Solar powered electric fence - deer prevention
As my beautiful white picket fence has finally aged to the point where it is no longer stable, I have removed it from the garden and made plans to convert the large garden bed into a long series of raised beds.
Because of the fence I built more than a decade ago, I have had ZERO problems with deer over the years. When that fence came down, it was almost alarming how fast the deer seemed to materialize out of thin air to sample my goods. Within a week, most of my tomato, tomatillo, grean bean and pepper plants were utterly decimated. Knowing I had to act fast if I was to salvage this growing season, I decided to put up a Fi-Shock solar-powered electric fence around the garden. I put one up around the Crop Circle garden last year and it worked to keep raccoons from climbing the fence, but that was only one wire. This would have to keep deer out, and that's always a challenge.
I am happy to report that since putting up the electric fence, no deer has set hoof into the garden. Though the fence is only five feet high (and we all know deer can jump much higher than that, I put random fence posts into the garden to support plants and also to form obstacles to keep the deer from jumping in. I also set garden stakes into the soil with empty aluminum cans impaled to the top. When the wind blows, the cans rattle. Not sure if that helps, but it can't hurt.
As you can see in the photos, I use standard plastic conductors on t-fence posts. The conductors come in large bags from Lowe's and only cost a few dollars. I purchased the Fi-Shock unit from Amazon.com for about a hundred dollars. The insulators are mounted on the posts 10- to 12-inches apart. I alternate hot and ground wires to maximize the chances that a deer will contact both. A hot wire a few inches off the ground may help to deter rabbits and ground pests. I created a small entrance between two fence posts that I secure with a bungee cord or two, to allow me entrance into the garden.
Thus far, I have not had to break out the razor wire.
This is a work in progress. I have some ideas on a better gate into the garden, one that will block rabbits and critters from walking right on it. I will post more on that once I finalize the ultimate solution. :)