Keep Deer Away from Plantings
I posted this info on one of the recent threads about deer, then realized there were SIX MORE threads about how to keep deer away/get rid of deer, just on the first page. So, I'm giving my info it's own thread, hope no one minds the duplication.
This isn't just theory, it isn't a rumor, it isn't a hoax. It really works, because I did it. I had a small veggie garden in an unfenced rural area near a river. The landlord said I could have a garden, but no fence. Twice a day, every day, a small herd of deer came through my property. Every time, they stopped at the edge of my garden. They eyed my lettuce, peas and corn with obvious longing. But self-preservation won. Every day from March to September.
Deer are prey animals. Deer can't see their feet. They fear foot traps, because they know if they get a foot stuck in something or break a leg, they are someone's dinner. Have you ever seen a cattle guard? They are metal gratings installed under farm fences. Cattle fear foot traps, too, so when the farm gate is open, the cows won't try to go through it, because they would have to walk over the grating. Some people save money by just painting the same sized grating on asphalt that cows might be likely to cross, and the cattle won't cross that, either.
Get some 3-ft tall welded wire fencing with 2x4" mesh. (Use 4-ft if you're putting it up to a structure with plants hanging from it -- I'm not sure how far a deer can stretch its neck.)
Lay the wire mesh flat all around the area you want to protect. Don't allow any gaps in coverage. Let the grass grow through it and mow over it.
The deer will see your plantings, pansies or trees and head right for it. Then a hoof will touch the wire mesh and they will stop. THEY WILL STOP. They're afraid to go further. Even if there was an open area on the other side of the wire mesh, they won't jump it because they don't know how far it extends. Even a deer knows you can't jump a canyon in two jumps.
If your property is irregular and laying fencing down won't work, you might try the solar-powered Nite-Guard. I saw it advertised in AcresUSA, and it sounds reasonable. Not very expensive, either ($30 +shpg). You can google it. They say it is covered by a money-back guarantee. I am planning to buy one to put in my chicken pen, and I have no affiliation with them.