How to Fence to Keep Deer Out of a Garden

Overview

Deer can become a chronic garden problem for both veteran gardeners and newbies to the world of gardening. Although they can jump more than 6 feet in the air, deer typically opt to go under a fence rather than over it, according to West Virginia University. By constructing a simple, inexpensive deer fence, such as a two-wire electric fence, you can closely monitor your garden daily to determine if deer are still invading.

Step 1

Remove obstacles along your fence line and trim the grass down to less than 3 inches in height. Install steel T-posts as the corner posts for your deer fence, hammering them into the ground with a post driver. Sink them to a depth of at least 12 inches to secure them firmly in the soil.

Step 2

Clasp plastic clip-on insulators around the corner posts approximately 15 inches from the ground. Thread a single strand of 14-gauge electric fence wire through the set of corner post insulators, pulling it tight to ensure that it doesn't droop in between the posts. Secure the wire in place by wrapping it back on itself.

Step 3

Pound steel T-posts into the ground along the outside edge of the electric wire to provide line posts for your deer fence. Position the posts approximately 24 to 30 feet apart. Install clip-on insulators on the line posts 15 inches from the ground. Gently push the electric wire through the holding clasps on the front of each line post insulator to provide additional support for the wire.

Step 4

Place an additional insulator on each corner and line post approximately 30 inches from the ground. Run a second strand of electric wire through the set of insulators. Cut white plastic bags into 2-inch-by-6-inch strips. Tie the plastic strips around the two electric fence wires to make them more visible for the deer, positioning them every 3 to 4 feet along each wire.

Step 5

Connect the two strands of electric fence together with a strip of insulated cable. Peel back the insulation from both ends of the cable and wrap the cable itself around the metal wires. Connect the bottom wire of the fence to the positively charged fence terminal on the fence energizer in the same way.

Step 6

Sink three 6-foot-long galvanized grounding rods into the ground in 10-foot intervals. Make sure the closest grounding rod is no more than about 20 feet from the fence energizer. Connect the three grounding rods together with strips of insulated cable and metal grounding clamps. Attach the closest grounding rod to the negatively charged grounding terminal on the fence energizer with another strip of insulated cable.

Tips and Warnings

  • Accidental electrical shock could occur. Unplug your energizer when you're working near it. Post warning signs.

Things You'll Need

  • Mower
  • Steel T-posts
  • Post driver
  • Plastic clip-on insulators
  • 14-gauge electric fence wire
  • Wire cutters
  • White plastic bags
  • Scissors
  • Insulated cable (rated for use with electric fences)
  • Fence energizer
  • 6-foot galvanized grounding rods (3)
  • Metal grounding clamps

References

  • West Virginia University: Deer Control in Home Gardens (pdf)
  • "Solving Deer Problems;" H. Peter Loewer; 2002
  • Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management: Deer
Keywords: deer garden fence, deer in garden, garden fence, electric garden fence

About this Author

Regan Hennessy has been writing professionally for 11 years. A freelance copywriter and certified teacher, Hennessy specializes in the areas of parenting, health, education, agriculture and personal finance. During her time with Demand Studios, Hennessy has produced content for Ehow, Answerbag and Travels. Hennessy graduated from Lycoming College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.