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Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

Posted by carol6ma_7ari zones 6 & 7a (My Page) on
Fri, Jul 9, 10 at 9:58

Lately we've seen a doe and 3-4 fawns frisking across the lower backyard, emerging out of the wetlands below and heading along the beach path. Not checking out our veggies - YET.

But that might happen by autumn. The veggies might be over by then, but I also have various expensive young climbing roses that they could eat, year-'round. So it's time to put higher wire barriers above the 3-foot-high wire fencing and the 2-foot-high temporary plywood gates that we just step over.

This is east coast, so I don't anticipate those 8-foot jumping Bambis you get in Calif. and Oregon. Maybe a 6 foot high wire addition would do it? Plus I've got to do something about my casual gates. How strong are deer, anyway? Could I use netting or chicken wire as a loose barricade gate, or would they push it in?

Are there any east coasters here who have garden deer jumping anecdotes that will instill the proper fear in me?

Carol


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

In all the years that I have lived in Bucks County (zone 6) I have never been bothered by deer, until last year. The fields behind me were cleared for a vineyard and the planting of trees for a tree farm. They found my gardens and it was devastating. My gardens are too large to be constantly spraying "Liquid Fence" plus I didn't like the expense or the smell, and I didn't want to limit my garden to only plants that the deer didn't like, so I decided to put up an electric fence.

When I was visiting the Kings Garden in upstate NY last summer I noticed that the open area of their gardens were surrounded by white fiberglass rods. They told be that it was for deer control, and that in the evening before they leave for home they roll out white wired cord, and attach it to the poles. I was surprised that this light weight, easy to install fence could do the job. I was desperate and ordered the fence through "The Deer-Shock Depot." I already had an old charger. My husband put the fence up in a couple hours, and so far it's doing a great job. The whole property is not fenced in, only a 400 ft length where the deer enter from. We turn the fence off during the day.

I believe you could even use this fence in a residential area. No one has ever died or were hurt because they touched an electric fence. You will get a little zap, which is just what the deer get when they get too close. Remember, the fence is only on in the evening and early hours. I now can roam my gardens without the frustration of seeing what was eaten next, and hope that they don't come from another direction.

Here is a link that might be useful: This is where I got my fence


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

I'm in the east and I definitely have deer as I've seen them strolling past the garden while I'm there watering. These deer seem very accustomed to humans and don't bolt instantly. I only have a 3 1/2 foot fence, but I do have several taller trellises inside the garden. My thinking is that they view that as a second fence and don't try to jump in.

They've never just walked the fence down which they could do. Most likely, there's enough abundance outside the garden that they don't have to bother. The deer will trim anything that sticks over the fence or outside. I have learned not to plant the tomatoes near the edges. They don't bother with the corn or the the asparagus.

And, in case you're wondering, I have seen them very easily leap over the 4 foot split rail fence at the front of my property. I have no doubt that if the deer were motivated enough, I would have no garden. So far, so good though.

If I could just keep the groundhogs out!! Hubby forgot to put the netting back over my gate (openings are too big) to the squash patch and my butternuts and pumpkins got another haircut.


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

Ali, I'll try your trellis idea, plus I just picked up a roll of the galv. wire used for electric fencing, but my idea is to just fasten it horizontally one foot and then two feet (2 strands) above the present 36" high steel fence. Maybe a 3rd strand at the 6 ft. height. Maybe hang a few silvery lightweight blowing things from the wires, to make them more visible. Maybe get some vines to grow up that high. I'm concerned that trellises will block too much sunlight.

We too have a lot of other vegetation for deer to eat, beyond the grass area, about 400 ft. from the potager. But I do understand that if we get a drought and a lot of leaf and plant loss, the deer will look around for other food sources.

Sorry to hear about your groundhog problem. So far we just have one rabbit in the area, nothing else -- other than that deer family. I'm just trying to keep one step ahead of them.

Carol


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

While I'm sure the electric fence would work in many locations, especially where the deer are not used to them, we have an almost 4' tall, two wire electric fence around the horse pasture and the deer jump over it, climb through it and sometimes slide under it. The deer are pretty smart and have learned to deal with the fences as they cross to other fields and pastures.

So far, the deer have sampled a few strawberry leaves, one tomato branch, and my two Therese Bugnet roses (one branch on each one). They stay away from the blueberries, which they tried last year and spit out, and so far they seem uninterested in the forsythias, pontilias and purple raspberries. We'll see if they start eating the veggies as they get a little bigger, but the herbs (of course) have been untouched.

If I end up having to fence in the vegetables, I'll probably keep fruit, herbs and flowers in the kitchen garden and put any protected veggies in another location...with a tall fence or try the trellises. Good idea :)


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

We have livestock fencing around our garden, about 4' high, on the sides that border a pasture and an old orchard. (The other sides either have a higher wooden fence or are bordered by an arbor.) When deer finally found our place DH put up a low electric fence about two feet out from the livestock fencing and about 4' high, and we turn it on at night. In order to set up to jump the interior fence the deer would have to come in contact with the outer line of electrified fence, and it's a great deterrent. When we first put it up, years ago, we heard a deer hit it the first night. There was a thump and a great deal of huffing and blowing; then the deer went away. Although we sometimes see them in the pasture they've never tried to jump the fence again.


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

No electric fences for my garden. At age 10 I had a strong electric shock and I wouldn't make any other living thing experience anything like that. (Kill them and eat them, but not torture them.)

I noticed some nibbling on my tomato plants now 4 ft. tall, beyond the 3 ft. high wire fencing. So I quickly returned the single wire I was going to install above the fence height, and instead I got another roll of 3 ft. fencing. This I nailed to the tall posts, above the original fencing; so now I have 6 ft. of protection. I still need to put higher fencing around the north corners.

Gates: I bought (expensive!) two sheets of mahogany square lattice and cut them shorter to 4'x7'. They stand upright between the two sets of tall gate posts and are fastened by resting on common nails fastened into the posts. Maybe I should figure out a more secure fastening? Possibly high winds might push them off the nails. Perhaps wingnuts that swivel to lock or release?

If I could only figure out how to post photos--

Carol


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

Carol, I haven't tried it but I think you need to upload photos to a service like PhotoBucket and then copy the image url and embed it in your response wherever the picture should go.


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

Riverfarm, I tried to join Photobucket last week but it told me "you are ineligible". I then contacted their automatic reply thing and asked why, and got a reply, "ineligible". What other services are there, that are free?

Carol


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RE: Deer spotted, so potager fences must be made higher

I think some people also use Picasa. I never have so I'm not sure how it works.

Maybe try Photobucket using a different browser? That's weird!


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