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Another effective and inexpensive deer fence.

COUNTRYSIDE: I fence my garden with chicken wire. It's light-weight, easy to move and it works. And I don't always fence the perimeter. For example I plant a couple double rows of peas and pole beans with corn or potato rows in between. I run the fence around the two or three rows of peas or beans. The distance between fences is four to six feet apart. Deer need several feet to jump into a fenced area and back out again. I have several fences running back and forth in my garden. I may fence the corn and potatoes until they are knee high and the deer don't bother them, then use the fence somewhere else.

I use hunting or target arrows, broken clothes drying rack dowels, old broom or mop handles, ski poles or anything the right diameter to fit through the chicken wire holes to fasten it down. I have some two, three and four-feet high wire. The two-foot wire goes around the carrots, lettuce, beets or other small plants to keep the rabbits out. The taller wire can be bent down easily to step over when I need to get into the garden. Since I rotate my crops, the fencing is easily taken down in the fall and rolled up to use again. Some of the wire is used to fence my blueberries and raspberries during the winter to keep the deer and rabbits out.

I don't weed or run a tiller between the rows. Studies have shown the less you disturb the soil, the healthier it is. I use mulches and corn gluten meal to keep the weeds down. Corn gluten meal can be bought in bulk at the feed store or under a brand name at garden centers. It is a natural product that prohibits the germination of seeds and adds nitrogen to the soil. After my vegetables are up, I scratch around the plants, run a hand cultivator through the rows or drag a rake down the row to loosen the soil and disturb any weeds already sprouted. Then I sprinkle the corn gluten by hand around the plants or with a lawn spreader down the rows. It has reduced the amount of weeding needed immensely.--Margie Novak, Kennan, Wisconsin
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Author:Novak, Margie
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Words:376
Previous Article:Lasagna gardening and newspapers.
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