Dog digging up your tomatoes? Rabbits stealing your lettuce? Don't worry, even the most construction challenged person can make a simple gate that will keep everybody out of the vegetables.
Measure the garden and take note of its dimensions. Ask yourself if you have any desire to expand the garden. It is better to plan for that now rather than have to redo the whole fence later. The posts should be no further apart than every five feet, so take this into consideration when measuring.
Get the tools together. If you do not have the needed tools and cannot borrow them, add them to your shopping list. Make the necessary purchases. For the lock, you can get either a padlock or a slide lock, depending upon how secure you want the gate. Match up the holes on the lock and on the hinges with the appropriate screw size and grab a box of the proper screws. These are the only items that you will need to screw in, so no need to get a huge quantity of screws. Purchase enough treated wood posts to space a minimum of five feet apart around the garden. Don't forget to make sure you have two posts to flag the gate. These posts can be of any size and height that you choose, but sturdy, square posts that are about four feet high are best. Purchase the wood for the gate frame. You will need four small dimension, treated, wood post pieces to form a square and one to go across the square to help brace the gate. The length of these pieces will depend upon the size of the chicken wire or how wide you want the gate, but the gate should be as tall as the posts. If you have all this figured out, the store can cut these pieces to your specifications. If you aren't sure yet what you want to do, you can cut them at home with a hand saw.
Figure out where you want the posts and dig holes in those spots. Sink the posts in the holes. If you dig deep enough, at least a foot, the posts will be pretty secure, but you can add cement if you desire.
Have someone wield the staple gun while you unspool the chicken wire, pulling as taut as possible as it is wrapped around the outside of the all the posts. Put a minimum of three staples in each post, top, bottom and middle. The more staples you put, however, the more secure the fence will be. Continue around the fence, leaving an open space for the gate. Cut the chicken wire off the spool with wire cutters.
Put the frame together by nailing all the pieces together. Place the frame over the chicken wire and cut enough wire to fit the frame. Staple the wire all the way around the frame. Remember, this is the part of the fence that will get the most wear with coming and going, so make it tight and secure. Decide how you want the gate to open and attach the hinges with screws and a drill. Once you are sure that the gate fits the way you want it to, screw in the lock as well. Now you're done and your veggies are safe.