Deer Fence

Light plastic deer netting worked fine to protect our garden for five years, but this summer a very large and clever (or clumsy) deer discovered that it could simply barge in, break the netting, and strip bare all of the untouched rose bushes.

I immediately replaced the broken section, and the deer immediately broke through again.

I have now replaced the entire fence with plastic-coated steel mesh, and I am so pleased with the product that I finally started my blog.

It is quite easy to handle and position the mesh — the plastic coating means that you don’t need gloves, and horizontal wires every foot add stability.  True, a hundred-foot roll is heavy, and I did fall over backwards the first two times I tried to unroll it on a steep slope. But I then unrolled it on flat ground and was able to drag a 50′ stretch into position by myself.

The 100′ x 7.5′ roll cost $225 PLUS $110 shipping from NY to CA. This is more than ten times the $20 cost of the same amount of deer netting.  However, I had to replace the netting every two years, because it would wear out from sun exposure, and this fence should last 15 years.

Several websites say that they will have steel mesh deer fencing available in Spring ’09.  I purchased Deer Control Steel Hex from Wayside Fence. Their customer service was helpful and responsive.

After installing a deer fence, I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to tie streamers to it until the deer have gotten used to its presence. They have poor eyesight (and are color-blind).

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