Deer have been in my tiny garden. They have destroyed my snap peas. They have trampled on my lettuce. They have eaten my roses. They have even consumed top half of my tomato plants.
This is the first year I have had any difficulty keeping my garden secure from the deer which freely roam our neighborhood. Until this spring, the deer have ignored my garden in favor of more easy pickings. Really, my garden is no easy to navigate. It is extremely steep, built in three stair step levels three feet deep and about forty feet long. The top level is covered in native California flora which it turns out the deer are not eating. Instead they are hopping down the bank and having at my mandarin orange tree on the middle tier and feasting on the kitchen garden plantings on the first three foot high level even though parts of it are covered with wire netting.
I am seriously sad. Each spring we plan and plant our square foot beds and lovingly water and weed. I knew the deer had spotted our garden because last month all the rose buds disappeared one night. Understandably, things have gotten much worse, nutrition-wise, for the deer since the wild fire swept through the mountains which is their habitat. I know I should share. But it's gone too far. They're taking everything.
What can I do to save the little bit of garden I still have? Any ideas other than chasing the deer away with a shotgun?