The Q&A Archives: Deer Fence

Question: We live in a very rural area with a lot of acreage and have an abundance of deer. Last year they just had a field day with my gardens (veg. and flowers). I tried deer resistant plants - they ate them and everything else. They are not eating them out of a lack of available food. There is plenty but, they choose to eat my plantings. Gardening is my passion and I really don't care what it takes I will do it (to keep the deer at bay) the only thing is that it can't look offensive. So, any help would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you know of any books for creating "garden fences" I would appreciate your recommendations.

Answer: You have my sympathy! In my experience, too, the only reliable solution is a tall fence. I have seen some made of a suitably rustic (eg split rail or three board or picket) wooden construction on the lower three or four feet, then topped by several simple strands of wire rising to about eight feet (or more) supported by occasional taller posts. In other areas I have seen fences of simple strands of wire stretched from posts; these are nearly invisible except for the posts. (The least expensive and easiest fence to install is simply metal "T" stakes pounded into the ground and electric fence wire strung from post to post but not electrified.) Some gardeners are able to conceal black netting fencing by installing it at the edge of the woods. These are all fairly unobtrusive compared to stockade fence and the like. Unpainted "weathered" wood tends to fade into the background better than painted wood, and surrounding greenery tends to obscure most posts and fence lines to some extent. Unfortunately I don't have a specific book to suggest, but nearly any garden magazine or book has fencing in the background of many of the photos. Good luck with your fence!

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