Thursday, September 2, 2010
Green nontoxic garden pest control: deer fences
Return of the Critters! Just when the herbs and vegetable in my garden began to pop out and things got exciting, the deer wanted in on the action too. Two weeks ago, the kale had grown full and luscious enough that I was just about to harvest my first batch. When I went outside to clip some leaves for dinner I found that someone had been there first: To my dismay, each kale plant had been munched down to leafless stumps! Deer had also nibbled some of the parsley, though they had kindly left about half the leaves.
I quickly sprinkled a generous helping of Rabbit & Deer Scram over the entire garden, but not wanting to risk losing any more of my dinner to the deer I decided it was time to move onto plan B of protecting my garden.
Up until now I had avoided fencing off my garden with netting - as many gardeners do in these parts. I liked that my garden was open, and the fencing was not aesthetically pleasing. At this point, however, I realized that it would either be the fencing or no more vegetables for me to eat.
I soon found that there is a variety of fencing materials, and so I chose materials that were the least intrusive to the look of the garden. I found a light black netting that seems to disappear somewhat into the background because of how lightweight it is. Instead of heavy wooden posts to hold the netting up, I used svelte and sustainable bamboo poles.
I erected 12 bamboo poles around the perimeter and corners of the garden, stretched the black netting around the poles to create a fence and held it in place to the poles with twist ties. One section of the fencing I open and close to enter and exit and hold the netting door in place with twist ties.
The netting fence has been in place for a week. And while I still prefer the garden without the fencing it has seemed to work in keeping the deer away (fingers crossed). The parsley has since recovered and is full again. The kale still looks sad and out of the six kale plants only two have started to recover with small new leaves.
Tools and Materials:
Netting and bamboo poles - Agway or other yard and garden store
Twist ties - saved from old bread loaf packaging
Bio Integral Resource Center (BIRC.org) for common-sense pest control in home and garden.
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