Thursday, June 26, 2014

Pushing back the deer

We've had some deer damage in the garden so I've been beefing up the fencing. Yesterday C. found a whole bed of beans gnawed, and Plumb Bob's favorite giant broccoli taken down to stems. Time to get serious.

We had no deer damage last year. But the garden was fenced on all sides and the big animals were right next to the garden. This year I moved them back toward the barn and turned their pasture into "the orchard." I put quotes on there as it's not much of an orchard now that the deer have done major pruning on the baby apple trees. Lo.

Anyway, I researched deer deterrents on the web. There are all kinds of commercial and homemade contraptions, from 10-foot-tall fencing to motion detectors connected to sprinklers or to motors turning flappers hitting garbage-can lids, not to mention the Japanese shishi odoshi, the charming fountain that thumps periodically. But running power or water out there would take time and engineering. I found a guy on YouTube who swears by his tin-can alarm. His unfenced garden has no deer damage at all, thanks to the alarm. So I put one in on the unfenced north side, open to the orchard. It's fishing line strung low, with loops of tin cans propped up on buckets. When a deer (or a gardener) bumps the line, the cans fall and rattle.

The fenced sides got taller with sticks, string and plastic flags. 

No, it's not pretty, but if it works I'll prettify it. It's an emergency, dammit.

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