Deer nets save money

Heavyweight, inexpensive deer netting protects flower and vegetable gardens from hungry deer—they won’t take the risky leap. And if they bump into the netting, they’ll run away scared.

Wrap 8-ft. high polyethylene netting around support posts, poles, and even trees to fence deer out. To tend your garden, lift up the netting and walk under it, or unwrap a corner and reposition it when you leave.

Protecting a 25-by-25-ft. garden will cost about $150. When the season is over, roll up the netting and store for next year. It will last for 8 to 10 years.

Power up to keep deer out

Electric deer fences will protect the same square footage for $500 to $600. The most effective electric fences use a double-fence approach. The outside fence consists of a single wire, 18 inches above the ground. Three-feet inside is a second fence with two strands of wire, 10 inches and 24 inches above ground.

The fences’ depth (deer are not long-jumpers) and its 4,000-plus volts deter the pests. A single shock, which feels like a static charge, won’t harm deer, pets, or kids. Powering the fence with a charger hooked up to the house current will cost less than $1 a year. When the growing season is over, dismantle and stow the fence: It should last for 10 seasons.

(Check your home owners association bylaws or local ordinances before installing an electric fence.)

Hardwood fencing costs most

Building a wooden privacy fence is like pulling down the blinds—deer won’t be able to see what’s in your yard. But your budget will know what’s going on. Materials to safeguard a 25-by-25-ft. plot with an 8-ft.-high spruce fence cost about $1,400.

Installation requires digging holes for and securing posts, attaching rails and pickets, and adding gates of equal height. The permanent structure will last for 15 years or more.