The list of natural predators to your outside garden is long and mostly troubling for the amateur gardener. It isn’t unheard of for the beginning gardener to spend all day planting his or her favorite veggies just to have them snapped up by the weather, or worse – the dreaded deer.
You can’t control the weather, but you can control the deer; your solution is a significant and sturdy deer-proof fence!
Deciding to fence up your garden to protect it from wild animals is just the first step of the process; however – you’ll be needing help for the rest of it, and we’re here for that. On the subject of deer-proofing, we recommend your first question be, “How high does the fence need to be?”
Allow us to answer that for you – by breaking it down into steps
Step 1: Research Your Wildlife Population
Here in Georgia, we are host to a variety of critters that will have no problem ruffing up the most protected of gardens. As a result, it isn’t just our deer population that we have to worry about. By finishing this step first, you can determine if a fence is required to solve your problem. So do a little bit of research on your area’s wildlife before going on to step 2. You won’t regret it.
Here’s the resource we used for the state of Georgia; maybe it’ll help you find one for your area.
Step 2: Don’t Neglect the Foundations
Before you consider how high your fence should be, go ahead and make sure your foundations are steady. If your fence posts aren’t up to snuff, chances are it won’t matter how high your fence is – cause it won’t work.
And remember, your foundations should also root a fair distance into the ground. Otherwise, they won’t hold up in the weather or digging animals and your fence will fail. Generally speaking, our experience has taught us that a fence is only as good as the posts that hold it – so don’t skip out on this step in favor of deciding how high your deer fence should be.
Step 3: How High Should my Deer Fence Be?
Having assured that both step 1 and step 2 are complete, we finally arrive at step 3 and can ask ourselves the million-dollar question, “how high should this fence be?” The answer is – it depends on your strategy. On average, a standard white-tailed deer can jump 8 feet high, so your fence CAN be approximately that high to prevent these deer from leaping into your property.
However, white-tail deer cannot jump both 8 feet high and 8 feet across. Another opinion is to to build a six feet high fence that is angled outward. The additional angling will prevent the deer from getting full use of its 8 foot high jumping prowess. We recommend you angle the fence at or nearly at 45 degrees to achieve this effect – but be careful not to compromise your posts in doing so.
Your third and final option is to build two fences that vary in height from 5 to 6 feet about 4 feet away from each-other. Deer are especially prone to the fear of being trapped – for that reason, we’ve found that deer are less prone to attempt a jump that may trap them between two fences.
Of course, for larger acreage, a combination of these three techniques may be required. Often times, terrain will limit your fencing options, so don’t be afraid to branch out and be less uniform in your approach. A good fencing expert can help you with that.