The Scarecrow is a clunky-looking, inconvenient, and very effective way to blast the deer away from your plants and make unsuspecting small children howl.
You hook it up to a hose, set the stake in the ground with the sprinkler pointing out from your beds, turn on the water and stand back. Anything that activates the motion sensor will cause it to let loose a soaking jet of water that moves back and forth, ensuring that any visitor to your garden, welcome or not, will stagger away, vowing never to sniff your roses uninvited again.
It works great! The only time things get munched while you are using this is if the batteries wear out (replace them twice a year or so) or if you forget to turn it on.
Of course, it means that in order to enjoy strolling through your garden, you need to go and turn them all off. This is an exciting process which requires close attention to one’s angle of approach and only occasionally results in you getting wet, once you are used to taking a safe pathway in.
If I sound less than enthusiastic, pay me no mind – my clients who use these rave about them. There are a lot of places in the garden where they can be used very effectively, and with just a bit of testing, in most gardens you can figure out how to rig them so they only blast things that come into the beds, allowing safe passage through pathways.
Of course, I make a living coming into people’s garden beds and working, so my viewpoint is colored a bit. When one hasn’t yet finished one’s coffee and is starting the first job of the day, it is relatively easy to forget to turn off the scarecrow, which results in a very awakening blast of water. This makes for a delightful start to a frosty morning.
The Scarecrow is neat because it covers a pretty decent area – 1200 square feet – and it doesn’t use as much water as you might expect – only 2-3 cups per deterrence. I have seen deer walk up to a protected spot and get hit, and OH MY GOSH do they ever jump! Even after years of the scarecrow’s protection, they never get used to it nor do they seem to figure out that there is a very small safe angle of approach.
Just keep the little children at bay, because it’s right at the eye level of a small toddler, and if we think the blast is startling and damp on our thighs, just imagine the shock that would ensue after a good spray to the face!
Update 6/09 Outdoor Motion Lighting has an interesting post suggesting some other uses for the Scarecrow motion sprinkler, including keeping dogs off your lawn and Jehovah’s Witnesses from knocking. Oh dear.