Every spring, once our vegetable garden is planted, I install the deer fencing. I hate doing it, but the deer fencing protects our 12 beds from the marauding deer who will eat just about every vegetable plant. Not to mention the deer damage and destroy plants as they walk through the garden.
Though I grew up loving “Bambi,” frankly I’m not so fond of deer now as a home gardener. Unfortunately in our area, with new homes taking over wooded areas, the deer have fewer places to go and less of their normal diet to eat. It’s not uncommon for the deer to forage in yards during the early morning hours or be seen crossing major streets in our area.
Initially, I tried some of the ideas I found via Google, like hanging bars of soap on apple trees and along the fence line for our vegetable garden. I also tried human hair and spraying hot pepper stuff. None of it worked. Deer are smart, and they’ve become accustomed to human scents in our area.
What works for me, especially with little ones around is to run the heavier deer fencing around my garden. I found the heavy deer netting at my local Home Depot. It was about $20 for 100 foot roll which was plenty for my garden. I also bought 6 foot poles, but I don’t remember how much they were – probably about $2 each.
To set up the fence, I put the poles along the edge of the garden every 5 feet or so. Then I secured the fencing to the poles with twist ties from my trash bags, and draped the extra netting over the top of the poles. Then I took the metal 18 inch fencing and ran it along the bottom to prevent the deer from pushing in.
I’ve used this simple fencing system for several years with great success. Once the fence is up, the deer leave the garden alone. The one drawback is that the garden must be completely fenced it whether it’s with the deer fencing or the hedge on the other side of the garden. I don’t put the fence up until I’m done with planting the tomatoes. In the early fall, I take the fence down while there are still a few green tomatoes on the plants. I need time to break the garden down, and I’m not as worried about the deer in the garden.
Other posts in the series:
General Gardening Information
- How We Built Our Beds
- How to Create a Compost Pile
- Using Garden Space Efficiently
- Rain Barrel System
- Seed Starting Calendar
- Comfrey, Homegrown Fertilizer
- Herb Garden built with Lasagna Gardening Method
- Companion Planting to Maximize Space
- Colorful Foliage in the Garden: Part One and Part Two (Guest post by Athena of Minerva’s Garden)
- Late Winter/Early Spring Gardening Tasks