Keeping white tailed deer off the veg garden

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by ACL, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. ACL

    ACL Member

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    Can anyone advise what sort of fencing I should go for?

    Firstly- I do not have much money so it would have to be as budget as possible

    Secondly- what height would fencing have to be? Does electric fencing work or would they leap right over?

    Many thanks
     
  2. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    To be certain, an eight-foot woven wire fence will keep deer out. Some people indicate that six or seven feet is sufficient and some have other solutions (like scattering human hair around and in the garden) that appear to work for them.

    Expense and effort are considerations. A dog with the right attitude will keep them away.
     

  3. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    I have used Millorginite (spelling?) made by the Milwaukee Sewage Authority. It is very inexpensive. Last year I paid $10.00 for a 50 pound bag at Home Depot. It is a low grade fertilizer that smells bad "at first". This is what keeps the deer away. The deer don't like it's smell and stay away from plants and flowers that are treated (around) with it.

    I made a hand sprinkler from a Costco/Sam's Club/B.J.'s chocolate covered raisin jar. I drilled eight 1/4" holes in the lid and used it as a large shaker to sprinkle the fertilizer around my plants. If it rains retreat the area. Don't sprinkle directly on the plants but around the plants if you can. The deer don't like the smell and don't eat the plants. I had deer poop in my yard this morning but the deer didn't eat anything I treated.

    Deer jump fences and most commercial repellants are costly. This works and is a low grade fertilizer as well. I have only treated flower gardens but I am sure this works just as well for veggies.

    Sprinkle around the plants. Re-apply after a rain or every four to five days. Good Luck. NJ Rich
     
  4. diamondtim

    diamondtim Well-Known Member

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    Milorganite is made from HUMAN WASTE (I contribute raw material daily, as I'm a regular guy ) and should not be used on food plants. Fertilize your lawn around your garden with it, but not on the veggies.

    BTW, Dogs love to roll in it and on the lawns that have just been treated, Go figure!
     
  5. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    Our neighbors put an eight-foot fence around their very small veggie garden, and the deer have been seen jumping over that fence, so I wouldn't count on even an eight-foot fence keeping them out (though these were mule deer, not white-tails).

    I'm still trying to figure this one out, too, as we almost always have fresh deer tracks in the yard in the morning, and have seen as many as eight at a time here.

    Kathleen
     
  6. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    My neighbors have been successful by using a two-strand electric fence and baiting it with peanut butter..I never would have thought that deer like peanut butter, but apparently they do.
    The deer begin to lick the peanut butter off the fence, get a jolt and leave.

    Replacing a few tablespoons of peanut butter once a week is cheaper than building a 12 foot fence (the only height I've known to keep out deer).

    Also, I've seen "deer fences" which look to be fairly tall and slanted..never spoke to any of the owners of these myself, but have heard that deer are hesitant to jump a "slanted " fence.
     
  7. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

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    Our fence is 10 feet with hog wire. The neighbors call it the vegetable penitentary. Anything shorter they can get over. A fence is nice since once it's done it's done. Just have to remember to keep the gate shut. If you have enough poles from young trees and willow you could make a woven fence for free.
     
  8. electronrider

    electronrider Well-Known Member

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    mothballs, scattered around the perimiter of the garden work for some as well.
     
  9. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    My neighbors use a lightweight nylon webbing, netting stuff held up by poles they cut from their own timber. Seems to keep the deer out.
     
  10. ChickenTracy

    ChickenTracy Well-Known Member

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    One year I planted some oregano, basil, dill & a few other herbs in the corner of the garden. Was the first year the deer stayed away. Then read later that some herbs will deter them away from the garden. Haven't had any problems with deer as long as I have herbs planted in the garden.
     
  11. ACL

    ACL Member

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    Thanks- some great tips.....

    Now we are going to have to mainly use a raised bed system because of the boulders under the top soil (we are next to a lake) and I'm also wondering about making some sort of frame with chicken wire on that could be placed over the raised beds individually?

    Anyway- lots of food for thought there

    Thanks so much for replying! :)
     
  12. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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  13. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    For a small raised bed garden it is easier to fence the garden in than to fence the deer out. If you want to keep a deer out of your yard entirely I understand that a fence or hedge they can't see through or over works better than one they can see through. Also, two fences staggered apart will help deter them from jumping over. I think a ditch on the outside would also help.

    I just have a raised bed, square foot type, and hoop it and net it all in. For larger stuff on the outside I grow squash and pole beans or fava beans in a two sisters style and let it all grow in a thick jungle and hope for the best. I don't have deep enough soil for corn so I grow my pole beans up a three poled teepee. I have my mounds 6 feet apart in a sort of hexagonal pattern and try to get about 20 mounds. I like this method because it is no till and no weeding. I just dig a hole and fill it with manure and then mound it over. Once it is thick enough they won't be as likely to wade into the middle. but they do eat the outside. There is a hedge along one side that helps. The squash grows up over that also. I could run wired between the teepees to help keep them out I suppose, or I could just add another ring of teepees. I like to have deer around so I don't mind if they eat some.
     
  14. jersey girl

    jersey girl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We have been having great luck with fish fertilizer. We just spray our garden to fert. it and the deer don't like the smell at all and stay away. Last summer, I did not lose any veg. to the deer. I would spray all their favorites and would see their tracks down the rows of garlic. They would not even walk near the sprayed area. We resprayed every week or after a rain.
    We just used a bottle of Neptune's Harvest and watered it down.
    Much cheaper than a fence
     
  15. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Cattle panels two layer high work fine, but pricey for garden. If really in bind, weld two steel posts end to end for vertical support like I did for cattle panels then go cut bunch small diameter poles out of brush and wire horizontally to the steel posts. Should work. Might also try plastic netting if you can get it cheap. It will bluff the deer. They are thinking about jumping not bulldozing it. So any type tall barricade especially one they cant see through will discourage them. I tried all kinds of versions of electric fence and scent and such but it frankly just didnt work very well long term.
     
  16. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have raised beds and traditional rows in my garden. No fence and no deer. The eight dogs have put a halt to all wildlife coming into the yard or garden. Well, I did find a mouse in the garden!

    When I planted my first garden here last year I just knew the deer would eat it up. There are deer everywhere and my neighbor has a problem keeping them out. However, he doesn't have a dog...I have eight! Plus, my hubby "marks his territory" whenever he is outside. I think this also deters the deer. They just don't like that human scent!
     
  17. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Electric fence needs to be multiple strands, spaced closely enough that a deer can't jump through sideways, and starting about 6" from the ground and going up 8feet or so. I have heard of people putting up a 6 foot high fence, with another wire or fence outside of it, about where a deer would stand to jump, so that they can't get a good jump on the inner fence. I think that they had mixed results. A friend put up black plastic fence 8 or 10 feet tall all around his garden and orchard--major expense, but it keeps them out so far.
     
  18. Firefly

    Firefly Well-Known Member

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    I've heard two things: tin cans strung together and laid around the area, and Christmas lights strung along the fence. Supposedly both work quite well.
     
  19. NJ Rich

    NJ Rich NJ Rich

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    I can apreciate Diamond Tim's concern. I have thought about contamination and have come to a conclusion. That doesn't mean I am right and he is wrong. It is just a point of view.

    I believe "composted materials", including "human waste" eliminates the "bad germs" from what ever is composted. If I am wrong, maybe we/us/they can treat the area around the fence and prevent the deer from entering the garden. This application would protect the edible plants and keep the deer away. It is worth a try and is certainly cheaper than fencing. The EPA says that: "Milorganite meets 2003 EPA Standards. The decision can get complicated can't it?. Good Luck to everyone. NJ Rich
     
  20. RedneckPete

    RedneckPete Well-Known Member

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    How about a decent dog?

    Pete