Having a garden in the Sierra foothills is an interesting give and take with Mother Nature. Consider the following:
- we have abundant sunshine and warm days but little rain, so we need a drip irrigation system
- the hills and pine trees make our yard very scenic, however it was a challenge to find some reasonably flat land with good sunlight for our garden
- we have tons of wildlife, so bees readily find our crops and pollinate them, but there are deer out there every night wanting to eat our plants
That last point was driven home a bit over a month ago. I ventured down to the garden while Kathleen was out of town and immediately found something wasn’t quite right.
Yeah, the plastic “deer resistant” fence had been broken right near a post and at least one of our “furry friends” had managed to feat upon our plants.
What was once a bunch of nicely growing pepper plants had become mere green sticks overnight.
And our previously amazing tomato forrest was quite leafless and barren down low. The berry plants looked even worse!
Needless to say, I spent some time patching it up that night and we were thankful they left most of the tomatoes in place. Given sufficient time, light, and water they had a good chance of recovering and continuing to produce.
The next day I picked up Kathleen from Nevada and, after arriving home, she headed down to the graden to see the damage for herself. And wouldn’t you know it? The deer had broken in again!
Clearly we needed to take things up a notch or two. So I orded three fifty foot rolls of the tallest wire fence that we could get at Lowe’s. Kathleen picked it up that afternoon and we installed it that night.
It’s been a bit over a month now and the garden has been deer-free. Many of the plants have recovered and some are even producing new fruit. As long as the cold nights hold off long enough, we still expect to have a pretty good (though not great) harvest this season.
Lesson learned: Deer will chew through plastic fence to get to your garden. Use wire fence. There a are a few more pictures available if you’re curious.