Defends With Benefits

Friday, September 25, 2020

Defends With Benefits – A Simple Solution With Bonus Rewards

This is a follow-up to last year’s “Lions and Tigers and Pears – Oh Deer!!” in which furtive wildlife trash our best-laid plans.

In Summary: we spend a lot of time every spring pruning, fertilizing and spraying the multiple fruit trees around our property. We even did a video tutorial on proper pruning and spraying – for “maximum fruit”. That term is in quotes because, in spite of diligent husbandry, all the fruit mysteriously disappeared overnight!

Fruit Trees Before and After

We discovered that our local deer family had a wonderful late-night snack at our expense. Every bit of fruit disappeared!

Rural Living Comes With Natural Consequences

You’d think we would know better. Living in a rural area has taught us to protect our gardens from marauding deer. In our defense, we did cover the fruit with heavy mesh bags – thinking that would protect them. Well, that plan didn’t work. We found bags scattered about the property – torn up with bite marks through the mesh. Adding Insult to Injury.

Protective Fruit Bags
“Best Laid Plans…”

At the time we tried being philosophical – “Well, at least it went to our local wildlife.” But I was determined not to let it happen next season.

Occam Was Right – A Simple Solution Is The Best

After doing some basic research, and rejecting the more drastic measures (e.g. smelly repellent or hunting), it looked like I needed a high fence. Unfortunately, the trees are next to huge, immoveable boulders, enclosing a much larger area. That is impractical and not cost-effective. So, after more research – and a suggestion from a fellow Active Rain member, Alexandra Siegel – I devise Plan B – Deer Netting.

Deer netting is used in vineyards throughout Northern California as an environmentally-friendly solution. So I fashion some make-shift head gear for each tree, and drape the nets over each tree.

Defends With Benefits

And Voila! It works! Sure, enough, no midnight raids this year. (Or, if they tried, they weren’t successful.) And – Surprise! There is a “catch” to using the net – it actually serves as a net. You can see in the photo that securing the net around the trunk creates a pouch that catches fruit. No more hitting the ground and having bugs and predators get them first.

So, putting an end to the midnight raid is a huge relief. No no rotting repellent, shooting deer, no oversized fence. Just a simple but elegant solution that defends with benefits. Looks like we’ll be using safety nets again next year.

If you’d like to hear more about the Trials and Tribulations (but Joyful Pleasure) of life in the country, give us a call.

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