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Old 05-28-2012, 04:29 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,595,929 times
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We have 1/3 acre lot and the back is surrounded by woods which of course are full of deer. Oh how I HATE deer. My main purposes for a fence are

1) keep deer out and
2) keep my two small dogs in - smallest is maltese 6 lbs.

We don't want to ruin our view of the woods in the back so I was thinking of a combination of fences with maybe electric on the very back and side well within our property boundaries. The other side is in the middle of a natural area I share with the neighbors. I have extensive plantings on my side, they barely maintain their side.

The gate would be at the end of the driveway and one portion of it will be attached to the house.

It is a very expensive neighborhood and I see a lot of black wrought iron (I assume) which would look nice but my small dog could easily get out. So what would I put up at the bottom---chicken wire? that sounds tacky.

The side I share with a neighbor would be nice to grow climbing vines on.

I don't care too much about privacy and the typical deer fence looks like c.r.a.p. The house is a beautiful Craftsman type.

Any suggestions? Many thanks.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:21 AM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,711,811 times
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Personally I like the look of black coated chain link and it's one of the most inexpensive types of fences you can get and it lasts forever. You can see through it obviously. Although I wouldn't count on it keeping the deer out. Unless it's about 6' tall, they'll jump right over it like it's nothing.
My hoa doesn't allow chainlink so I have a picket fence which offers the best of both worlds, some privacy and some see through but's made out of wood and wood doesn't look good after a few years here unless it's stained or painted and I haven't done either of that.

The ornamental metal (wrought iron looking) fencing is the most expensive you can get and unless it's 6' or taller the deer will jump over it if they want.

The most inexpensive is cheap rolls of wire farm fencing but again, the deer will jump over it.

Theres some real fancy stuff you can do with wood but I don't like wood fences personally. Maybe if they were cedar or redwood but that's big bucks.
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Old 05-28-2012, 08:06 AM
 
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Cittic10 is right about normal fencing not be enough to keep deer out. They don't like being places where they can't easily jump or run away from danger so some people have had success with double fencing and maze like fencing. I used to live in an area where the deer problem was bad and getting worse. The only place I saw in the region that still retained a natural understory and intact gardens was a conservatory in which the entire property was fenced in with very high fences and cattle grates on the driveways with electric door openings.

My experience with deer was from living in a neighborhood that was mixed suburban and wooded areas with small streams, the ideal area for deer. Most of the homes had open lawns that ended at the woods or met up with the neighbors lawn without any fencing in between so putting up any kind of fencing would have stood out. The only fencing I recall seeing was around pool areas. Most people had limited "gardens" consisting of standard suburban landscaping and some were replacing their shrubbery every few years depending on the deer paths.

I learned to garden around deer for the most part. It was hit or miss since deer will eat things they aren't supposed to and avoid things that are supposedly their favorites. One of my neighbors was off of their natural path and had tulips and crocuses for many years, normally a deer favorite. I couldn't. So I learned to plant all sorts of daffodils, big and small, early and late.

It might be easier to plan a garden around what they don't like as much than to put in a lot of fencing. There are tons of lists out there for what they do and don't like in general, just remember there are exceptions to those lists both ways.


For the deer I had roving my yard--- They left alone things like physostegia and astilbe, but went after my daylilies twice a season. Regular lilies and Hosta were candy to them. They loved all forms of impatiens but left annual vinca alone. The occasionally nibbled on begonia but did not like ageratum, so making a mixed planting of the two seemed to keep the begonias intact more. I gave up on dahlias even though they are supposedly less liked by deer. A friend living in the next town had her show dahlias fenced in in a small enclosure with other plants, like old roses, on the outside to hide the fencing and had two big dogs and still lost anything around the outer perimeter of the fencing. The deer sometimes nibbled on echinacea and for years and years left my rudbeckia alone until one day they decided to mow them down. They didn't touch irises, clematis, monarda, aconite and and sage but loved any phlox creeping and tall alike. They aren't supposed to like any allium family members, and didn't eat some of the larger varieties but ate chives as they bloomed. I searched high and low for native plants before it became the "in" thing and found very few that the deer left alone. That may have improved and you may be able to include some in your plans.

Smelly plants (both good and bad smells) are usually left alone more. Lavenders are the perfect example and I had several sages that did well.

Good luck with it!

Right after posting a found this really helpful, if a bit basic guide to what works/doesn't work in NC that may give you a wider range of choices and ideas: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu/files/lib...%20Plants2.pdf

Last edited by J&Em; 05-28-2012 at 08:27 AM.. Reason: adding link
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,595,929 times
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Thanks J&Em. As usual you are a wealth of information.

I know what plants are supposedly deer resistant but my problem is I want to grow things i KNOW they will eat. Maybe it is the challenge that has me finally determined to have a fence.

We lived in south Atlanta for 30 years and I had the most beautiful 1+ acre garden. It was paradise and it was enclosed in the back where nobody could see it a tacky wood post and chicken wire fence with nice painted white fence where it could be seen from the street. The chicken wire part was only 5+feet high and we rarely had deer get in ---usually when a kid would leave a gate open. And for some reason they didn't bother too much in the front so I never knew the hell life could be with a constant battle with the long legged rats called deer. This battle started a 3 year depression which just about did me in but lately I am starting to rally and get control. A life without a garden is terribly bleak.

When we moved 3 years ago I brought about 2/3 of my garden with me in nursery pots. I even chose a mover based on who would move my 150 pots which I had lined up on the driveway. They thought I was nuts- that's another story. Funny thing is by the time we moved in February all those pots I had been filling had dormant plants in them so the movers thought I was moving dirt!!!!

I had extensive collection of daylilies, boxes of hundreds of bulbs, asiatic lillies, dozens of varieties of ferns and of course hosta out the wazoo, etc...well you get the idea. We worked so hard to get it all planted and then the deer ate the scapes off my daylilies even when I was spraying regularly. Now I am not going to just let them die so I will get my fences up and move my daylilies and hostas where they can live and be free once again.

I found a few nice designs online and I will call tomorrow to start getting quotes. I'll send pictures if I ever learn how to do that.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
2,806 posts, read 6,916,375 times
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Here's a crazy thought...how about planting a bunch of things the deer love to eat around the perimeter of your property, and then a fence directly behind those plants, with things like lavender and sage on the other side to "fake them out"? Maybe they would have enough to eat with what you plant for them to not be tempted over the fence, especially if they smell the lavender and believe there's nothing beyond the fence they would like? I've never dealt with deer, so I don't know what else to suggest...but being that they can jump really high, I doubt a fence alone would do the trick!
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:17 PM
 
2,063 posts, read 6,995,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmycat View Post
Here's a crazy thought...how about planting a bunch of things the deer love to eat around the perimeter of your property, and then a fence directly behind those plants, with things like lavender and sage on the other side to "fake them out"? Maybe they would have enough to eat with what you plant for them to not be tempted over the fence, especially if they smell the lavender and believe there's nothing beyond the fence they would like? I've never dealt with deer, so I don't know what else to suggest...but being that they can jump really high, I doubt a fence alone would do the trick!
LOL I so wish deer were that reasonable! No only do they seem to know where the good stuff is they seem to change their tastes to whatever cost the most or whatever you finally put in a lot more of. It is a logical idea and might help to fool them while making more permanent plans. I love plants so much it even hurts to think of growing "sacrificial plants" for the deer.

NoKudzu I really do feel that pain. My first gardens were pretty small but I could plant anything and have it grow. Then we moved to what I thought would be a wonderful yard for gardening. Even though I was working full time I worked my rear end off to dig up and amend clay, created a compost area and hauled rock to make it happen. The first year things came up and looked good (for first year plants) and just as things were looking great I looked out one morning to find whole swaths gone, just gone. I went out in disbelief and found annuals and perennials alike with just a twig or small piece left here an there and had no idea what had hit. Fast forward a decade and it was a yearly war to find things that would grow and bloom and that those tall rats would not come in and mow down. Some years they were sneaky and let me believe I had won but some random night they would come in and find something to chew on. At some point I contracted a very bad case of Lyme Disease and it really made it hard to do anything and took a long time to feel able to do any heavy work. I managed to keep going, slowly and painfully at times, but I got back into it eventually and so will you. Love of gardening is not something that ever leaves your soul.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:51 PM
 
16,108 posts, read 21,690,870 times
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Could you string noisy things in the trees that would deter them? Someone mentioned a maze. Perhaps if you had some sort of lines w/ bells, or noisy rattling things, would that deter them? I would go ahead w/ the cheap fence in the back among the trees....Wire discolors and sort of blends eventually, then spend your money on the wrought iron in front. You may need to use the rabbit fence inside to keep your dogs in, it should be to awfully noticeable, or plexiglass. Look forward to the pics.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 11,639,723 times
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I live on a creek and I have a chihuahua. I didn't want to erect a fence that would impact the view, so I thought long and hard and came up with a solution that has worked wonders . . . it is a roll of small square wire - it is only three feet tall, but you can get it taller . . .and it is easy to put up using metal stakes . . .very inexpensive - does not spoil views and keeps little critters in . . .the low one would not keep deer out, but just thought I'd mention it . . .it blends in with the environment so it looks like you have no fence.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,595,929 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&Em View Post
LOL I so wish deer were that reasonable! No only do they seem to know where the good stuff is they seem to change their tastes to whatever cost the most or whatever you finally put in a lot more of. It is a logical idea and might help to fool them while making more permanent plans. I love plants so much it even hurts to think of growing "sacrificial plants" for the deer.

NoKudzu Love of gardening is not something that ever leaves your soul.

spoken like only a dedicated gardener can speak. Somehow we are called to the earth, pains and all.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,503 posts, read 47,595,929 times
Reputation: 47599
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Could you string noisy things in the trees that would deter them? Someone mentioned a maze. Perhaps if you had some sort of lines w/ bells, or noisy rattling things, would that deter them? I would go ahead w/ the cheap fence in the back among the trees....Wire discolors and sort of blends eventually, then spend your money on the wrought iron in front. You may need to use the rabbit fence inside to keep your dogs in, it should be to awfully noticeable, or plexiglass. Look forward to the pics.
Fighting deer is a full time business for many people. you would not believe all the commercial and homemade concoctions on the market and all the contraptions available and I have tried them all. UPS man got hit with motion detector sprinkler one time too many so that had to go. i've had DH pee all over the garden (at night of course), asked hair salons for tons of hair to put all, tried sparkly things and did it all except tin pie plates tied in the trees. Somehow I don't think the neighbors would like that. Now if I lived in the sticks I wouldn't care but the HOA would be down my throat in a minute. As it is I'm gonna ask forgiveness instead of permission on my proposed fence combinations. But thanks for the suggestions.

I did see a garden recently where this very rich lady had two white picket fences installed about 3 -4 feet a part and she said that worked so far as they could not jump that far and they don't like to get in small places or be confined. I'm not that rich....yet!
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