From my young, fresh, green spinach you shall not eat,
And don’t even think about biting a red, sweet beet,
I may not have a lot of cash to put up a fancy fence,
But, what do you know… I can still defend my garden from your offence!
You are not completely wrong if you think I’ve lost it… What can I say, this farming business can drive you mad. Maybe it’s the hours in the sun or too much fresh air, but as you battle yet another project in the field, you find yourself talking to the grass, trees, ladybugs, and to the spinach. Oh yeah, and to the deer tracks on the ground.
They are everywhere! The tracks, I mean. The deer is nowhere to be found.
They walk on my vegetable beds (can’t they see there are walkways marked?!), at night, I assume, inspecting the growing greens.
I tried to ignore them, but it’s not possible. I will never have anything to eat or sell if I don’t find a way to keep them out.
But the deer are not the only visitors to my vegetable garden. See this lovely hole in the ground? See? See? Do you know who lives there? A groundhog, that’s who! A big, fat, groundhog. And he loves vegetables!
So I had to find a deer fence that will keep the deer out, and the groundhogs out, and if we are at it, let’s keep the rabbits, elephants, and hippos out as well.
An electric fence might work against the deer, but I’ve heard that it needs to be at least 8′ tall because if it is shorter the deer can jump it easily. And it won’t keep the rabbits and groundhogs out, and I didn’t have money for that anyway.
A permanent fence was out of the question, because, you guessed it, I don’t have the money for that, and anyway I wanted something that I could easily move later on since I’m sure things are going to change around the garden.
A couple of hours into my research I came across a YouTube video that unfortunately is no longer available on YouTube. The guy showed how to make this fence that I am about to share with you below.
I was very skeptical but it was so cheap and simple that I had nothing to lose so I decided to try. My fence is up for a month now. There are still many deer tracks on the field, but they are all on the outside of the fence. None inside!
Here is how I did it…
First, we drove the posts in the ground, every 15 feet or so like he says. We used 6′ t-posts, one foot in the ground. We have about 400′ of fence.
Next, I used 30lb fishing line that I got from Wal-Mart.
I placed it every two feet on the posts, looping it around each one a couple of times, but I didn’t have to go all the way to the ground because I was going to place chicken wire on the lower two feet to keep other creatures out.
I used rolls of 4’x150′ chicken wire for the lower part of the fence. I got the kind that has 2” holes instead of the common 1” because it was half the price (my local farm supply store ordered it for me).
2′ of the wire is attached to each post…
With this electric fence wire I had in the shed.
The other 2′ is lied on the ground so the suckers can’t dig under the fence. The plan is to cover it with soil to hold it down firmly, but I didn’t find time to do that yet.
If I couldn’t make the chicken wire tight between two posts (which is not an easy job…), I used the electric wire to help it stay upright by tying it to one post…
Weaving it through the top of the chicken wire…
And tying it to the other post.
When you get to a corner, you have to cut the lower two feet of the chicken wire so you can turn the corner. Make sure you have heavy rocks to hold the chicken wire down because it will curl up and try to kill you with no shame. None at all.
I made two gates, one on each side of the field. I used a tomato stake that I got from Lowe’s and tied the fishing line to it every two feet. I didn’t find a solution for the lower part of the gates yet. I guess I’ll just have to cut the chicken wire to fit the width of the gate and tie and untie it to the post every time that I want to open the gate. I am still thinking about this… Not sure how to solve this problem.
To close the gate, I tie the tomato stake to the post with the electric wire.
It is a job best suited for two, but I did most of it by myself, and I am still alive. Make sure you use gloves and have a long sleeve shirt on when dealing with the chicken wire, or you will end up with arms full of bloody scratches and silver hands. Don’t ask me how I know that…
Pretty it’s not.
Doable it is.
Easy to move it is.
Affordable it also is.
But most of all, it is effective. So far. Knock on wood. And metal, and plastic, and fabric, just in case. God knows I don’t have time to build another fence…
So you, dear deer, and groundhogs, and rabbits, stay out!
Go eat someone else’s brussels sprouts.
How do you keep deer and other creatures out of your garden?