Written by Anza Goodbar (last updated February 17, 2012)
Deer are beautiful creatures, but they can sure wreak havoc on a vegetable or flower garden. Many items that are good for humans also make a tasty treat for a herd of deer. When repellents don't work, erecting a deer fence may be the solution.
Keep in mind, the fencing does not have to be fancy to be effective. If you live in a rural area, natural wood will do just fine. You will need to start by assembling the essential material: fence posts, these can be metal posts or wood; fencing, chicken wire or other type of rolled fencing will work; a hammer; and fence staples or heavy duty wire ties.
Begin by digging holes for the posts. If you opted for steel rods, they can be driven into the ground. Make the posts the same distance apart and about a foot deep. Be sure they are sturdy before you attach the fencing.
Once the posts are set and tested, attach the fencing material to them using fence staples or heavy wire ties. It is important to draw the fencing tight so it doesn't sag. Be sure you leave an opening or add a hinged gate to have access to the garden area.
A fence alone may not be enough to deter the deer from getting into the garden. Consider a scarecrow along with some repellent. Hitting more than one of the deer's senses will help to keep them out of the garden.
Deer netting may also be attached to the fencing to keep the deer from nibbling at the tasty vegetables in the garden. Making eating out the garden an inconvenience will help deter the deer from lingering, they enjoy a meal that is easily accessible.
If your goal is to keep deer out of your yard entirely, a higher fence will be needed. Deer can jump about eight feet high, however they are not capable of combining height and distance. Normally a six foot fence will be sufficient. Deer have poor depth perception so you can create an illusion of more height by adding streamers to the tops of the poles. This also may resemble the white tail deer's warning sign for danger and be an additional red flag for them to keep out of your yard and garden.
Deer can be persistent pests where there is a shortage of food. They will do what they can to obtain an easy meal. Assaulting more than one of their senses simultaneously will increase your success in keeping them away from your plants and out of your yard.
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