Ask a Question forum: Deer eating vegetables

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Apr 8, 2016 6:20 PM CST
What kind of fencing do I need for a 19 x 28 ft garden. Do I need a double fence? A low fence followed by a high fence?
Do I need a high fence with a deer resistant border?
Do I need a synthetic fence that drops on the ground and plastic thank you bags hanging from it so that it startles the deer?

What really works?...besides a witches brew of wart of frog, birds eggs and liver?
Name: Dee Moore
Arroyo Grande, CA (Zone 9a)
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Apr 8, 2016 7:45 PM CST
This is the eternal question . . . what will stop the deer.
I have lazy deer and a fence of 4' seems to stop them in the flower garden, 5' around veges. Some people swear it takes a 12' fence, they have very hungry deer.
I've heard on a hillside you can get by with a shorter fence, but as I said my deer are lazy and I've never seen one jump over anything.
A double fence works well too, I put one of those in and they are smart enough not to jump into something, like another fence, in the way of landing.
My suggestion start with 5' and plan on putting in a double fence if they are jumping it. But I personally don't like the stalag 13 look of a high fence.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Apr 8, 2016 8:01 PM CST
At least 6'. Here's an idea- plant a bunch of things outside the garden that they like, so they won't jump the fence. Consider those outside the fence, the sacrificial plants. Rhododendron is their favorite, believe me.
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Apr 8, 2016 9:52 PM CST
Welcome to All Things Plants, @revamaskew !

Deer can definitely be a problem. I live in the middle of a cedar swamp, lots of deer in our area... and yet, even though we only have a 2-1/2-foot-high fence around the garden (to keep the bunnies and our dogs out), we very rarely have any problem with the deer. I think it's because I have lots of "structures" in the garden... trellises, big wooden tomato cages, a plastic covered hoop house, a big hoop trellis... basically, my belief is that if a deer is afraid that it will somehow get trapped, it won't jump into a garden.
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Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
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Apr 8, 2016 10:45 PM CST
or if they think they don't have a safe place to land, they won't jump a fence ... or if there is something else that gives them the impression that your garden is hostile territory, they will avoid your garden.
I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.
Name: Marie
Brigham City, Utah (Zone 5b)
Cottage Gardener Dahlias Hibiscus Region: Utah
Apr 8, 2016 11:19 PM CST
I live by the mountain and have a bad deer problem. I got 8' black plastic 1 3/4" holes that has kept the pesky deer out. I have 2 yards next to each other and my back yards are against a irrigation canal. I put the deer fencing all along the back and between the houses. My whole back yard is fenced so the deer stay out. I made gates to get in and out that are pretty user friendly. It has been a real blessing. (I looked on the internet under '8' plastic deer fencing'.) To me it was a great investment.
Name: Paul
Madison, IN (Zone 6a)
Apr 9, 2016 5:30 AM CST
I've got neighbors that don't particularly like the fencing that I've put up in the past with the dvds and shiny things, and a state park at my back door, so plenty of the destructive critters for the garden that are even willing to come up to the house. I have planted hot peppers, not jalepenos, but habeneros and the very hot ones from Thailand, basically everything above 70000 Scoville units that was available at the nursery. these seemed to have worked, I do crush some up and spread them out and about the garden when they're ready. it also keeps the rabbits at bay. then I just let them seed and grow up the next year as volunteers. Its worked for several years and I've only lost one tomato plant to the deer. I have heard that marigolds will also work, but no luck here.

the peppers are just easier, faster, and easier on the eyes. Plus, you have hot peppers at the end. Just as a caveat, make sure to wear gloves or wash your hands every time you handle one of the peppers.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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Apr 9, 2016 7:31 AM CST
Delab- I just love your idea. Also, one year we had a problem with a skunk digging in the garden. A liberal sprinkling of cayenne pepper in the plant bed took care of that!
Name: Tom Cagle
SE-OH (Zone 6a)
Old, fat, and gardening in OH
Apr 9, 2016 7:39 AM CST
Deer can be pushed into suburban spaces by hunters and hunger. A low single strand fence and a taller (6' or taller) obvious fence run four feet inside the low fence makes a trapping zone to deer that they do not like to become entangled in.

The real fix however is what ever your state (DNR, Fish and Game, etc) will permit for hunting in your suburban area. CT has a program that will allow bow hunters in pretty settled areas. You don't have to do the hunting, just permit others to.
free for them in need:
Name: Ken Ramsey
Vero Beach, FL (Zone 10a)
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Apr 9, 2016 9:40 AM CST
I posted way back when that my 4' green plastic mesh fencing keeps the deer out. I plant nothing but garlic (and some bunching onions) in November, so from then until June, I am growing plants that no critter seems to bother. After harvest, I plant all kinds of vegetables, including a lot of tomatoes. I have boxed-in areas (to segregate my garlic, but the boxes remain all year) but put a lot of potted vegetable/flowering plants a within 2-3' of the fencing. Thus, at least in the deer's eyes, there is no place to safely land if it jumped the fence (which it easily can). Having no "landing-zones" in sight seems to work.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Rosie
If it sparkles - I'm there!
Garden Art Region: North Carolina Bookworm Plays in the sandbox Deer Dragonflies
Apr 19, 2016 8:43 AM CST
This is a good idea...even bigger would help but definitely for the beginner veggie garden. The solid bottom is helpful.

My dream is to trench and lay wire fencing fabric in it and then bring it up ( sharp angle ) and secure it all around with in ground cemented posts. The weak spot would beinder the gate.themeshwould keep the moles out tho!

Deer can jump well over 8 feet from a standing position.

But they don't like to jump into small enclosures or where they are unsure of footing as others have said. What they don't like to do is step on grating of any sort. I thought about laying metal chainlink fencing panels around the garden perimeter ...but that won't stop critters other than deer...and it is not pretty. I guess there is better and more pleasing grate materials I could hunt down. Anyway, the farmers here tell me..go with 8 feet and on the four corner posts string a wire or rope or something to attach tin plates to. That keeps the deer out.

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[Last edited by MISSINGROSIE - Apr 19, 2016 8:56 AM (+)]
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