Deer Control update

dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)October 7, 2012

We have been using an electric fence to keep the many deer out of our perennial garden. We had a small incursion early in the year but they must have got zapped because very little damage was done, just the wire was disturbed. The night before last was the second time that they got in and this time they ate a few of my flowers and noshed on the hosta. Given that everything is so dry here that the greenery and flowers within this area would be tempting to the dozen or so deer that live on our property, I am pleased with this control. I do faithfully plug in the fence whenever we are not actively using the garden. The plug is by the garage so it is easy to do this. We live on an acreage which is not possible to fence properly so I am pleased with this deterent. We don't have to live within a stockade and this one wire is not ugly. We have watched 6 deer browse along the outside of the fenced area without attempting to jump this fence.

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Will you post a photo? I'd like to see the one wire set up as an idea to keep the deer away from our plants, too.

We live in a clearing in the woods. Our edible plants are on the north side of the clearing with forest behind and gravel driveway in front. The fruit trees are a magnet for them along the driveway and in the front yard. They also love the foliage of raspberries & strawberries.

Our current deterrents have worked, but aren't electric. We had a few nibbling nights in mid June, but none in the edible gardens since. They nearly defoliate an entire dwarf apple tree in the front yard, but if that keeps them away from the others I'm happy to give them that tree.

bloodmeal in pantyhose bags tied to supports
human & dog hair from combings & trims
electric fence rope on posts, but not hooked up to charger
anything I can lay out to deter their walking feet from approaching the garden paths: welded wire sections, woody prunings, black nursery trays, bucket of water, watering cans, etc.
alliums, herbs, & fragrant plants around perimeter
walk our Pomeranian male around the garden several times a day & encourage him to "do it quick" on the perimeter (He's not a leg lifter, so it causes no harm to our plants.)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Thanks for sharing dottyinduncan. Electric fencing may be the the single most effective way to keep deer at bay. An electric shock ignites their sense of touch and trains them to stay away.

Utilizing a second strategy that capitalizes on their sense of smell could increase your likelihood of protecting your hosta.

Deer Repellent Packs use genuine Coyote Urine as their active ingredient. This product uses a deer's keen sense of smell and instinctual fear of predators to your advantage. The 90 day packs can be hung directly on your fencing, plants that can hold them or common garden stakes.

This method of keeping deer away from your garden can be seen at:

Here is a link that might be useful: Keep Deer Away

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 5:06PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Dottie, I'm taking notes here. Raised on a farm, DH can certainly handle a strand of electric fencing :)

In my garden now, I've been able to keep things protected with an occasional spray of Bobbex repellent. We have frequent deer, but more 'passers-through', opportunistic browsers, the only thing they will always damage are roses if not sprayed on some type of semi-regular schedule.

But I bought a house on 3/4s acre about a mile away and we're moving next month - I'm moving my garden but that's another post. There is a wooded area with a regular deer trail through it across the street, more woods below. The deer are more common, more often is what I'm hearing from the one neighbor I've met. I'd love to put in a row of raspberries, and I know its almost impossible to keep them out of those, maybe an electric wire will be something to consider. And I may not take the roses :)

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 6:07PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

It's hard to take a picture of an electric fence! I took one this morning but all it is, is a wire on plastic supports. Quite low to the ground, they could step over it but don't seem to. The controller is on the house and the wire encompasses the lawn and flower area where we have patios. It doesn't have to be a square, it ends on a trellis at the other end of the house. I have to say though that it isn't a total control, just another deterrent but it certainly seems to have worked here.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 5:59PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I have numerous scattered garden areas, so I fence individual beds and even plants with 5' welded wire fencing, like around individual roses or susceptible trees. Incidentally, rugosa roses are not bothered by deer, at least in my yard, where I grow them without pruning so they make a very tall wide hedge. Small areas with fencing seem safe from them jumping in, as long as there seems to be not enough landing room, or larger areas I extend the fence upward with 8' bamboo poles and run a wire strand around at 8'. I also find putting a lot of bamboo stakes in the bed and running wire like in a tomato bed gives them no landing place and keeps them out of the bed. I would rather use wire even if ugly than have to reapply controls and then have them fail at some point.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 4:04PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Deer fencing stapled to peeler poles is not that visible (except for the poles) and does the job, as long as you have the mesh coming all the way to the ground at the bottom.

And maintain it, such as reattaching anywhere it starts to get pulled loose etc.

Since running deer may hit it and bounce off, it seems there is some of a psychological warfare aspect provided also.

Without having to maintain an electric current.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2012 at 4:20PM
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dottyinduncan(z8b coastal BC)

Hemnancy, that's interesting control. I saw a flowerbed in a deer area once that used rebar, painted black and curved at the top to protect a bed. The rebar almost disappeared with the black paint. The shrubs and flowers grew through it and could be munched, but the majority of the planting was protected. I don't know how you would weed it though. Thanks for the info about rugosa roses. I had wondered if deer left them alone. I was surprised over the summer that we didn't have all of the deer on our patch of green when everything else in the neighbourhood was brown.It's war, isn't it?

    Bookmark   October 17, 2012 at 1:11PM
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