are deer problems prevented with hydroponics?

planter_geek(8)July 9, 2008

Hello, I'm thinking about switching over to hydroponics from the traditional way of gardening. I've had problems with deer very bad, and they are very populated out here. I read online and in this forum that scents only help temporarily. With limited money, I decided I would build a fence out of the bamboo that was growing in the back and wrap it with bird netting especially since the bamboo was tall and deer can jump up to 8 ft. Well, as I worked hard for many days getting that fence up, bamboo shoved in the ground every 4 ft with a post whole digger covering a 20 ft by 20 ft area, I was about to put some plastic green netting around the bamboo. As I was just about finished with preparing the bamboo and getting it in the ground solid sticking upright, my family who I live with said it looked trashy and cut it all down for me to only find out later. Since then those plants have been snacked on by the deer also. I lost 30 or more peppered plants to deer before starting the fence. Now I am putting Ivory soap bars that I cut in halves on about 1.5 ft. off the ground knowing that will only work temporarily, but with nothing else left to do :( I also thought if I built a platform high enough off the ground, I could put my peppered plants that are in pots on it to keep the deer from eating them, just a thought, but not all my plants are in pots. Any suggestions for this problem?

What I really want to know is if people who do hydroponics have the same deer problem. I thought that since the plants may be growing in large pvc tubing or something suspended in the air, that this may prevent the deer from getting to the plants. How has all of your experiences been with deer and hydroponics? You probably don't have a deer problem, but here is a rare place where we are very overpopulated by deer.

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grizzman

We have deer on our road and in our yard all the time. But I've never had any problems with them eating my veggies. Maybe you should plant them closer to your house.
Also, from what I've read on the matter, human urine is the best scent to keep them away. simply 'go' into a small mister bottle and spray around anything you don't want them near.
Also, if you track them back to where they're bedding down and spook them a few times, that'll make them relocate. Admittedly, these are both only temporary fixes that'll have to be re-. . . instituted every now and again but deer have always been a problem (at least here in the south) and I don't see it going away. Another idea, you could shoot them and add a nice protein supplement to your vegetable diet =D
Back on subject, I don't believe hydroponics, in iteself will keep the deer from snacking on your plants. The shoulder height of an adult deer is probably 4'-5'. if you plant the base above that, its just about impossible to tend to them. Of course you could always plant them on the roof or on a treehouse type platform, but that seems like a lot of work.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 7:16AM
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hooked_on_ponics

Deer won't be deterred simply because it's grown in hydroponics, you'll still have to keep them out somehow.

You might want to check out the Contech Scarecrow. It might do what you need.

Here is a link that might be useful: Contech Scarecrow

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:03PM
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tclynx

Human urine sprinkled about the place regularly may help. As will the soap. As can certain plants sometimes. Human hair can also deter deer, see if a salon or barber shop will let you sweep up the hair and you can put it in mesh bags hung around the place.

They also make stuff called plant skid that can be sprayed on the plants to deter deer but again that has to be re-applied.

The hydroponics itself won't keep deer away though I suppose you could set up a bio-filter and run an aquaponics type system that you supply with ammonia by applying urine to the system.

I don't have much experience with keeping deer away since my primary critter problem is the squirels eating my sunflower seeds.

Here is a link that might be useful: TCLynx

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:22PM
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oakleaf33(8)

LMAO!!! Yeah do what grizzman said.. Shoot'em. You win both ways man. Then All you would have to buy from the grocery store is dry goods and stuff...H.O.P and grizzman are both right though. Deer will eventually get used to almost anything scent or sound. They are over-running things here in zone 8. Like he said plant them closer to your house where there is more light available or put up a sonic pulse transmitter. You can buy them in some walmarts or at target and various other stores. It's puts off a super sonics pulse only audible to animals. My grampa has a couple and they work fantastic.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 1:29PM
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planter_geek(8)

Shooting isn't an option out here. That's part of the reason deer is such a big problem, bigger than just deer in zone 8 in general. The same applies to land mines, automated turrets, etc. I am not sure about 8 ft. fences with double layers of circular barbed wire though. It may be possible to catch a few deer on the top. I do like the taste of deer meat, so it would be my first choose if I could.

I've been putting pieces of bar soap around the perimeter and two halves of ivory soap on posts sticking out of the ground about 1.5 ft. tall hoping this would deter them. It appears to be working. I am not sure. I keep my hair short. I cut my own, so I am going to be saving the hair from now on instead of just flushing it. I've read that all these fixes are temporary, so why are they used? I went to talk to my family about the problem, and they asked how do I know it is deer and not rabbits or something else. I assumed it was deer because that's what has always been a problem in the past. I don't ever see it happen or else I'd be chasing the animals off and preventing it of course, so how can I know. My guess is that it only happens at night because they are trying to be sneaky and avoid humans. How can I know for certain it is deer?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2008 at 7:52PM
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egnilk66(9 - Southern California)

Just get a rifle.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 1:12PM
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hydroponica(5-6)

Try putting some urine in the hydroponics. It's actually good for the plant (as long as you don't use high concentrations) and the circulation of it will probably create a pretty strong scent by the standards of a deer's nose.

Deer are scared of the smell of human pee, so having some running through your hydro unit ought to keep them away.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2008 at 5:58PM
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