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Best Ways To Keep Deer Out Of The Garden

Keep Deer out of the Garden

Table of Contents

Welcome to the perennial struggle of every garden enthusiast – our love/hate relationship with deer. As idyllic as it may seem to share your green haven with these graceful creatures, the reality often involves trampled flowers, nibbled leaves, and frustration. Here, I’ll delve into the best ways to keep deer out of the garden and explore strategies that promise to transform your garden from a tempting buffet into an impenetrable fortress. It’s time to reclaim our garden oasis and say goodbye to the relentless nibbling. Let’s outsmart the deer and celebrate a thriving, deer-free sanctuary!

Understanding the Deer Dilemma

Nasturtium is a deer resistant plant.Deer are known to eat flower gardens for several reasons:

Food Source: 

Deer are herbivores and need a variety of plants for nutrition. Flower gardens often contain plants that are appealing to them as a food source.

Taste and Palatability: 

Certain flowers and plants may be particularly attractive to deer due to their taste and palatability. Deer may prefer some types of flowers over others.

Seasonal Availability: 

Depending on the season, deer might find flower gardens a convenient and accessible food source. In times of scarcity, they may venture into gardens for sustenance.

Lack of Natural Predators: 

In urban or suburban areas, deer may lack natural predators, making them more comfortable exploring human environments, including gardens, for food.

Home Range Expansion: 

Human development often encroaches on deer habitats, leading them to explore new areas for food, which may include residential gardens.

To protect flower gardens from deer, people often use deterrents such as fencing, repellents, or planting deer-resistant plants. Understanding when deer are most active and what draws them to your garden is the first step in outsmarting these clever creatures.

Smart Garden Design: Minimizing Deer Appeal

Lavender is a deer-resistant plant.Creating a garden design that minimizes deer appeal involves selecting plants that are less attractive to deer and incorporating deterrents. Here are some tips for a deer-resistant garden design:

Choose Deer-Resistant Plants:

To start with try to opt for plants that are known to be less appealing to deer. Examples include lavender, salvia, peony, yarrow, and daffodils. Deer-resistant plants often have strong scents, fuzzy or spiky textures, or bitter tastes that deter deer. You can read about my 10 favorite deer resistant plants here.

Interplant with Strongly Scented Plants:

Intermix strongly scented plants with others to mask the scent of more attractive plants. Herbs like rosemary, thyme, and mint can help in this regard. My personal favorite is lemon scented Marigolds!

Use Fencing:

To keep deer out, you can always install a deer-resistant fence around your garden. Fencing should be at least 7 feet tall to be effective against deer, as they are skilled jumpers. Alternatively, use double fencing with a spacing of a few feet between fences to create a barrier that confuses and discourages deer. This can be an expensive proposition but for areas with high deer pressure it may be your best alternative. I’ve seen this deer netting used locally and it has done a good job at keeping deer out. It is also cost effective compared to a solid fence.

Use Repellents:

You can use deer repellant like soap.You can also apply deer repellents around the garden. One of the best products on the market is called Deer No-No from Gardener’s Supply. It stops deer from browsing your garden beds and borders with the pungent odor of citrus. If there is a particular plant the deer love to munch on you can spray it with Bonide’s Repels All. It’s completely natural and affordable!

Avoid Deer Favorites:

Identify plants that are highly attractive to deer and try to avoid them in your garden. Examples include roses, hostas, and certain fruit trees. These plants are like giving candy to a child. They’ll come running!

Do-It-Yourself Recipes:

You can make your own deer repellent with garlic and lemon.There are several DIY deer deterrents that you can try to protect your garden. Keep in mind that effectiveness may vary, and it may take a combination of methods to discourage deer. Here are some DIY deer repellants:

Homemade Deer Repellent Spray:

Mix a solution of water, egg, garlic, and hot sauce.

Blend together and strain the mixture.

Spray the solution on plants, reapplying after rain.

Soap Repellent:

Hang deodorant soap bars or soap shavings in mesh bags around the garden.

The strong scent can deter deer.

Hair and Human Urine:

Scatter human hair or place bags of hair around the garden.

Use urine-soaked rags or containers of human urine placed strategically.

Spicy Spray:

Combine crushed red pepper flakes with water.

Spray the mixture on plants to create a spicy deterrent.

Lemon-Scented Items:

Place lemon-scented items, such as lemon peels or lemon-scented soap, around the garden.

Deer are often repelled by citrus scents.

Use Predator Urine:

Purchase predator urine, such as coyote or fox urine, and spread it around the garden. The scent may make deer think predators are nearby.

In A Nutshell

By combining these strategies, you can create a garden that is less appealing to deer and reduce the likelihood of them causing damage to your plants. Keep in mind that no method is foolproof, and the effectiveness may vary based on local deer populations and conditions. Experiment with these strategies to find the best way for you to keep deer out of the garden.

FAQ

Let's keep Deer out of the Garden

Why do deer pose a challenge to garden enthusiasts?

Deer are herbivores in need of a variety of plants for nutrition, leading them to target flower gardens. Their presence can result in trampled flowers, nibbled leaves, and frustration for gardeners.

What attracts deer to flower gardens?

Several factors contribute to deer being drawn to flower gardens, including the availability of plants as a food source, taste preferences for certain flowers, seasonal scarcity of food, the lack of natural predators in urban areas, and home range expansion due to human development.

How can I protect my flower garden from deer?

To protect your garden, consider using deterrents such as fencing, repellents, or planting deer-resistant plants. Understanding when deer are most active and what attracts them to your garden is crucial in developing effective strategies.

What is the key to a smart garden design that minimizes deer appeal?

A deer-resistant garden design involves selecting plants that are less attractive to deer and incorporating deterrents. This includes choosing deer-resistant plants, interplanting with strongly scented plants, using fencing, applying repellents, and avoiding plants that are favorites of deer.

What are some examples of deer-resistant plants?

Opt for plants like lavender, salvia, peony, yarrow, and daffodils. Deer-resistant plants often have strong scents, fuzzy or spiky textures, or bitter tastes that deter deer.

How effective is fencing in keeping deer out of the garden?

Fencing is a highly effective method if done correctly. Install a deer-resistant fence at least 7 feet tall, or use double fencing with a spacing of a few feet between fences to confuse and discourage deer.

Are there commercial repellents available for deterring deer?

Yes, there are commercial repellents such as “Deer No-No” from Gardener’s Supply, which uses the pungent odor of citrus to deter deer. Another option is Bonide’s Repels All, a natural and affordable spray that can be applied to specific plants.

Can I make my own deer repellent at home?

Yes, you can create a homemade deer repellent spray using a mixture of water, egg, garlic, and hot sauce. There are also DIY methods using soap, human hair, urine, spicy sprays, lemon-scented items, and even predator urine to deter deer.

Is there a foolproof method to keep deer out of the garden?

While no method is foolproof, combining various strategies such as plant selection, fencing, and repellents can significantly reduce the likelihood of deer causing damage to your plants. However, effectiveness may vary based on local deer populations and conditions.

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As part of Graceful Gardens for decades, I’ve garnered a wealth of knowledge about growing Delphiniums, perennials and annual flowers, and I am eager to share these insights with all of you.

Amanda Shenstone

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