I'm looking to create a 25 x 25 market garden this spring. It will be the first spring that I try an plant anything. Although I'm not certain if deer will be an issue, it's a pretty reasonable assumption. I've read about the different methods of trying to keep dear away, electric fence, double deep fence, 8' high fence, sprays, plantings etc. Right now I'm leaning toward the permanent solution being the deep fence with a gap, along with some plantings that deter them, but in the meantime I'm looking for the easiest solution. I was thinking of purchasing some bird / deer nettings, and draping them over low tunnel hoops. Does anyone have any recommendations on a temporary method of deterring deer, would the netting work, or is there a better material to potentially use.
So far double fence is working great for us. I wish I'd done it years ago! It is not difficult or particularly expensive. Our inner fence is 5 foot high reinforcing wire, the outer is old sheep fencing. Fences are about four feet apart. I'm planting seeds of nativetrees and plants for pollinators in the space between the fences. Some of the fence is attached to trees or stumps, other parts held up by T posts.
*insert requisite not-quite-joke about a deer rifle here*
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Something not often mentioned but does work and help. While yes fence your garden and do it well. Also create a sacrificial garden a little ways away with no protection at all.
The deer and other critters will be attracted to your garden, it can't be helped. But they aren't stupid either. Given the choice between one protected and one not, they will go after the one that has no protection and leave the protected one alone. While they may decimate the unprotected garden, they also might leave just enough for a small harvest or to let it reseed itself for next year.
"Where will you drive your own picket stake? Where will you choose to make your stand? Give me a threshold, a specific point at which you will finally stop running, at which you will finally fight back." (Derrick Jensen)
There are repellent sprays for deer (the one I saw claimed to be organic). Some people use lion dung (zoos are reportedly short of it since that report went out). Some use human hair (think barber shop, etc.). I’ve seen water features designed to make a noise via a pipe on a pivot that periodically falls to one side and makes a noise when it hits. Hanging, reflective spinners where breezes will set them twirling, wind chimes, motion sensor lights... all of these things and more, but the deer get used to them so you do need to change them somehow, on a regular basis. Bottom line, there’s nothing quite like a good tall fence.
Tomorrow doesn’t exist and never will. There is only the eternal now. Do it now.
At hunting shops you should be able to get panther/cougar urine or wolf urine. These work really well if you squirt a bit on a cotton ball and suspend it around deer head heat in the shrubbery around a perimeter. You can stick the cotton into little lengths of irrigation pipe for it to last longer if you want. Very cheap and very effective. Also, dogs can be a great deterrent.
My major concern with netting would be that deer might get tangled in it (especially a young buck's antlers) and might create an even worse situation.