Deer proof your yard! Sounds great, but if you can’t build a sturdy, seven-foot-tall fence, what can a gardener do? Fences are prohibited in many areas, and using a fence to deer proof your yard has other drawbacks as well. Fences can be ugly and expensive, and they block your view.
Deer Proof Netting
The deer proof netting advertised by companies such as Benner’s Gardens is purposely made to be nearly invisible, and therefore it becomes a major hazard to the deer and nearby humans. A deer could easily run into this netting and become entangled with serious consequences.
Multi-Pronged Deer Proofing
If you can’t build a fence, an approach that combines methods for deer proofing your yard may prove to be best.
- Selective planting means to avoid deer favorites and plant things they don’t prefer. Unfortunately this may help to deer proof your yard, but it won’t leave you with many choices in the flowers and vegetables that you can grow. Deer are creatures of habit. They will often take the course of least resistance, and they can be diverted away from planted areas with carefully placed hedges, ponds, and walls or plants that deer avoid.
- Game management authorities universally recommend against feeding deer off-site to divert them away. In most cases this is correct because the congregation of deer may result in disease transmission. However in some rural areas off-site feeding of deer can be an effective way to protect your yard. If you have the space, giving the deer somewhere to go can be an effective deer proofing technique. Feeding hay and sweet horse feed will keep them happy. Also, planting deer favorites like lettuce will help draw them away. Some people object to this technique, saying it attracts deer to the area. This may be true, but they won’t be in your garden, and a well-fed deer won’t do as much damage.
- Scare devices are nearly as varied as the gardeners trying to deer proof their yards, including noise makers and mechanical devices. The problem is that deer are smart and patient creatures. They will watch and listen to this type of device until they understand they are no threat. The same applies to mechanical scare devices. Deer are so adaptable, they graze along interstate highways without fear of the noise, the vehicles, or the people.
- Chemical and organic spray-on repellents for odor or taste deer deterrents are only effective if constantly reapplied. They are expensive, unless you make the solution yourself. There are hundreds of recipes on the Internet.
Using a living fence to deer proof your yard may bypass some restrictive covenants. Many plants can be grown and trained to be an effective deer barrier or diversion. Living fences can be annuals, such as sunflowers, or perennials, such as Osage orange or wild plum trees. Training these plants to grow flat against a fence or on wires turns them into very functional and esthetic deer barriers, but it takes a long time.
Effective Deer Proofing
The Wireless Deer Fence® is an electric deer proofing tool that requires no wires and so avoids restrictive covenants. Patented, guaranteed deer control.
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