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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - February 13, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Privacy Fence to Exclude Deer
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

This is not a plant question but I hope you will answer it. I have a huge backyard and a low picket fence. Over the years the deer have fallen in love with this area and have eaten much of my native plantings. Time to restart my hobby of native gardening for pollinators. I want to get a six foot privacy fence. My friends say they don't have deer in their backyard because of this kind of fence. What is your opinion?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants agrees with your friends. I'm pretty sure a full grown deer can jump a six foot fence, but I'm also pretty sure it won't.

To see why, let's go inside the deer's head. Since the deer can not see what is on the other side of the privacy fence, it can not know whether a jump will land it in the middle of a tasty buffet of newly set out transplants or if it will land in a brair patch, swimming pool or next to a territorial rottweiler.

Deer survive by being cautious, so they won't take the chance.

 

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