How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Green Beans And Squash!
Growing green beans is not difficult as long as you keep the varmints away from them. Looking at the half eaten plants of my green beans, I noticed multiple deer tracks in the rain drenched rows of the bush beans. Some of the plants had been trampled on and mashed into the ground, while others looked like they had been ravaged by the recent tornadoes.
Deer are basically vegetarians, eating bark, twigs, grass and green leaves when available. I guess that's why they like my beans so much. I hope they don't discover the newly sprouted purple hull peas and the great big bushy leaves of Squash I have just planted.
I immediately got into my old pickup and drove to the local seed and feed store for a solution to my problem. Outside the feed store I asked a couple of old men sitting on a bench what would keep deer out of your garden. One guy advised me to build a fence, since that was the only thing that would absolutely keep them from my beans. The other old fellow said that a.30-06 would do the trick also, only more permanently.
Inside, the available items ranged anywhere from powdered insect repellent that you spread on the perimeter of the plot to sonic sounds that drive deer, raccoon, rabbits and other vegetable thieves that might threaten your hard worked plot of ground.
There are repellants that you dust on the plants as well as a liquid you spray on your vegetables, especially your beans. One of those products actually break down into a fertilizer. I'm not an organic grower and obviously my deer aren't either, so we didn't need that one.
Every time I lay down some of the liquid stuff on my beans that supposedly keep deer away, they eat double helpings of the green beans. The powder I dust the leaves with, must taste bad, for they don't eat as much of the dusted plant.
I have experimented with home remedies, such as mixtures of soap, eggs and peppers and garlic. That didn't seem to work very well. My next experimental formula included human hair, dish washing detergent and ground up dead fish. This idea didn't work either! I was still losing beans.
Then there are electric fences. Almost guaranteed to keep deer away, the enclosures can be AC powered, solar powered fences or battery operated fences. The deer are not harmed but only shocked a little. It only hurts badly when you grab it to see if the electricity is on.
Small animals such as rabbits or raccoons are generally not affected since the live wire is set high enough off the ground that these animals can't reach it. It's a different matter if you place the electric wire eight inches off the ground, but then you run the risk of deer not touching it.
If you are going to war, it's necessary to know you enemy. I know that deer don't like old growth wild grass, but they will eat tender new growth of this vegetation if nothing else is offered to them, like my green beans.
I've tried keeping a few rows of just plowed barren ground on the perimeter of my garden but that hasn't helped a lot. They still walk on over and eat the tops of my beans, even when it is muddy and they sink up to their knees.
While I like to watch deer munching on grass in a meadow, I don't like them eating my garden. Nothing I have tried seems to work. I don't want an electric fence because I'm clumsy and the deer really seem to enjoy liquid and granulated repellants. I refuse to put up a fence just on general principles.