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Finding that balance

Hello all,

I have taken on an allotment which I am excited about but.....I know there are Muntjac Deer that like to eat people's veg on the site.  As well as rabbits and rats.

I want to attract wildlife (birds, butterflies, bees etc) but I want to stop the deer, rabbits and rats from eating what I try to grow. 

The site is next to a farmers field so it is quite exposed, gets very heavy frosts and has clay soil.  The plot I have has fencing all around it.  6ft fence along the farms field and then 4ft around the other three sides (wire mesh).  Can the deer jump this?  How do I check if rabbits are getting in and rats?

Thanks

Sam :)

Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,543

    Try and find the latest episode of Beechgrove Garden in i-player.  One of the gardeners discusses the problems of rabbits and deer on the estate he manages.   Assuming you can't build a high fence or bury a barrier to prevent rabbits burrowing, you're gong to have to erect specific defences such as cloches and cages and tunnels which can be movable or permanent fixtures.  I'd suggest chicken wire for small things and builders metal mesh for reinforcing concrete for bigger ones - light and indestructible and can be cut to size with bolt cutters.

    You might also want to try chicken wire hats for individual veggies, such as this one made by a new gardening friend to keep pigeons off his brassicas and salads.   Roll a strip into a cylinder the diametre you need then hold it round a sturdy object while you scrunch one end to make the handle/top.  Reinforce the sides with a bit of garden wire of needed and peg down over plant..

    image

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Obelixx says:

    Try and find the latest episode of Beechgrove Garden in i-player.  One of the gardeners discusses the problems of rabbits and deer on the estate he manages.   Assuming you can't build a high fence or bury a barrier to prevent rabbits burrowing, you're gong to have to erect specific defences such as cloches and cages and tunnels which can be movable or permanent fixtures.  I'd suggest chicken wire for small things and builders metal mesh for reinforcing concrete for bigger ones - light and indestructible and can be cut to size with bolt cutters.

    You might also want to try chicken wire hats for individual veggies, such as this one made by a new gardening friend to keep pigeons off his brassicas and salads.   Roll a strip into a cylinder the diametre you need then hold it round a sturdy object while you scrunch one end to make the handle/top.  Reinforce the sides with a bit of garden wire of needed and peg down over plant..

    imageSee original post

     Thank you, I will try all of those.....only caught up on gardener's World last night, Beechgrove garden catch up tonight lol.  I'll have a look what there is on the plot as previous owner left lots of useful bits and bobs - which I thanked him for.

    Sam :)

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,902

    Yes, deer will easily jump that - even those little muntjacs. 

    Physical barriers are really the only thing that work longterm with deer and rabbits. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl says:

    Yes, deer will easily jump that - even those little muntjacs. 

    Physical barriers are really the only thing that work longterm with deer and rabbits. image

    See original post
    Do I need to look at heightening the fence...would 6ft do?
    Sam :)

     

  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,312

    To stop rabbits you need some chicken wire laid flat at the foot of the fence to stop them burrowing under. They don't jump or climb though.

    I don't know on the muntjacs - try 6 feet and see if it works. It's probably a bit like that joke about tigers - one bloke is putting on his trainers and the other one says "you can't run faster than a tiger" and he says "I don't have to, I just have to run faster than you". If your garden is harder to get into than other plots nearby, the muntjac will probably go there instead - unless you grow something especially tasty to them. We get red deer here but they have only come into the garden when I was trying to grow sweetcorn. They don't bother with carrots and broccoli.

    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
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