Portable deer guards are a great way to protect your garden, trees and shrubs from hungry deer. Since chemicals and other deterrents rarely work and most deer can easily jump a 9 to 12-foot high fence, a portable guard is a simple, effective solution. You can eliminate the expense and hassles of protecting your entire property by simply building and placing a lightweight, portable deer guard around the garden items you want to protect.
Step 1: Measure Your Garden
Whether you're planning on protecting just a few trees, or an entire row of plants, you'll need to measure the area around each spot. It's often easier to do this by uncoiling rope or heavy cord around the plants in a square shape, then measuring the rope. This measurement is important because it will determine how much PVC pipe you will need. The pipe will only need to stand out a few inches from trees, more for shrubs. Double the length of the rope. For instance, if your tree requires 8 feet of PVC pipe to encircle the tree, you will need 16 feet of pipe for the top and bottom. You will also need four vertical poles at least 3 to 4-feet high depending on the height of your plant.
Step 2: Cut and Assemble Your PVC Pipe
Cut the PVC pipe so the 4 pieces form a square. You will need 4 pieces for the top and 4 pieces for the bottom square. You will also need 4 poles for the sides. Use connectors called “PVC side outlet 90's” to connect your pipes. The “90's” stands for the angle. If you want to store the guards, get the kind with slip sockets or quick release fittings and do not glue the pipes together.
Step 3: Construct Your Deer Guard
Using the pipes and connectors, make a square base around the plant. Make sure your third hole faces up on the bottom square to accommodate the side poles. Place the 4 vertical pipes into the connectors, then fit your top square (connectors facing downward) onto the top of the vertical pipe. Press tightly.
Step 4: Add Mesh Netting
Depending upon the type of plant, shrub or tree you want to protect, you may or may not need to add mesh netting to the pipes as well. To add the netting measure the diameter of the square and cut your mesh to fit. Make sure the mesh reaches to the bottom and top of the guard. Attach the mesh to the PVC pipe using plastic cable ties at 5-inch intervals on the top, bottom and sides. The mesh will also keep small animals as well as deer away from your plants. You can drape mesh over the top of the guards to keep birds off of your plants as well.
If you find that animals are knocking the guards over, simply stake them into the ground at opposite corners using lightweight tent pegs and cord.