Durable row covers for thwarting deer?
April 24, 2018 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations, based on personal experience, for durable, reusable row covers (supports and cloth/mesh, or both together in a single product) that I can use to protect my greens from deer.
posted by ryanshepard to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
With the voracious deer we're faced with, the only thing we've found to be effective is a perimeter fence. If you don't keep them at a distance, they find a way through anything like that.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:41 AM on April 24, 2018

Agree with humboldt32 - the only effective solution I've found for deer/elk is hog fencing or other heavy gauge wire with stakes to keep them out of the area. They've circumvented every type of net/cover I've tried otherwise.
posted by OneSmartMonkey at 10:46 AM on April 24, 2018

We assemble a fence every year made with 3/4 inch pvc pipe and deer netting. The 12' supports are zip-tied to dowells stuck in the ground. They have T-joints at the top to receive the cross beams. The netting is also zip-tied to the supports. At the end of the season we roll it all.
posted by carmicha at 10:47 AM on April 24, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding humboldt32, my aunt's second husband made it into Sunset Magazine with his post-and-wire fence across the back of his lot which butted up to a field very popular with deer. It was probably about 6ft tall, but there's probably a rule of thumb for how high deer can jump.
posted by rhizome at 12:16 PM on April 24, 2018

American Nettings makes a product called "multi-row and drape netting." It's green, lasts a few years, and works wonderfully. You need to mount it over some bent PVC or other framing unless you care to pick it up and put it back down every day so plants don't grow through it. Their website is down but their number is 800-811-7444 It's pretty expensive, but I've found nothing else that works.
posted by Patapsco Mike at 12:28 PM on April 24, 2018

I had a plant that got bitten back to nothing by deer several years in a row. Eventually, I got some green wire "fence" about 8 inches high (hardware store item) to put up around it. I criss-crossed twine over the top. The deer did not stick their noses in. After a couple years, I was able to move up to a taller fence.
posted by SemiSalt at 3:15 PM on April 24, 2018

Build a box enclosure using livestock panels. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/catalog/corral-feedlot-panels. A reasonably inexpensive bolt cutter will allow you to cut to manageable sizes.
posted by X4ster at 7:39 PM on April 24, 2018

In my brief past life as a part-time farmer without perimeter fencing, I had a portable electric fence around the garden, the kind you would use for animal enclosures. (It doesn't hurt that much, so pet-friendly.)
posted by toastedcheese at 1:26 PM on April 25, 2018

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