The deer found my garden last year. I tried the Liquid fence. It seemed to work, but almost killed my hydrangea, so I didn't use it this year. Please post what you are going to do. I hear of all sorts of strange ideas, but I want a cheap and easy way to keep them out. lol
This summer is the first summer that I have had deer - I'm dreading this winter when they get really destructive. I think I will be buying and using trunk guards.
They started by eating the leaves and twigs off the lower branches of my poor little fruit trees. I bought Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit repellent made with "putrefied eggs". It said humans can't smell it after it dries, but animals can. I sprayed it on the fruit trees. My hands reeked for days - I'll wear disposable rubber gloves next time. But it seemed to work. I haven't tried spraying the tomatos - as long as they leave some for me and leave the trees alone I may just turn a blind eye to it. I wouldn't want to eat a tomato that smelled like that stuff that I supposedly can't smell.
We have a four foot fence around the two sides of our garden that offer access by deer. On one of those sides is an old orchard, and on the other is a pasture. Both of those areas back up onto the woods where deer like to wander; we see them in the pasture and orchard sometimes. DH put up about a 2 1/2 ft. electric strand about two feet out from both of those fences, where the deer would have to set up to jump. When he first turned the current on, that night we heard a deer hit the electric wire and fall back with a thump. There was a lot of huffing and snorting, but they never tried it again. That was years ago.
For free-standing non-edibles in our yard he uses a mixture of DeerAway, which works really well and only has to be applied every two or three months, and we've also tried this http://wirelessdeerfence.com/wdf/index.html
which seemed effective in saving our tiger lilies down by the river. We haven't used those for a while, though.
Forgot to mention that DH also gets a deer or two for the freezer each winter; he has a deer-stand in our woods. Our neighbor hunts, too. I'm sure that helps.
Think of it, paintball targets! (Caution, harrassing wildlife is a misdemenor offense in most states.) But, just the idea of going full auto on a bunch of deers with a paintball gun while they are destroying your garden and taunting you is an amusing form of revenge!
I keep some small rocks in a bucket on the deck just in case the deer bar their fangs at me. LOL ;))
In the Spring I put up a six foot fence in the front of the house to protect the increadible display of tulips. The neighbors understand and really enjoy the tulips. After the tulips are done, the fence comes down.
When the orchard and veggie garden go in on the lower garden area, there will be a nine foot fence. The upper six feet will be large mesh and the lower three feet will be 1/4" mesh. It is in an area not accessable by others so if need be I will put up a low voltage electric wire.
Sigh...I wish I could just take one of those nice bucks that consistently wander by my deck or maybe even a bear!
The electric strands above the 4' fence is the only thing that keeps the deer and elk out of our acre. DH didn't turn on the fence last winter, and a bull elk came in and completely destroyed the top of our 10' tall fir tree! He started about 3' up and completely denuded the top of the tree! There were branches all over the ground. I sure wish I had the critter cam hooked up to see that.
Awww that (so to speak) bites!!!!! If you live in a rural area with no neighbors, try putting a cheap radio under a bucket and tune it to talk radio. I told a friend about this idea and she says that it works. You have to change your methods about every 2 weeks. I've tried everything... but I have neighbors, so can't try the radio. The best defense I've found is a FENCE!
My parents put a five foot fence around their little veggie garden. I was teasing Dad and asked "So, after you get the deer in this corral, what are you going to do with them?" Less then a week later, the deer were spooked and running through the yard and several jumped into the garden and damaged the fence getting back out. My parents put whirly-gigs on top of the fence, and haven't had much problem with the deer getting in since. I don't know if it is the whirly-gigs, or they got used to the garden being there and having to go around it.
I picked my tomato's, got just over 1/2 of a bushel. The next picking, I knew that I would get at least 1 bushel. I went out with my baskets, looked around, went back in the house and told my DH that someone had been in the garden and picked the tomato's. I was really upset. He said "are you sure?". I told him "I know my tomato's" He agreed. The next picking I was pleased and got over a bushel. I felt like I was green from my head to my toe from picking - I went in, showered, stood at the bathroom sink with my towel around me, brushing my teeth, looked out the window and saw 2 large ears out by my tomato's. I was so mad! I picked up a shoe, ran outside in my towel waving the shoe over my head and yelling at the deer. It raised its head and looked at me, not really concerned until I got closer. Then it turned and jaunted off. My DH heard me yelling and looked out the window to see what was going on. He was laughing so hard. He said he wished he had a camera.
So far, I am sharing my tomato's with the deer, Haven't really done anything to keep them out. Next year the fence goes up.
My Mom and I were comparing deer problems, and we noticed that the deer seem to prefer the green tomatos to the ripe ones. And they bother the fruit trees and fruit, EXCEPT they seem to avoid the peaches.
I have lived here 15 years and the deer know very well where my 5 1/2 acres are. I have around 3 acres fenced in with a redwood fence 6 to 8 feet high. There are 2 walk thru gates and one drive thru gate. Al long as the gates are closed the deer can't get in.
A couple of days ago I forgot to close the drive thru gate and deer got in and ate most of the volunteer Morning glories that came up in the tomato row, and nibbled a couple of tomatoes. Here is a picture of the cattle panel enclosed tomatoes. Works very good to hold up the tomatoes and I can easily reach thru to pick the tomatoes. I think you can see the redwood fence up the hill in the background.
I had one step in my driveway gate and hiss at me and charge me. I went into the house and got my shotgun and loaded it with #8 shot (fine). I went back out and the doe and her 2 fawns were eating my trees. I scared the fawns off just walking out but mama wanted to fight. The first shot was over her head and she didn't even stop nibbling the buds, the second shot was into her furry side causing the hair to move and she slowly left with her usual hiss.
When animals are no longer afraid of man, this is when things get bad. The bears in our area have taken to breaking into houses. Unfortunately, when this happens the Department of Wildlife is called in and the bear is put down.
I would much rather instill a little fear with the the painfull sting that a paint ball gun can deliver at short range then see an animal needlessly destroyed. Much however can be done to discourage bad behaviour by wild annimals in the form of common sense deterrents. Fencing, low voltage strands, keeping the garden clean & free of weeds, being carefull with pet food & garbage can all work well to deter skunks, deer, bears and even mice.
Tie a pitbull terrier near the desired planting and don't feed him much. LOL. I tried to garden in deer areas and the only way that worked was to fence the entire 3 acres with 8' steel fence with steel posts every 20'.
As I said, we have a four-foot fence around the two sides of our garden that offer access by deer. On one of those sides is an old orchard, and on the other is a pasture. Both of those areas back up onto the woods where deer like to wander and we see them in the pasture and orchard sometimes. DH put up an electric strand at a height of 22” and two feet out from both of those fences, where the deer would have to set up to jump. When he first turned the current on, that night we heard a deer hit the electric wire and fall back with a thump. There was a lot of huffing and snorting, but they never tried it again. No deer seems able to set up to take a jump without coming into contact with it and being mightily discouraged.
I Had an 6' to 8' redwood fence ( depending on whether deer would be going uphill or downhill) installed around about 2 1/2 acres of my 5 1/2 acres of hilly ground. the deer have only gotten into my yard when I leave the drive thru gate open. I left the gate open for a month or so but had to start closing it last week when the deer finally started coming in, again.
We've had our first hard frost a couple of nights ago, got down to 25 degrees. So I guess my gardening for this year is about over. I haven't been able to do much gardening this fall due to a badly pinched nerve in mu left leg. The fellow who had worked for me for 20 years when I had the money and he had the time, went on vacation earlier. Didn't work for about 6 weeks, and only a few days since then. so lots fall garden work hasn't been done.
It is cloudy but I don't think any rain is coming.
Last spring (2009) I had a woman who came for a few hours at a time and helped me get my garden ready and it made a huge difference, but this year she was working so we had to do it all ourselves and our garden was not quite the showplace it had been. I'm going to try to cut back a little so I have something I can care for easily myself!
Sorry to hear about the pinched nerve rutholive. Jack is definitely here and the dahlias are done like dinner but the asters and phlox are still prettiful ^_^ I am deerless and it appears that the disco ball/flashing lights/dancing has not impressed Peppy and Peppermint the skunks. They are still under the shed. I know this cuz we thought they were gone and filled in their den and put chicken wire along the back wall of the shed. oops they were under there the whole time and they just dug their way out by making a side door behind the bird bath. My tru luv is extremely ticked off. I think it's hilarious and I spect I am secretly rooting for Peppy and Peppermint.
Are you sure Peppy & Peppermint weren't wearing polyester? Didn't we go through this subletting the shed routine last year? I know times are tough, but you really must do a background check on your tennents. LOL! ;)
I will say a prayer for your pinched nerve! I had one in my neck a year or so ago, made one whole side of my face feel like a toothache! :(
Thanks for all your sympathy. The left leg trouble started about 3 months ago. I thought then the problem problem was in my hip joint. Went to Orthopedist that had done my last hip joint surgery 1995, they took xrays and said no problem in hip, the problem was in my back. So back home, then pain got increasingly worse. One night I finally drove myself to ER. The doctor on call gave me a pain killing shot, which finally helped and i came home. The second morning after that at 6:00 am I finally called 911 for ambulance to take me to the hosp. again, They asked how was the pain on a scale 1 to 10 and I said 12. Never had such severe pain. The same doctor on call gave me another pain killing shot and after about 4 or 5 hours, I called a friend to take me home.
All together I saw 4 different doctors in that week, 4 different diagnoses, 4 different pain prescriptions, No relief. i've had three massages, giving temporary relief, been to physical Therapy 3 or 4 times. Also a woman who many people have recommended, called Helping hands,. I have been to her 3 times and yesterday she said she thought the problem was in my left hip joint, either partly out of place or something else causing it not function correctly. And with her work on my body, I felt much better. and since I thought all along that was where my problem was located, I feel pretty confident she is right. My doctor is supposed to be making an appointment for me to have an MRI soon.
Such a long time and so many doctors not being able to figure out what my problem is and what to do. I am really tired of all the pain and not being able to do anything.
Donna, there has been recalls on three different brands of replacement hip joints! Our Son had his replaced two years ago, and he has been in pain ever since. Last year he and his Dad both had knee replacements and they are doing fine with them. So, check into that.