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The darned deer!

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Post  SusanTheWriter on 3/31/2020, 9:53 am

I'm still in the planning stage for my garden (I know, I'm really late), and I realized that it wouldn't be worth the effort if I couldn't figure out a solution for the deer. We have a small herd of 5-7 deer that regularly use the woodland strip that separates my house from the next neighborhood as a pathway. 

They're pretty brave, and know exactly how far my dogs can go before the invisible fence stops them, so they'll stop running to turn around and stare at my hackle-raised pups just to taunt them. They've come up onto my patio to nibble at the beans, and even the cucumbers, although they mostly leave the herbs alone. 

I live in a neighborhood with an HOA (god help me), so proper deer fencing is out, but I'm still interested in trying the least visually offensive version -- an electric fence. 

Have any of y'all had success with electric fences for deer? And if you live in an HOA neighborhood, have there been any objections?
SusanTheWriter
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Post  OhioGardener on 3/31/2020, 10:45 am

@SusanTheWriter wrote:Have any of y'all had success with electric fences for deer? And if you live in an HOA neighborhood, have there been any objections?

I don't live in a HOA, but I have tried electric fencing with only very limited success. When it is first installed, they won't go near it.  But, within a couple days they learn that they can easily jump over it and it won't bother them. The only thing we have found that will stop them is that if there are two fences about 4' apart - they are afraid of getting trapped between the fences. And, that can't exist in your HOA.

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Post  beardeddan on 4/2/2020, 4:26 pm

I read somewhere that you can use a baited electric fence for deer. Basically you put up a small section of fence and bait it with peanut butter wrapped in foil. The deer will bite it and get shocked and stay away.

I honestly don't know if it works.

Dan
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Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/3/2020, 8:05 am

Hi BeardedDan. Welcome to the forum from Atlanta, GA! And Hi to Susan as well. I know you've been a member for a while, but don't post much.

Can't give you any advice on the deer... Sorry!

Can you both give us some ideas on what you're growing this year?

And, Dan, my family has a place in Harrisville, NH, so always glad to see someone from the state! :-)
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Post  SusanTheWriter on 4/7/2020, 9:09 am

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Hi BeardedDan.  Welcome to the forum from Atlanta, GA!  And Hi to Susan as well.  I know you've been a member for a while, but don't post much.

Can't give you any advice on the deer...  Sorry!

Can you both give us some ideas on what you're growing this year?

And, Dan, my family has a place in Harrisville, NH, so always glad to see someone from the state!  :-)
Hey Marie!

Well, today is garden building day and after doing some more research on deer-resistant plants (not deer-proof because that's not a thing), I think I'll be growing a lot of herbs in and amongst everything else, as those seem to be less-favored by the critters, as well as decorating with colorful wind spinners to try and startle them away. 

My yard has recently become a focal point for some in the neighborhood -- not because of anything we did -- but because our back-door neighbors tore down a whole bunch of the lightly wooded area between us. I don't know if less cover will make the path less attractive to deer, but we'll see. In the meantime, I'd rather not give the HOA board something to set their beady little eyes on, so no deer fences for me.
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Post  OhioGardener on 4/7/2020, 9:29 am

I would not get overly optimistic that Deer-resistant plants will deter the deer.  I have a fairly large butterfly garden which is part of my Monarch Waystation, which consists totally of deer-resistant plants. The deer don't eat any of the plants since it is in the old pasture with lots of clover & grass, but they nest in the middle of the flower garden and mash everything down. I ended up putting a 6' fence around the bed to keep the deer out, which totally destroys the beauty of the garden. But then, we have herds of deer which run in groups of 8 or 10 at a time.

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Post  SusanTheWriter on 4/7/2020, 10:02 am

@OhioGardener wrote:I would not get overly optimistic that Deer-resistant plants will deter the deer.  I have a fairly large butterfly garden which is part of my Monarch Waystation, which consists totally of deer-resistant plants. The deer don't eat any of the plants since it is in the old pasture with lots of clover & grass, but they nest in the middle of the flower garden and mash everything down. I ended up putting a 6' fence around the bed to keep the deer out, which totally destroys the beauty of the garden. But then, we have herds of deer which run in groups of 8 or 10 at a time.
We've got a regular herd of 5-7 that use the formerly wooded path behind my yard as a freeway. I have fairly low expectations of the herbs making a difference, except that the deer have historically not eaten them in the table top gardens on my patio. There's every possibility that I'm fixing to blow a couple hundred dollars on very gourmet deer feed.
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