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Height for deer fencing?

Hi folks,

I'm in Maryland and looking to put up some deer fencing around my garden bed. I know that official recommendations are for 8-10 foot tall fence.

However, I'm wondering if that is necessary for a smaller garden size, like 10'x10' or 16'x16'. I know that deer don't like jumping into small enclosures - has anyone had success with a 4, 5, or 6 foot fence for smaller size gardens?


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Location: Mid Ohio

Re: Height for deer fencing?

I think that the deer that jump eight feet fences are trapped inside the fence. I have a lot of deer, about a dozen come through once or twice a day. There are a couple of old wire fences around too. The deer pick the lowest spot of a 4 ft fence to jump and and crush that down over time. They are very lazy. My own garden fence is a normal stock fence of somethign like 4.5-5 ft and the deer prefer to crawl through holes in it. Some did jump a few times so I strung white cotton clothes line at about 5.5 ft and 6.5 ft over top of it just so that they could see something was in their way. It worked for several years, but the fence decayed even more so I strung plastic deer fencing from the top clothes line.

So if I was going to make a deer fence on the cheap for my fat stupid lazy deer, I would go for T-posts, some cheap wood stakes to boost the height, three levels of cotton clothes line, two low so that the deer actually feel something in front of them, and seven foot plastic mesh deer fencing hung from the top line.

For more money, I would add stock fencing to the settup.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Height for deer fencing?

Of course, you have different deer there. We have the muleys here.
From what I have seen here a 6 foot fence pretty well excludes the
deer. I know they can hop a 4 or 5 foot fence and likely a six foot one too, but they don't usually try the six footer.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Super Green Thumb
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Re: Height for deer fencing?

Yeah, the community garden where I have a plot has a 6' fence around it. One time someone left the gate open and a deer got in. Then it was trapped in there, so it jumped out, almost from a standing start, sailed over the fence. But they don't like to jump IN over it, into the smallish enclosure. So it works ok to exclude them.
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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Central Sand Hills South Carolina

Re: Height for deer fencing?

My yard is surrounded by a 4 foot fence. The deer will be standing right beside the fence, and then will suddenly just spring across. I think that it takes at least 6-8 feet to really discourage standard sized deer from entering if they wish.
Eclectic gardening style, drawing from 45 years of interest and experience. Mostly plant in raised beds and containers primarily using intensive gardening techniques.

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Super Green Thumb
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Location: Oregon

Re: Height for deer fencing?

I use the invisable deer fence, it is black and hard to see, the deer are not sure how high it is so they do not jump it.
The things I do are an evolution and I am always learning. My way is not the only way of doing things, and I may and will change the way I do things as I learn better ways. So any advice that I give is in that spirit.

Greener Thumb
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Re: Height for deer fencing?

I also use the seven foot black mesh, but tie white cloth strips into the mesh at about five feet high every three or four feet. The white cloth gets their attention that there is a fence. No problems after the fence went up. Before that, I fed the deer every night.
Paul F

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Location: 5B

Re: Height for deer fencing?

Just my experience as a hunter and gardener--

Deer seem to like to "take thy easy route" when ever possible. If the gate to the garden is open I personally say they will walk right on in over jumping in. I have a 5 foot fence with a 7 foot gate opening for the tractor to (barely) fit threw. I have seen deer walk in the open gate, but jump out over the fence when startled.

At the end of the day tho, they are wild animals and there is no way to predict what they will do, but a fence will maybe act as a deterrence for them. Someone I know sprayed their garden fence with the organic deer repellent stuff , set up a trail camera and haven't had one deer jump over they fence. Fence or repellent? Im sure a fence wouldn't hurt
"Optimism is a good characteristic, but if carried to an excess, it becomes foolishness. We are prone to speak of the resources of this country as inexhaustible; this is not so."
― Theodore Roosevelt

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