Operation Yard Rats Out

As I mentioned previously, last week we dropped $400 on 10′ tall T-posts and deer netting. If that seems like a lot to you… well, it seems like a lot to us, too. An awful lot.

But I’m so tired of investing all my scant time and energy and labor into the garden, only to find that I’m feeding the wildlife instead of my family. Even cheapskate, penny-pinching me was finally ready to invest in some defensive strategy.

Not only did they steal the few precious peaches that had been ripening, they tore off the biggest branch while doing so. They could easily have killed the little tree I’d invested 2 years in codling.

My beautiful corn – so carefully manured, so beautifully tall and healthy – flattened in two nights. I got a measly 11 puny ears off the patch before the deer ripped them all off the stalks and ruined them.

Those pictures lead to this one:

The beginning of our new 8′ tall deer fence. My beloved husband has done the hardest part of it – just these few posts took several days. Backfill Hill is that hard, compacted and stony. I would never have asked him, but I’ve been feeling so queasy lately that he volunteered. I love it so much when he helps on the farm!

We bought deer netting, but it only comes 7′ tall. To bring it to 8′ we will have to string a wire along the tops of the posts as well. A few bars of Irish Spring and human hair hung in bags on the outsides of the posts will help too. If the deer netting doesn’t work – if the deer bust through, or it’s torn by branches – then these posts will work with electric fencing as well, as a last resort.

Is it cost effective? I’d say no, though the potential increase in yields offers some financial mitigation. It’s more the lessening of frustration and seething irritation it will afford that makes it worth it to my mind.

4 Responses to “Operation Yard Rats Out”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Are you soliciting hair donations? Having M’s hair cut today…

  2. diana Says:

    Thanks for thinking of me! We’re not to that stage yet – I want to hang the netting first. I think when I am ready for hair, I might just stop by a salon and bring home a big bag (though stranger’s hair does seem kinda gross!)

  3. Diane Says:

    Noooo! Stupid deer. 👿 I don’t blame you for putting up a deer fence. We have deer issues here, too, but are setting things up so our man- and deer-eating dog can patrol the garden perimeter and scare the poop right out of any Bambis who even think about our garden.

    I’m fairly new to both fruit trees and deer but a local forester/hunter friend told me to just put a circle of some sort of fencing around it — or anything that makes them think they might get their horns stuck in it. They’ll opt for easier choices most times. We put CRW tomato cages around ours and, so far, no deer damage but the trees are also pretty near the aforementioned man- and deer-eating dog so who knows?

  4. diana Says:

    The fence is mostly up (I was short 2 fenceposts and 50′ of netting, grr!) and it looks gorgeous! I mean, you can barely tell there’s anything there until you’re up close, but standing there right next to it, it looks like it should work. I still need to garden-staple it to the ground so they don’t try to nose under it.

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