Deer can be a major problem for many gardeners. Many areas in the country are surrounded by a growing deer population.
Mild winters, hunting limits and wildlife preservation have all contributed to the rising numbers of deer throughout many areas of the country.
While deer are beautiful animals full of grace and softness, they also love to eat many landscape plants. There are several methods of detracting deer from your plants and I will cover the basic ideas in this article.
- Deer have no front upper teeth.
- Deer are capable of jumping over an eight feet tall fence.
Is a Deer Proof Garden Possible?
Four methods include: fencing, scare tactics, environment distractions, and planting deer-resistance plants.
The only way to rid your garden of deer is to build a cage around your yard! This option is obviously not feasible for any home owner. Since deer can typically jump up to 8 feet, your fence will need to be at least that tall.
A fence that is shorter may help to deter the deer, but eventually if they want to come in, they will jump right over the fence. You will need to completely encompass the area you want to keep the deer out of. Closing only 1 or 2 sides will deter the deer for a short time, but they will eventually build new pathways and find their way back into your yard.
The best choice for deer fencing is any metal woven fencing material. Simple strands of wire will not work as the deer will wiggle their way through the lines! Even barb wire will not keep out the deer. You can find fence that is coated with green paint to help it blend into the landscape.
If you only have a few plants that you want to keep deer-proof you can cage those with fencing and then lay bird netting over the top of the fence so the deer cannot poke their head over the fence and eat the plant.
You can also try various scare tactics to prevent the deer from destroying your landscape. Homes that are close to a wooded area or have many trees close by are affected by deer the most.
Cutting down some trees will take away some of the deer’s comfort, and discourage them from coming close to your home. You can also try scarecrows, windmills, pinwheels and any other motion maker. Noise makers may also help to detract the deer from your home. Changing the location of the objects will prevent the deer from becoming accustomed to the objects and thus diminishing their effects.
Another deterrent that acts on the deer’s fear is the urine of any predator. The urine of coyotes has been proven to be the most effective to detract the deer. This tactic requires application weekly to remain effective. Another great scare tactic is pets. Dogs and even cats will help to protect your home from deer. Deer will not find your landscape plants worth a fight with any dog!
Did You Know?
Plants suffering from deer damage tend to appear torn, or pulled apart.
There are also several methods of detracting deer from your garden. These methods include applying compounds and placing objects throughout your landscape. Sulfur, eggs and peppers have been proven to detract deer.
Placing soap throughout your landscape may also keep the deer away! There are also several chemicals sold at garden centers that are used to keep deer away from certain plants. These chemicals can be sprayed on every so often to stay fresh on the plants.
Planting Deer-Resistance Plants
One last option for deer proofing your landscape is to grow plants that deer generally do not eat. Many herbs can be planted through out the garden to keep the deer away. These choices include: lavender, chives, garlic, Sage, and Thyme.
Marigolds are also known to resist many garden pests due to their smell. You can find a complete listing of deer resistant plants throughout the web, and in many gardening books.
While no garden can be deer-free, you can try some of these methods to reduce the deer that are snacking on your plants. There is always the chasing method that is known to rid deer from your yard as well. Run after them yelling as loud as you can and you can bet they won’t be back for at least a few weeks!