In 2012, Spy Garden fed a large family of deer a gourmet heirloom diet of beautiful magenta “Hartman’s Giant” amaranth, “Delicious” tomatoes and other assorted vegetables & plants. If deer are a problem in your garden, unfortunately the only 99% effective solution is a deer fence. Animal bones, anti-deer bottled sprays, bags of human hair and the presence of a large dog were ineffective in the deer offensive of Spy Garden 2012!
The Spy Garden deer fence will be installed by March 1, 2013. When building a fence to keep out animals it should be installed in very early spring, before the deer (rabbits or whatever other woodland creatures are eating your vegetables) establish their daily routines of eating tender leaves, buds and seeds.
Deer Fence Phase I: Planning & Supplies
Planning: When planning to install a fence consider that you may end up expanding your garden in seasons to come so it is better to fence an area somewhat larger than your current garden. If you install the fence several feet away from your garden/raised beds/rows it will be easier to re-edge/re-shape your garden without having to move the fence. Decide if you want a permanent fence or if you plan to take down the fence in the winter. If you own your home/land, you may want to opt for a more permanent solution (think cedar fence posts lined with chicken wire, PVC fencing or artfully made fencing made from natural materials.
If your main objective is to keep four-legged friends out of the garden and you are not looking for an absolutely permanent solution a tall deer fence can be installed relatively cheaply and easily.
When planning the shape of your fence work with your natural landscape. Curving the fence around trees, echoing the shape of a treeline and working with the natural elevations of your unique landscape are important factors to consider. Think outside the “box” of a traditional square or rectangle shape when planning your fence!
Materials Chosen for Spy Garden Deer Fence:
Fencing Material: “Easy Gardener 7 ft x 100 ft. Polypropylene Deer Barrier”: 3 Rolls for a 300 ft fence will surround Spy Garden leaving ample room for the inevitable garden expansions in seasons to come! The product from Home Depot is $62.48 per roll (with free shipping). Deer fencing comes in various heights. If your problem is rabbits rather than deer you could opt for a shorter fence. A deer will jump 5 and 6 foot fences though so play it safe and go with the 7′ tall fence if you want to keep Bambi at bay.
Fence Posts: “YARDGARD 1-3/4 in. x 3-1/2 in. x 8 ft. Steel T-Post” $6.47 each from Home Depot. Place posts every 8 ft. (12 per every 100 ft of fence).
Zip Ties: Zip ties attach the fencing material to the posts. Zip ties may be purchased at a hardware store for about $10-$20 for a bag of 1000.
The design for the gate/entrance of the fence is still in the works. (Coming in Phase II of “Building a Deer Fence”).