Even though it’s been too cold to garden this spring, somehow my sister has managed to make a few vegetables grow in our garden anyway. In fact, they’ve grown tall enough for deer to notice.
That wouldn’t be a problem if our wind wall wrapped around the entire garden area, but it doesn’t. There are two sections made of 5 foot wire fencing that deer could easy jump over. That means we had to implement a deer deterrent as soon as possible.
The deer deterrent had to: be colorful, move freely (be kinetic), light up at night, and be out of the gardener’s way. My solution–that incorporated all the above–was a wind-powered, bicycle wheel modern scarecrow that lights up at night with solar lights.
How I Made a Modern Kinetic Scarecrow
Last year when I made my bicycle parts chandelier, I discovered our local bike shop dumpster. I went back this week and brought home two bicycle wheels of equal diameter. I needed one with the axle and one without. These formed the kinetic part of the “scarecrow.” I then found a length of 4-inch diameter PVC pipe and cut it into four foils (see image). Holes were drilled in four places on each of the wheel rims, and at the top and bottom of each PVC foil (near one edge). The foils were then screwed into the two bicycle wheel rims to form a wind-mill type structure. I dropped a metal rod into the axle of the bottom wheel and slid the rod into another metal pole for strength. This pole was secured to one of the posts in the vegetable garden (click on the drawing to enlarge the details).
For nighttime visibility, I added red reflective tape at the top of each foil and attached solar lights to the inside of each foil. To attach the solar lights, I burned tiny holes in the PVC and tied the stems of the solar lights on with wire.
The video below shows how the kinetic scarecrow lights up at night.
Oh, yes, I also tied tinsel around one of the bicycle wheels for added scaryness.
P.S. A couple nights ago we accidentally left the gate open to the garden and the next day saw deer prints in a couple of the beds, but hardly anything was touched. Our conclusion? The deer spook must have scared it off!