Friday, October 23, 2009

Burlap Deer Fence

Once again the good folks at North Creek Nurseries have outdone themselves in creativity. Check out this alternative to a traditional deer fence! In the Mid-Atlantic region, especially here in southeast PA, we have more deer than can be supported by the native vegetation (like most areas of the country), so the hungry deer set themselves upon our gardens with blissful intent...much to our dismay when we step outside in the morning only to find your lettuce patch or hosta collection eaten to the nubs!
Traditional deer fence is a black woven poly fence, available at heights from 6' to 10'. FYI...most deer are able to jump any 6' fence. There are tricks to planting hedges close to the fence, as research shows most deer are reluctant to make a double jump, as they cannot get up the momentum needed to clear a second hurdle that is taller than the next. Also, creating garden rooms where the deer cannot clearly see out, or an excape route, makes deer nervous and less likely to linger while nibbling on your prized perennial or veggie garden.

This fence was put up by sinking posts on 20' centers and running wire from post to post. #2 wire works great, the thicker the better to stand up over time. The wire was tightened up as much as possible, then nailed into the posts. Next, a 8' wide roll of burlap was unrolled along the length of the fence, and looped over the wire that stretches from post to post. To secure the burlap in place (here comes another genius moment) they used common nails woven through the layers of burlap, much like you pin a button on a shirt. Check out the close up to see how its done.

Need a door for that fence? Make one out of PVC and attach the burlap in the same way. When asked about deer encounters, I was surprised to here they did not have any deer problems this year, nor did they have any rips or tears in the burlap, due to animals or weather. This summer was particularly brutal in terms of constant rain and wind, but their burlap fence has remained intact all year. I will report back next year to see how it fares in year #2. Until then, if youre having deer problems and need a economical solution, try out the burlap fence! It probably would work on bunnies too! Although you might want to run another wire at the base to strengthen up the fence. Dont want to go to all that trouble, or have neighbors that would chastize you for putting up any fence? Try liquid fence products (


  1. Have you tried havahart's Deer Off? It's more effective than liquid fence and the label says it lasts for 3 months, so I barely have to apply it.

  2. Thanks for the tip! I havent tried that exact one...will give it a go if deer come knocking this year in the veggie garden. Can you spray the havahart Deer Off on edibles?