean that it is a flimsy material. Aluminum fences are almost as durable as iron or steel, and will stand up without problems to most normal-use cases. An aluminum fence is strong enough to stand up to high winds and prevent forced entry by potential home intruders. Aluminum’s slightly lesser strength in comparison to heavier metals is made up for by its light weight. Because aluminum is lighter and easier to handle, your installation costs will be lower than they would be for heavier fence materials. Lightweight aluminum is also a great option for making a DIY fence installation as easy as possible. Environmentally Friendly No matter what fencing material you choose, replacing your fence will be necessary after a number of years. Aluminum is a good choice for homeowners who are looking for a fence that will have a low impact on the environment when it needs to be replaced. Aluminum recycling is highly efficient, so you can be sure your fence will be made into new, usable material instead of dumped in a landfill. For the most environmentally friendly option, you should look for an aluminum fence that has been made from recycled aluminum. Recycled aluminum fences are just as strong as newly manufactured ones, so you won’t be sacrificing durability to help the environment. Make sure you...

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3 Ways for Speeding Up the Opening and Closing Times of Residential Electric Gates

Posted by on Sep 26, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Ways for Speeding Up the Opening and Closing Times of Residential Electric Gates

Nothing screams elegance and class as much electric gates do. Installing one on your property can not only make your place feel more luxurious but also give your property some added security, as you will be able to prevent intruders from entering. The total cost of installing an electric gate for your driveway can be anywhere between $1,950 to $7,700. If you’ve noticed that the electric gate you’ve installed simply doesn’t open or close quickly enough for your liking, here are three things you can do about it. Upgrade to High-Speed Slider The speed that the electric gate is opening at may already be determined by the electric opener or the electric slider. If you purchased a standard electric gate set from a contractor or at a store, you likely have a fixed speed slider and opener. This means that the electric gate can only operate at a pre-determined set speed. There is no room for customization, and there’s nothing you can do about that. The only option you have is to upgrade to a high-speed slider and opener. A high-speed slider and opener will give you more options to choose from in terms of how quickly the gate opens. In addition, a high-speed slider will usually ramp up the speed at which the gate is opening over a certain period of time rather than instantly. This will make it appear as if the gate is opening much more smoothly without any abrupt stops or movements. Install Sensors on the Roadway Leading Up to the Driveway If you don’t want to upgrade to a high-speed slider and would like to work with what you’ve already installed, you can see whether you can install sensors on the roadway leading up to the driveway. These sensors need to be able to detect the key or remote in your car to send to the gate-opening system. This will prompt the electric gate to open when you aren’t even near the gate yet. By the time that you reach the gate, the gate should either be fully opened or almost completely open. Installing sensors on the roadway may take some planning. You’ll need to determine where these sensors need to be installed in order to accurately detect the presence of your car. Keep in mind that the sensor’s range of detection also needs to be examined—especially in rainy or snowy weather. You also need to determine where the sensors need to be installed in order for the gate to be open by the time that you reach it. In general, you should time things so that the gate will have just opened when you arrive. Switch to an Electric Gate that Swings Inward into the Property The type of electric gate design that you choose can also make an impact on the perceived rate at which the gate opens and closes. In general, if you find that the gate is opening too slowly when you’re trying to pull into your home, you should choose an electric gate that swings inward into the property. Even if the gate slider functions at a set speed, a gate that swings inward will allow you to get onto the property before a sliding gate can. This is because you can start to roll onto the property as...

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What Are The Best Fencing Options For Your Rental Property?

Posted by on Dec 17, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on What Are The Best Fencing Options For Your Rental Property?

If you’ve recently purchased your first single-family home (SFH) rental, you may be wondering what to expect as a first-time landlord. One of your main priorities may be whipping your property into rental shape — including low-maintenance landscaping, fencing, and even interior paint to help reduce the amount of wear and tear your home goes through while under the care of renters. Choosing the right fence could save you hours of yearly maintenance and ensure you don’t need to pay for repair or replacement for years; meanwhile, choosing a fence of less sturdy material or that requires care your renters may not show could require you to make costly repairs on an annual basis. Read on to learn more about some of the fencing options best suited for your rental home.  Which fencing options are the most low-maintenance? While you may wind up with model tenants who have no problem keeping your rental home’s lawn and landscaping trimmed and fence washed, you’ll likely need to choose a fencing material under the assumption your tenants will do very little regular maintenance to your fence. Choosing an option that has a relatively low cost per linear foot and also requires nearly no maintenance will help ensure you get your money’s worth out of your rental home’s fence. Aluminum Aluminum fencing is lightweight, rustproof and comes in a variety of colors and styles. Because of their resistance to water (and rust), aluminum fences are an especially popular choice to border a pond or swimming pool. The only maintenance this type of fence will require is a periodic hosing down to remove any dirt or debris (like grass clippings or mud) that could cause premature corrosion. Composite lumber  Another durable option that won’t require much upkeep from your tenants is composite lumber. Unlike raw or treated lumber, composite lumber is composed of a mix of wood fibers and plastic, making it significantly stronger (and less likely to splinter) than treated wood. The plastics used for the composite lumber mix can be treated with UV-resistant chemicals, helping the final product avoid fading or sun damage. Like an aluminum fence, a composite lumber fence should only need to be washed or rinsed off periodically.  Chain link The most utilitarian (and often cheapest) option is a simple chain link fence. This can be especially handy if you’re planning to rent to families with pets, as these fences allow more air flow than solid fences and can help a pet owner keep an eye on his or her animal even while in another unfenced part of the yard. Chain link fences are also made of aluminum, which means they have the same rust-resistant properties as aluminum panel fencing. If you have the necessary equipment to install the fence posts, you may even be able to build this fence yourself, saving more money. In general, you’ll pay less than $1 per linear foot of chain link fencing, plus any installation or additional material costs (like concrete). Which fence materials should you avoid for a rental property? If your home has slow renter turnover, you may find that several years or more go by before you can visit this home and give it a good cleaning between tenants. For homes without durable fences, this length of time may often be...

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Protect Your Carrots With A Vinyl Fence — Not A Chain Link, Iron Or Wood One

Posted by on Dec 9, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Protect Your Carrots With A Vinyl Fence — Not A Chain Link, Iron Or Wood One

As the growing season draws to a close, now is the time to think about how you will improve your garden next spring. If you don’t make improvements to your garden over the winter, you won’t have time to come spring. If you don’t already have a fence around your garden to protect your carrots and other plants from rabbits, you should consider installing a vinyl fence — not a chain link, iron or wood one — this winter. Here’s why a vinyl fence is better suited for protecting a garden than other types of fences. Prettier Than Chain Link Fences A chain link fence is perfectly functional and will effectively protect your garden from rabbits, but it’s not very pretty to look at. A chain link fence is fine for a ball field, but it’s not nice enough for a garden. After all, you don’t want the fence detracting from the beauty of your flowers. A vinyl fence will be just as effective at keeping rabbits out of your garden as a chain link fence, and it won’t be an eyesore. It’ll create a good-looking border around your garden that also serves a practical purpose. Won’t Rust Like Iron Fences An iron fence is another attractive option — at least when it’s installed. Eventually, though, iron fencing will rust and lose its initial appeal. An unprotected iron fence will quickly corrode in the rain. As Fred Sense explains, the iron (Fe) and water (H2O) react to make iron III hydroxide (Fe(OH)3). When iron III hydroxide dries, it forms iron III oxide (Fe2O3), or rust. Cold galvanization prevents iron fences from rusting by coating them with a layer of zinc that acts as a protective barrier between the iron and water. The zinc layer is painted on, usually as a spray paint. Cold galvanization doesn’t provide complete protection against rust, though. It’s difficult to apply the zinc-laden paint at joints, and it’s virtually impossible to spray inside hollow iron pieces. Water can get at the iron in these places. Thus, iron fences are still susceptible to rust at the edges and from the inside-out, even if they’re cold galvanized. Vinyl fences, in contrast to iron ones, don’t need to be cold galvanized. Even after many years, they won’t rust, because they don’t have any iron in them. Don’t Require Painting or Staining Like Wood Fences Wood fences, of course, also don’t have any iron in them, and they look nice. Wood fences, however, require staining and painting. Staining or painting a fence is an easy job that you can do yourself, but there’s a slight risk that some stain or paint may be spilled in your garden. If any drips off your brush, or if the can of stain or paint spills, it could spill onto plants or contaminate your soil. If you’re only growing flowers, you might not mind whether stain or paint spills onto the dirt you plant in. If you’re growing vegetables to eat, though, you might not want to risk spilling stain or paint on the soil. Vinyl fences never need to be stained or painted, so this isn’t a concern if you opt for a vinyl fence instead of a wood one. If you don’t have a fence around your garden, keep rabbits out...

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How To Replace A Broken Wooden Fence Post With A Durable Metal Post

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How To Replace A Broken Wooden Fence Post With A Durable Metal Post

Privacy fences are typically built with 4-by-4 wood posts set in poured concrete foundations. While this design works well for fences in dry, insect-free locations, it can be problematic if the fence is exposed to constant moisture or wood-eating insects. The wooden posts eventually rot and break apart near the ground, leaving homeowners with a partially-collapsed fence that will ultimately fail. If your wooden fence post has broken, you can solve the problem by using a metal fence pole to anchor your fence. Below is a list of tools and materials needed, as well as a step-by-step procedure for the job: What you will need 2-⅜ inch diameter galvanized fence post, 8-foot length 2-⅜ inch diameter galvanized fence post cap Galvanized fence post straps 2-inch by 4-inch pine board 10d nails, 3-inch length Crowbar Gloves Stump remover Claw hammer Box level Lightweight rope and wooden stakes Hack saw Power saw or crosscut saw 50-pound bag of ready-to-use concrete mix Thin piece of scrap lumber Wheelbarrow Garden hose Shovel Measuring tape Wood screws Electric drill with screw-driving bit Step-by-step procedure 1. Remove the wooden post – With a screwdriver and claw hammer, remove the top portion of the broken fence post from the fence. The post may only be attached with screws or nails, or you may need to remove straps, as well. The next step is to remove the bottom of the post from its concrete encasement. Depending upon the degree of wood rot and decay present, this process can take a few minutes or much longer. If the wood is still in fairly good condition, apply stump remover to the top of the broken area of the post and allow it to soften the post for a few weeks before attempting to remove it. Once the fence post is soft enough to readily chip apart, use a crowbar to dig into the post and break it into large vertical splinters. Be sure to wear gloves while performing the removal to prevent injuring your hands. Remove all of the wood from the concrete, so the only thing remaining is a box-shaped hole. 3. Prepare and place the concrete form – After the old fence post is removed, the next step is to build a form to encase part of the new post. Measure and cut four pieces of 2-by-4 lumber to a length of ten inches each. Next, arrange the four pieces so they form a rectangular frame, and nail them together with 10d nails. Clear away any grass or dirt covering the existing post foundation, and center the frame over the hole where you removed the old post. 4. Insert and tie down the metal post – Once you have the concrete form in place over the hole in the foundation, insert the metal post into the hole, then loosely tie it down using four pieces of rope and wooden stakes. Use a level to measure and adjust the post so it is perfectly plumb and centered inside the hole. Tighten up the ropes attached to the stakes once the post is in position. 5. Mix and pour the concrete – After you place the post in the desired position, pour the contents of a 50-pound bag of ready-to-mix concrete into a wheelbarrow and add water while stirring...

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Three Unique Types Of Privacy Fences To Consider For Your Yard

Posted by on Jul 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Unique Types Of Privacy Fences To Consider For Your Yard

When most people think of privacy fences, they think of tall, solid fences made from either wood or vinyl. However, these are far from your only choices when it comes to privacy fencing. If you’re considering enclosing your yard in a fence that effectively blocks the view of neighbors, then keep these more unique options in mind. Fold-Out Privacy Fences If you don’t want to go through the hassle of building a fence in your backyard, then this option might be perfect for you. Fold-out privacy fences are exactly what they sound like: fence panels joined together by hinges, so you can fold them up on each other for storage, or stretch them out to form a long section of fence. Typically, this option works best when you only need a short segment of fence — for instance, if you only want to put a fence along one side of your property to deter an overly nosy neighbor. You could enclose each side of your yard with a separate section of fold-out fence, but this would likely be a hassle. The advantage of this style of fence is that there is no actual building involved. You just purchase a section of fence from a local home improvement store or fencing company, have it delivered, and stretch it out. Usually, stretching out the fence is an easy task that requires little to no home improvement skill. The downside to this option is that fold-out fences are not always very sturdy. They may not stand up well in areas with heavy snowfall, and they don’t provide security — just visual privacy — because of their “flimsy” nature. Living Bamboo Fences If you value green living and natural materials, then a living bamboo fence might prove to be the perfect privacy barrier for your yard. Living bamboo fences are comprised of several rows of planted bamboo. Since bamboo grows quite tall and thick, it does a good job of blocking the view into your yard once established. The advantage of living bamboo fencing is that it is a very eco-friendly choice. Not only does it not require the release of any chemical pollutants to manufacture, but it actually puts oxygen back into the environment as it is a living plant. A living bamboo fence will likely be the talk of your neighborhood, since it has such a unique appearance. The downfall of bamboo fences is that they take about 3 years to become established and suitably thick. If you’re looking for a fence that can offer complete privacy tomorrow, this is not the best choice. Living bamboo fences also require a lot of regular maintenance, including trimming and fertilization. Trellis Fences Another unique, eco-friendly option is to build a trellis-like wooden or vinyl fence, and then plant plants to grow up it and make it more “solid” by filling the spaces with their greenery. A trellis fence is likely to be less costly than a solid wood or vinyl fence, since it uses less material. An advantage of a trellis fence is that it will release valuable oxygen back into the atmosphere while also adding greenery to your backyard. If you choose a fast-growing climbing plant, such as morning glories, passion flowers, or mile-a-minute plant, you could have a solid fence that...

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5 Reasons To Choose Iron Fencing For The Interior Of Your Home

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 5 Reasons To Choose Iron Fencing For The Interior Of Your Home

Iron fencing is typically installed on the exterior of a home as a great way to offer privacy, property borders, and curb appeal. The same high-quality fencing can also be used on the interior of your home. For both decorations and practical use, iron fencing has a lot of applications inside the home. If you love the look of iron gates and fences, then consider how you can expand the use inside your home. Check it out below! Pet Areas Dogs and cats can often be too rowdy to let them roam free in the home. Instead of using baby gates or something that is sore to the eyes, you can install iron gates and fencing to help designate pet areas. For example, if you want a small pen for your animal in the basement for when you’re not home, iron fences can provide a sturdy surrounding area. The fences are stable, easy to clean, and can have decorative features. Small iron gates can be added between rooms. For example, you can set a gate between the kitchen and living room to keep a dog out of the kitchen. Stair Cases Traditional stair cases usually feature wooden rails. Add some style to your staircase with iron fences. There are a lot of customization options you can add to iron stair railings. The iron posts between the rails can be finished with a number of designs and decorations including curved patterns or custom letters. The finials on the rail are the top caps of each iron bar. They can be evened off for easy grip or feature round designs to grab on your down or up the stairs. Interior Balconies Similar to stair rails, interior balconies often have a viewing rail that looks over an open room like a living room. The rails on these balconies can be crafted in an iron design. Depending on the decor of your home, there are a number of different styles you can choose from for the balcony. One of your options for this is the color. A majority of iron fences are made with a black finish, but you can select from a bronze or white finish to help match other finishes in the home. Basement & Closet Areas Help protect areas of your home from children or snoops. By installing an iron door on basement or closet areas, you can have a more stable door in your home. The iron door is hard to break down and can help keep valuables safe with the addition of a secure lock. For bedrooms, an iron door on your closet can help protect guns and jewelry while adding a decorative touch to the room. Display Areas & Media Cases For media cases in your home, you want to have the ability to see books and DVDs, but also the protection to keep all the items secure. This is where a beautiful iron fence comes in. Custom designed iron fences can be installed on a living room display case. The spaces between the iron bars allow you to easily see through to the display case while giving you the ability to lock and secure everything inside. Along with media cases, the iron fences can be used to block off a display area in your home. Exterior...

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The Fence: Tips on How to Safely Keep Animals out of Your Pool

Posted by on Jul 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Fence: Tips on How to Safely Keep Animals out of Your Pool

When it comes to pools, most homeowners consider the safety of children throughout the neighborhood and decide whether or not they need to install a pool fence. However, do you realize that animals are also drawn to pools and risk drowning? Installing a pool fence could prevent you from waking up to an unpleasant scene in your backyard. Here are some safety tips for building a pool fence for animal safety. Build a Separate Pool Fence All homes that have pools are required to have a 4 foot (or higher) fence. However, many homeowners use their backyard fence to pass that regulation. While the fence between you and your neighbor provides some animal safety, your pets still have easy access to the pool. One of these options should be incorporated into your backyard for added safety: Build Around the Pool’s Perimeter: If you purchase a glass or mesh pool fence, this is probably the option you’ll use. These fences allow you to see into the pool area but don’t interfere with your yard’s landscaping. The fence easily blends into your backyard and separates as little yard space as possible so your pets have a lot of room to run and play. Divide Your Yard: This option is nice if you want to use the same fencing materials as the rest of your yard. You can purchase the same supplies and maintain both fences simultaneously. When you divide your yard, you have a separate place for hosting parties. The pet area is also clearly defined and your animals know that the pool is off-limits. Don’t Use a Climbable Material Your neighbor’s pets and your own are pretty safe with a separate pool fence, but you also need to consider how wild animals gain access to your pool. Some fencing materials are more suited to keeping wild animals out than others. The best thing to do is find a fence that is difficult to climb. Compare the strengths and weaknesses of each of these fences to determine what suits you best: Glass Fencing: Glass is stunning, durable, and fairly secure. Since glass panels extend all the way to the ground, even small animals such as frogs, snakes, and mice have a difficult time accessing your pool. The drawback for this fence is that building supplies are the most expensive and the glass has to be constantly cleaned. Mesh Fencing: Mesh fences are designed for pool safety. They extend low to the ground and the mesh is difficult for animals to climb. The material isn’t stiff, so animals have a hard time pulling themselves up on the mesh. The main drawback with mesh is that most of the fence needs to be installed on a solid surface such as concrete or brick. Aluminum: Aluminum fences look elegant around pools. However, they can be climbed by wild animals such as raccoons and large rodents who might be able to use the horizontal rails like steps. If you do go with this option for its aesthetic appeal, don’t space vertical rails more than 2 inches apart or animals will be able to fit through the bars. Vinyl: Vinyl fencing uses low-maintenance supplies (it won’t rust or corrode despite its proximity to water and chlorine). Use caution with this option, however, because animals can climb...

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Getting The Most Out Of Your Chain Link Fence: Create A Privacy Fence And Vertical Garden With Vining Veggies

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Getting The Most Out Of Your Chain Link Fence: Create A Privacy Fence And Vertical Garden With Vining Veggies

If you are installing a chain link fence around your property, you may think all you have to look forward to is a bare fence to separate your yard from your neighbor’s yard. The truth is you can use your chain link fence for growing fresh vegetables for your family. Grow these vining veggies to transform your chain link fence into a privacy fence and put fresh food on the table, too. Peas Peas are a natural for chain ink fences, as the tiny tendrils cling to the wire mesh as the plants climb upward. The medium green foliage provides a wall of green while plump pods offer a tasty treat. Plant peas in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked.  For best results, plant tall varieties, such as tall telephone peas or climbing snap or snow peas and plant them directly in front of the fence. For variety try ‘Golden Sweet’ snow peas that produce an abundance of flat, gold pods or tuck in some purple sugar snap peas that are eaten pod and all. Pole Beans Pole beans create a wall of lush green that stays green all summer while producing an abundance of slender pods. These come in green, yellow and purple varieties, making them perfect for adding a splash of color to the yard. Kids (and adults) love picking fresh beans right from the vine as a nutritious and tasty snack, but you’ll love this versatile veggie on the table, too. Plant pole beans along the front of the fence after the weather has warmed in the spring and all danger of frost has passed in your area. Try scarlet runner beans with their scarlet blooms to attract both hummingbirds and butterflies while and in bloom and provide you with tasty green beans, too. Cucumbers Cucumber plants produce large, sprawling vines that will eagerly climb your chain link fence with a little guidance from you. When planted in the spring after the danger of frost has passed cucumbers will blanket the fence with green by early to midsummer. Ripening fruits grow long and straight as they are held vertically above the ground. Try a variety of cucumbers, such as picklers, slicers and other specialty cukes to add variety to your diet and visual interest to your vertical garden. Add Mexican sour gherkins for a touch of whimsy. They are closely related to cucumbers and produce fruits that look like miniature watermelons. Other unusual varieties include white and lemon cucumbers. Gently guide the vines to the fence and attach them with a soft cloth or plant tie to get them started up the fence. Squash Squash plants produce massive vines with large, showy leaves and make a dramatic display on a fence. Like cucumber vines, the squash vines may need some guidance in the beginning but once they get the idea, they will eagerly cling to the fence as they grow. Squash plants that produce large or heavy fruits will need some support for the fruit, as the weight may damage the vines. Use a sling of soft material to cradle the fruit and tie the ends to the fence. Make sure the sling is loose enough to allow the squash to grow to maturity. You can use old t-shirt material, cheesecloth or...

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