Pacific Northwest Gardening forum→Advice on Deer Proofing? We're trying a clear "fence"

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annie_in_the_pnw
Apr 26, 2020 9:00 PM CST
Hi everyone!

We are a household in southern Washington starting a garden for the first time (for us!) and we already have deer wandering through the yard, usually coming for the apple tree out front Big Grin . We're trying to deer-proof the area around these two raised beds and tried making a fence out of bamboo stakes and clear fishing line... it's not super visible in the picture but it's supposed to "confuse" the deer when they encounter something that's not visible so they won't try to come in or jump over the line. However this would definitely not stand up to a deer that decided to just push through it. Hilarious!

Has anyone tried one of these fences before... did it work? What else can we do before we actually put delicious little plants in there? We've heard hanging fabric and bells can work, and found all kinds of recipes for homemade deer repellent. Confused

Many thanks for any words of advice!
Annie

Thumb of 2020-04-27/annie_in_the_pnw/19ceab

Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Photo Contest Winner 2018 Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan Greenhouse
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springcolor
Apr 26, 2020 9:28 PM CST
I don't have any tips on deer but wanted to welcome you to the forum. Welcome!
Sempervivum for Sale
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Apr 26, 2020 9:39 PM CST
yes I did this one year, it worked for about 2 months, the line started to stretch out of shape, kids started running into it accidentally and over all just became a pain. At some point the deer realized it wasn't anything too concerning and they just walked right through it/over it.

annie_in_the_pnw
Apr 28, 2020 1:26 PM CST
Thanks Julia! Big Grin happy to be here

And thanks Frillylily, good to know. Big Grin We don't have anyone in the household who would be likely to run into it by accident, I guess if it works for a few months it will be better than nothing!
Name: Dick Strever
No.Calif amongst the Redwoods (Zone 8b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Pacific Northwest Region: California
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Strever
Apr 28, 2020 1:38 PM CST
around here most of my neighbors use the automatic sprinklers
works on Deer and Bear
i think one of my neighbors, (don't know which one ?) has a freezer full of venison
because i haven't had any problems last cpl years now
use to pickup the Doggy poop and spread it around the perimeter Smiling
and throw rocks at them when they came in the daytime to eat the Roses

Gardens are a thing of Beauty and a job forever
Name: Lauri
N Central Wash. - the dry side (Zone 5b)
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lauribob
Apr 29, 2020 12:35 PM CST
My experience with fencing deer out is that the larger the enclosed area, the better fence you need. They don't seem to want to jump into a small enclosed area very much. You can get by with a pretty cheesy fence around a small garden. Your mileage may vary depending on the deer population and available food for them. Another thing to consider is if they do get into your fenced area, they will panic to get out. This can wreak havoc with your garden and your fence. We will sometimes get deer or fawns in our vegetable garden and they will blow through our fairly stout fence, even if we open both gates. I've never tried the fishing line thing.

Name: aka Annie
WA-rural 8a to (Zone 7b)
Sandsock
Sep 16, 2020 2:49 PM CST
Were near Tacoma, but rural. We tried the fishing line too, it worked a couple months. The Tenex deer fencing (Homedepot on-line or Farm Tec on-line, I think.) Although it is black, it seems to disappear. I even drape it over plants and the deer don't like the mouth-feel. The problem is the black-tail are sneaky if they love something. We had them belly crawl under the fence when it was raise 12 inches and even at 6 inches and finally even on the ground...all to get the apple trees! Finally had to go with concrete wire cut in half and the fence zip-tied to it so that over all it is 11 feet high. The orchard has 12 dwarf apple trees and deer can severely prune them, plus eat the apples. Our fairly narrow garden, 14 foot, is safe because it doesn't look land-able or clear enough to crawl under with the tenex around it.
Also Annie
[Last edited by Sandsock - Sep 16, 2020 3:06 PM (+)]
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Name: Steve
Port Orchard, WA (Zone 8b)
BrooklynStart
Sep 16, 2020 5:48 PM CST
annie_in_the_ pnw, after further looking I could see you fishing line. My opinion is that the deer, especially the young, can easily pass through or under your line.
I use deer netting to protect selected plants. Deer netting, also sold as bird netting but in different heights and lengths, is a black nylon netting made into about 3/4" squares--available at Big Box and many nurseries/local hardware stores.
For my dogwood, I hang the netting directly to the tree from its branches and let the end drag on the ground. (Do not try to save on netting, I use the total 7 feet without regard to how high I attach it to the tree); as the tree grows, about every 3-4 months, I remove the netting and then replace it atop of the new growth. In the winter, after the tree looses all leaves, I remove the netting. I replace the netting in spring. This works for me.
My neighbors dogwoods show deer munching, mine do not--I do note the disappearance of dogwood fruits from the ground around the tree.
You should include what city and USDA zone you are located in, brings help and comments from locals.
[Last edited by BrooklynStart - Sep 16, 2020 5:52 PM (+)]
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manystories
Nov 21, 2020 10:06 PM CST
Annie: The fishing line does work for a smaller area. I first used it successfully - just a shin-high line - around a small cornfield. Now, we use it around a flower garden that is about 20x20, but not on flat ground. Very occasionally, a deer will figure it out. But it has worked well in general for years now. We placed narrow posts (used some old narrow plumbing pipe) at each corner, with holes drilled in them at 3 heights, through which we passed the fishing line. In the picture, you can only see the narrow white posts, as the fishing line is invisible. Along with the flowers, this garden contains a dwarf weeping cherry, which the deer love to nibble on. It is perfectly safe. Our other areas are protected by various different kinds of fences, depending on the size and shape. The small orchard has a full 8' wire fence around it for deer and elk.
Thumb of 2020-11-22/manystories/6636f8


albertvadas
Sep 18, 2021 6:37 AM CST
The main purpose of external fences is to protect the perimeter of the site from uninvited guests, for example, wild animals or pets. Animals like to relax in the garden and so that there is no question of how to scare the animals away from the flower bed, so that it remains intact and safe, and the animal has plenty of walking on the green grass, you can arrange a walking area. To do this, a separate zone is allocated, for example, a 1-meter-wide path, which is fenced with a small fence. The animal can frolic here all day long, exploring the territory. My wife and I found a cool master on https://everlastgates.com/ and I am very happy with our cool fence.
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Sep 19, 2021 12:03 AM CST
I finally got fed up w the deer ruining everything and I put up electric fence. It has worked. I tried all kinds of wivestales and fishing line and sprays, none of it works. The deer will find a way in. So the hot wire went up.
Name: Catmint/Robin
PNW WA half hour south of Olym (Zone 8a)
Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
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Catmint20906
Oct 15, 2021 7:51 PM CST
I finally built an 8' fence around my whole yard. Originally it had been only 6' and the deer sailed right over it, but the extra 2 feet seemed to work...
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso
Missouri (Zone 6a)
Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Frillylily
Oct 17, 2021 10:09 AM CST
Catmint20906 said:I finally built an 8' fence around my whole yard. Originally it had been only 6' and the deer sailed right over it, but the extra 2 feet seemed to work...


Do you have any photos?
Name: Catmint/Robin
PNW WA half hour south of Olym (Zone 8a)
Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Butterflies Bee Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers
Echinacea Azaleas Forum moderator Cottage Gardener Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Catmint20906
Oct 19, 2021 7:17 PM CST
sorry--moved away from there over a year ago now; don't think I ever took a photo that gives an idea of the fence height. Just an ordinary wooden fence.
"One of the pleasures of being a gardener comes from the enjoyment you get looking at other people's yards”
― Thalassa Cruso

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