To make a short fence for a garden, use 8-foot long, 3 1/2-foot tall pre-assembled fence panels to minimize cutting. Reinforce the fence panels and cut them in half, paint if desired, and mount and reinforce the fence.
Remove any decorative details on the vertical fence slats with a circular saw. Determine where to cut the fence into two equal-sized panels, but do not cut. Reinforce fence panels horizontally with 8-foot strips of 1-by-4 lumber. Depending on the fence panel's design, place strips 8 to 12 inches from existing horizontal rails. Secure the reinforcements with deck screws, and rest the fence panel on top of two 4-by-4 pieces of lumber.
Use a circular saw to cut each panel horizontally. Prime all wood with exterior primer and allow it to dry. Apply two or three coats of wood stain or exterior paint if desired, letting each coat dry before reapplying.
Use a sledgehammer to drive post holders into the ground and cut all posts to desired height. Place posts in holders and tighten the base screws. Use deck screws and braces made from 1-by-1 furring strips to secure panels between posts. Staple chicken wire to panels if desired, leaving 8 to 10 inches at the bottom. Cover the excess wire with mulch.