If you live in an area where deer roam freely, you know how much damage they can do to your garden and the trees in your yard. But there are ways to protect your property and garden vegetables, and this article will show you how.
The best form of protecting your garden from the damage caused by deer is to put in a good fence. You can put in wire mesh fencing to keep out the deer. The fence should be at least 8 feet high. If you have a fence shorter than 8 feet, you could also string a wire above the fence, 7 to 8 feet off the ground. Deer don’t like jumping under things, and the wire will deter them. You can tie rags to the wire to make it visible to the deer. There is also cage-like fencing available, with a top to completely enclose small areas to keep animals out.
Electric fences also work to keep deer away. You can purchase a kit at garden supply centers, or buy them on line. These kits include insulators, a charger, and wire.The charger is powered by a 12 volt battery,or household current. For a four to five foot fence,one hot wire should be sufficient. Add outriggers to the fence posts-the hot wire should be about 3 feet out and a little higher than the top of your mesh fence. Keep brush and other foliage cleared from the area of the electric wire to prevent shorting out.
There are certain odors that repel deer as well.You can soak your rags that you hung on the wire in kerosene. Deer don’t like strong odors. There are less flammable options too. Deer don’t like the smell of humans, so you could hang small mesh bags filled with hair on the wire, or on your fence.You could use clippings saved from haircuts, or use the hair you pull from a brush. Mothballs and cat litter also work. You can buy deer repellent , but commercial replants can’t be used on food plants. They can be used, however, for ornamental plants and trees. Plan on reapplying commercial repellents every month or so. Ornamental and fruit trees can be protected by surrounding the trunks with wire mesh.
One more option is to get a dog. Deer are easily frightened by a large barking dog. Chain your dog out in the area you want protected, and he’ll scare the deer away. This is not a method to be used alone, as you can’t leave your dog out there chained all the time, but is still useful combined with other methods.
All these options can be useful in protecting your garden from deer damage. But the most effective one is simply to put in the 8 foot tall fence around the entire garden. If the deer can’t get in, they can’t create a problem.