Deer & critters out with scenic enclosure?

carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)March 13, 2013

I'm adding a whole lot of sq. footage to our garden this spring: opening up 1 side of the 15 x 20 potager (with high black steel fencing on 6-8' cedar posts) and making a larger veggie garden and plenty of space to sit and dine and enjoy the view. What I've seen for deer prevention makes me feel I'm in jail while the deer play outside my cell. Does anyone have any ideas for a large (30' x 40') garden that looks nice and keeps Bambi out and allows us our ocean view?


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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Here, they have decent luck with something that used to be called a Millbrook fence. It's wire fence that is placed at a 45 deg angle to the ground. So while the fence is about 6 ft tall, the topmost part of it is only about 4 ft from the ground, like \

There used to be examples findable on the web, but the best I could do was basic deer fencing explanations. The general idea is that like stair steps are most comfortable with a riser + tread number in a certain range, deer are uncomfortable with a height + width number beyond a certain range. If you have objections to a tall fence, then you can make it wider to get the same effect.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:45AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

An interesting idea, madgallica. I also posted a query on the landscape design forum and someone suggested making the fencing look decorative in order to distract the eye from its anti-deer function; such as putting up finials on the post tops. This might help - small birdhouses there come to mind - but still, 6 ft. of fencing is a lot when you're trying to enjoy the bit of ocean view.

Maybe the fence width idea would work, in the form of 2 fences: 1 higher but further away downhill (land gently slopes to old stone wall and then wetlands, which is where the deer hang out), and 1 on the actual enclosure perimeter, with large enough openings to frame the view but with top rails to discourage leaping in.

(Oh, great: I've just designed an Olympic track deer hurdle.)


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 9:16AM
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I'll see if I can get a photo or two of the deer fences which the local orchards use which don't really interfere with the view at all. They are stretched wire and angled out at the top. It may be a bit however since we are in the midst of mud season and the local orchards are all on dirt roads or have long dirt drives.

I've also seen advertised a black plastic fine mesh deer fence, which I imagine would disappear some from a distance.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 7:07PM
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I saw a recent post on a cool fence design that is very open and looks elegant. Downside - will be work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fence design

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 10:05PM
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claireplymouth z6b coastal MA

That is one lovely fence, crobby! Maybe you could do something similar, and easier, using crisscrossed bamboo stakes with cable ties?


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:45AM
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carol6ma_7ari(zones 6 & 7a)

What I ended up doing, so far: put in 7.5 ft. high posts, then fastened 2 lengths of 3 ft. high black welded wire fencing (2"x3" openings) to it, with a 1.5 ft. gap between them. So the top of the total fence is 7.5 ft. high and the 1.5 ft. gap along the middle allows us the enjoy our nicely framed ocean view while seated.

Eventually I will add thorny shrubs (rugosas) outside the fence, to make it hard for athletic deer to leap both high and wide. Double gates were made out of gate kits and PT 2x4s, with more fencing fastened over. I still have to put chicken wire along the bottom, to keep out baby rabbits. But so far it feels like an outdoor living room, not a prison cell.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Steve Massachusetts Zone 5b

Electric fence with a little peanut butter on it at the beginning of the season. They won't come back. At least not for a while. The recommendation was from Roger Swain.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 4:57PM
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