Natural/Live Fencing



Try planting Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus) along the periphery of the farm. Irrigate if you can through drip. It becomes impenetrable fence in two to three years. you will start getting additional revenue also after three years from the removal of culmns every year from the clump.


In fact the idea was to have layers of protection and support.  With gliridedia and acacia + 1 layer of bamboo ( small variety ) and finally these stumps.

If you observe the picture carefully you will find some green patches along the top edge, this is gliricedia and acacia plants that have started to grow.  Little below that i had put bamboo seeds, unfortunately no bamboo has germinated.

This time around, i have got the bamboo seeds put in a nursery bed, once it germinated and seedlings become small plant, i will go for planting the same.


It may please be noted that bamboo is a strong light demander and does not come as an  underplant under other plants/bushes.
No use sowing seed directly as bamboo is not known to germinate well under direct sowing. Further there is a chance of the rodents eating away the sown seeds.
It has to be sown in a primary bed. Just grown seedling is not ready for planting. Rhizome has to grow sufficiently for planting. It is better the seedlings are in the primary beds for one full year by which time rhizome is sufficiently grown.


This place had abundant light, i think i have posted a picture of my trench and the other plants growing.  You are right, i think some seedlings were formed and eaten away by squirrels.

Now tryin on bed will update once i have proper info.


I suggest you visit a local forest nursery. They may be able to supply fully grown bamboo seedlings with out yourself having to go through the ordeal of raising seedlings by trial and error. May be you can plant the seedling this monsoon season itself. Good Luck in your live fencing efforts.
Siva Sankara Reddy.


I could try that, i was considering the cost and possibility of growing it Naturally, if i can get the sprout from seed that is damn cheap, and the cost of labour too is minimal, so i going with seeds for most of the things i am doing.

I do remember your advice that it needs the primary bed, no harm is trying direct seeding anyways.  Will do both the things now.


Natural Fence Photo’s

BY local Farmers in Karnataka… nots ure what plants they are though.


We use Kathale (In Kannada & Telugu, see the photo in which plant line is outside the barbed fence ) plant as live fence in our area for mango and other orchards.
Benefits of this plant as follows

  1. Tuber of this plant is edible for animal i.e. cattle and pig.
  2. Stem of the plant is useful as pole for any requirement.
    2.Raw thread can be obtained from Leafs for making ropes.
  3. Leafs are useful for preparation of pesticides.
  4. Dried leas are used as firewood in rural area.
  5. Whole big cut plant was tied with rope and used to give training for new cattle for farming activity.
  6. Dried pieces about 3 or 4 of stem are used as up lifters while learning swimming.

This plant can be easily propagated through its additional baby tubers and also from the mature flowers which can turn as small plant on the top of the stem after its maturity.  Many more benefits can be get from this plant.


Yes the plant in the photograph is an excellent fence plant. It is Agave sisalana. In telugu it is called Kalabanda. It is easily propagated with root suckers and bulbils  grown on the poles in the centre of the plant at the poling stage. The leaf extract is used in the manufacture of a cortisone drug. A very useful plant indeed.
Siva Sankara Reddy


The plant in the photograph looks like Euphorbia tirukalli. May be a photograph at close shot confirms this. This is extesively grown by the farmers in the drier parts of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh as a live fence. The farmers use the dried stems (phyllocades) as fuel. It burns well because of the hydrocarbons present in it.
Siva Sankara Reddy


Isn’t Kalabanda fleshy? I also saw a thin leaved plant which grows into a similar bush having a silvery coat on the leaves.
Or is it the same plant that transforms?


Yes Kalabanda is fleshy with succulent leaves. Infact the cortisone drug is extracted from the fleshy juice after removing fibre in the leaf with a decorticator. Two species of Agave are primarily propogated by the farmers viz., Agave sisalana  and Agave americana. Agave sisalana has  greener leaves  and more succulent. Agave americana has silvery leaves and less succulent. Farmers prefer  Agave sisalana and cultivate it more because of its high fibre content. There a number of Agave sps. It is possible that you may mistaking garden Agave species with bright silvery waxy coat and thin leaves for kalabanda.
Siva Sankara Reddy.


Not yet successful in keeping these cattle away with my trench and small stumps. Now, i have added bamboo to the line of defense.


How high is the live fence.
It appears to be closely following a sloping hillock.
Forming live fence is not an easy job. It requires lot of efforts and patience. I can see it reflected in your post above. In the end you will feel it highly rewarding and satisfying.
The funny part is that the seedlings planted to serve as fence, themselves have to be protected  from grazing and browsing by cattle, sheep and goats. 
Because of mortality of the plants a number of punctures/gaps develop in the fence. These punctures have to be closely monitored and replaced, I mean replanted,  initially for a minimum maintenance period of three years .
Good Luck in your fencing efforts.
Siva Sankara Reddy


If you see the picture you will realize the said fence is sitting on a mounds of mud that is taken from the trench that i dug, trench is 6 ft wide with 6ft depth, this itself is sufficient to keep most of the cattles and humans too.  But there are always smart and athletic cattle that can cross this too. Bamboo is around 3ft on the mud mound.

Very true, this is a planned activity, i have various things planned for this.  This bamboo placed along the fence is also to protect the gliricidia plant that was getting eaten by monkeys apart from shielding from cattle.  The trench side was also planted with some stumps that are growing very nicely.

Now, there are multiple layers, first the trench, then the stumps that are established themselves, bamboo for another level of protection and now i have planted casurina  plants every 3 ft, this is placed on the innerside of the mud mounds.  Next, around next monsoon i am planning to have some things like Bouganvilla, Karunda, Lantana and Mehandi plants planted to cover the open area on the border.

Believe me i have not spent much on these,  here is approx price to give you rough idea.

  1. stumps were planted with 20 man days,
  2. Gliricedia/Acacia were generated from seeds.
  3. Bamboo on the bunds were placed with 12 man days.
  4. Casurica plants were bought from forest nursary @ 1.50 per plant and planting + supporting poles costed my around Rs 5 per plant.
    Trench was very expensive, but it also acts like rain water harvesting.


Dear Hegde,
I & you know, it will take some time to grow for permanent protection with less expenditure.
This is not only fence, but that place is income generator, farm protector, manure producer and many more benefits.
I know that you can proudly come in the next year with fence photos.
Keep on doing good, all the best.


Good efforts!
There is danger of the  cattle proof trench dug around plantations forming a drain, leading to serious soil erosion in the rainy season. To prevent this I suggest that while digging the trench leave septa of 6" width (without digging)at every hundred meters so that the trench does not form a continuous drain.
Good Luck in your fencing efforts.
Siva Sankara Reddy


Thanks Swamiji


Sure, i have not exactly same design but bit modified one, have some part with small barrier in the trench, that will slow down the water flow.  But in some places where its slight sloppy i can see the soil erosion, but it has settled now.  Thanks for the wishes.


Could you please elaborate on what a ‚ÄėSepta‚Äô is.