No Deer Please

Deer at Sensible Gardening and Living

As much as we love to see the deer around our farm they can really cause a lot of serious damage to our gardens. We’ve all read a million tips on deer proofing our yards and some work a bit for awhile, but deer are very intelligent and tenacious. Before long they have figured us out and are back to their old habits. I’ve come to the conclusion that a deer will eat anything, crawl under anything, get accustomed to anything, and almost jump over anything. So, if you are really serious about keeping the deer out, the only reliable method is to build a fence. Not just any ordinary fence, but a true deer fence.

Sensible Gardening and Living
Sensible Gardening and Living

If possible, build your deer proof fence first and plant the garden second. The desire for the deer to initially maneuver over your fence is decreased if there is nothing on the other side. Next, decide on a garden deer fence design that you can live with and is compatible with the rest of your setting.

Tulip Deer Damage / Sensible Gardening and Living

Some deer are capable of jumping nine feet, all can easily jump 6 or 7 feet. They manage to squeeze through the smallest of gaps and cover a wide expanse in each stride. Fortunately for us, they are unable to to clear an obstacle that is both high and wide and as well a deer will not jump over a fence unless he feels sure there is a safe landing on the other side.

Besides deer fence height, visibility of the fence top is important. With poor depth perception deer will not jump a fence where the top is hard for them to see, so refrain from putting a solid rail or wire along the top of the fence. You might even tie ribbons on wires extending above the top of the fence to give a false illusion of extra height.

Deer Fence / Sensible Gardening and Living

Basically standard deer fencing should be sturdy, at least 8 feet tall and built of  heavy gage woven wire with openings no more than 6 inches square. This type of fence is quite expensive and also quite conspicuous, especially for city lots. You might try a slanted deer fence. Your fence should meet the ground at a 45 degree angle, be at lest 6 feet tall with a spread between posts of 4 feet.  A double row fence will take advantage of the deer’s inability to jump both high and wide. This type of fence needs only to be 4 to 5 feet tall and the fences should be placed 4 to 5 feet apart.


Deer Fence (Chord & netting) / Sensible Gardening and Living

Solid fencing  may not need to be as tall as wire ones as deer will not jump if they can’t see over, through or around it. To work there must be no gaps for the deer to see through. Usually a more attractive fence this option many be best for city homeowners. Deer netting also works in areas of relatively low deer population. Made of black plastic it can be stretched from post to post, it covers uneven ground better and is easier to install.

Lots to consider before you build. Decide on how much of a deer problem you have, your costs of construction and over all visual effect for your property. Once you have chosen your design build your fence and keep your fingers crossed!

1 thought on “No Deer Please

  1. Deer?! I thought I had my work cut out with slugs but this takes garden pests to another level. I wonder if deer are the biggest garden pest? Perhaps if you had a garden in the Congo then it might be trampled by elephants. Then you would need a seriously big fence.

    Good luck with them anyway. Also impressed with your blog which is seriously informative and organised!

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