There are few sites more beautiful than watching a herd of deer peacefully grazing. But that site turns into a horror show when you’re watching them nibbling away at your newly planted petunias.
A deer fence is the answer. These protective barriers aren’t just for farmers looking to protect their crops. In some areas, they’re essential to keeping these noble beasts away from our gardens!
Read on to find out what height a deer fence needs to be.
Types of Deer Fences
A deer fence provides a solid barrier preventing deer from accessing your garden. There are two main materials to choose from: metal and polypropylene.
Metal Deer Fences
When we say metal, don’t worry. We’re not talking about solid metal that will block out all light and be a blight on the landscape. We’re talking heavy-gauge wire mesh attached to metal posts.
The advantage of this system is that it works. Deer will quickly find they’ve met their match and move on. It doesn’t do any harm to the deer.
It’s also long-lasting. They’re super low maintenance and should last up to 30 years.
Deer are determined pests in the wrong setting. They won’t hold back from trying to check through an obstacle that stands in their way. So look for a deer fence for your garden that is marketed as chew-proof.
There are a couple of disadvantages, though. First of all, they can be expensive. They’re a heavy-duty item, so to get something that really does the job, you’ll need to invest in some serious kit.
Secondly, although they’ve improved in recent years, not everyone is crazy about their appearance. If you don’t want a metal fence obstructing your view, it’s worth looking at other types of deer fence for gardens.
Polypropylene Deer Fence
If you value your views, polypropylene deers fences will probably be your best option.
They promise to be almost invisible – especially the black-coated varieties. They are also extremely strong.
There are many advantages to polypropylene, including its flexibility. Some of the best types on the market can resist up to 750lb breaking load per square foot. Deer are powerful animals, and you need a fencing material that can resist their best efforts!
It is often sold in three varieties. The main difference is the breaking strength. If you only have seasonal issues with deer or need a short-term solution, the 500lb/square foot fencing may be adequate.
It’s also chew-proof and requires no maintenance. It is UV stabilized, very easy to install, and weatherproof. It’s also humane and will not hurt the animals.
The best-selling option on the US market is the Tenax deer fence. This product is noted for its excellent strength and resistance. That’s because it allows a certain amount of stretch.
You can pick up rolls of Tenax deer fence at Home Depot.
The main disadvantage of polypropylene is that it does not last as long as metal fencing. You can expect to replace it after 10-20 years.
This needs to be balanced against the fact that the upfront cost is cheaper. And there is the additional factor that many people prefer a deer fence for their garden that is virtually invisible.
Electric Fence for Deer
An electric fence for deer works on a different principle to the barrier fences already discussed.
An electric fence is not usually a large physical barrier. An electric fence for deer is usually a wire at a low level that gives the deer a mild electric shock when they touch it.
This acts as a deterrent. It aims to educate the deer not to come near. Many users report that it’s a very effective way of keeping deer at bay.
Liquid Fence for Deer and Rabbit
Our final alternative is a liquid fence for deer and rabbits. Technically, this is not a fence; it’s a pest repellant. You spray this repellant around the perimeter of the garden.
It works because deer and rabbits have excellent noses. They use them to sniff out food, and it’s why they come to your garden in the first place. The liquid fence works by using a scent that both deer and rabbits hate.
The best thing is that this works before deer or rabbits have started nibbling. It sends a clear signal to them that this is a no-go area. However, it is safe for animals and plants when used correctly.
Pointers Regarding Deer Fencing
At first, deer may see your new deer fence as an irresistible challenge, especially if they can see tasty plants beyond!
To keep out these determined individuals, make sure that there is no gap at the bottom of the fence. It needs to come right down to the ground, and polypropylene fences should have some slack that spills forward and is pinned down with stakes.
This is because even though they are large animals, they are not above trying to break through the bottom of your fence to get in.
Another pointer is that if you select fencing with small enough holes, you can keep other pests out. If the mesh is no larger than 1 inch, you should be able to keep rabbits at bay as well.
What Height Does a Deer Fence Need to Be?
Deer are great jumpers. Certain species, such as white-tailed deer, can jump as high as 8 feet. That means that your fence needs to be 8 feet tall.
Alternatively, you can use a shorter fence, say 6 feet, but slant it outward.
Choosing the Right Deer Fence For Your Needs
Whether you choose a metal or polypropylene deer fence, you need to get the height right. If you go lower than 8 feet, you may find they’re back in your garden, nibbling on your delectables.
Whatever material you choose, make sure it’s one that you like the look of. All materials last a decade or more, so make sure that it’s something you’re happy to live with!
If you’ve enjoyed this article, we’ve got plenty more for you. Head over to our Garden section for more great hints and tips to get the most out of your yard.