Deer Control Protection For Garden Plants
Romaine lettuce damaged by deer
People are fascinated, when they see deer in a field, and especially when
a deer or two is right in their backyard. For gardeners, it can be quite
the opposite fascination.....errr frustration. While we all love the sight
of a graceful deer, the sight of deer in your garden is another matter. If
you've got them in your area, they are all but impossible to keep away from
your vegetable and flower plants.
It's no wonder, that deer are attracted to your yard. Your garden offers
the finest dining that a deer has ever seen. Just about everything you are
growing, is on their list of favorite foods.
In suburban neighborhoods, deer populations are difficult to control. Hunting
is not allowed, and natural predators are absent. Gardeners have limited
ways of protecting gardens from deer. We've got several ideas to help you
to protect your flowers, shrubs, and vegetable garden from these marauding
Did you know? Deer seem to eat almost anything. They do not like thorny
plants, but may still munch on the leaves, flowers and growing tips. For
example, they eat the tips of roses, flower and all, yet leave the mature,
thorny stems untouched. They will also eat the tender tips of raspberry and
Deer Control Methods and Tips: Here are some ideas to provide deer
protection for garden plants, trees, and shrubs.
Repellent Sprays- Repellent sprays can be an effective control. Repellent
sprays must be applied regularly. Re-apply them after a significant rain.
Use repellent sprays on trees, shrubs and flower gardens. Do not use them
on vegetable crops, or fruit trees. Repellent sprays can be expensive, and
Deer Fence- A fence is the most effective control method. Unfortunately,
it is impractical for some applications, like flower beds, where the fence
takes away the beauty of the garden flowers. The fence needs to be several
feet high, and completely enclose the plant. Deer have no problem jumping
over a 4' chain link fence.
Did you know? Deer avoid double fencing, spaced 3-4 feet apart. They
are afraid of getting caught between the two fences, and will move on in
search of an easier meal.
Deer Netting Sheets and Tree Bags- This is a very effective deer control
method. Deer netting is lightweight and easy to setup/take down. Shrub and
tree netting can be used year round, protecting trees and shrubs in winter
from roaming deer. The green color lets this garden netting blend into
the natural setting. Garden nylon mesh netting sheets can be used on larger
trees, and as a cover for flowers and vegetables. It can also be used as
a fence around a garden.
Tip: Don't buy the single strand netting. It doesn't last. Use long
lasting, strong, multi-strand, U/V protected deer netting, which lasts for
Baby Powder- A few gardeners I know swear by this trick. Sprinkle
baby powder lightly over the leaves. Deer leave the plant alone. Like other
repellents, it needs to be frequently re-applied.
Fox Urine- Spray the urine of this natural predator around the outside
border of the garden. Deer think a predator is in the area, and move on to
your neighbor's garden. Available at local garden stores, regular applications
Question: How do they collect fox urine!? I do not want the job!
Homemade Deer Repellent Spray - Put 2 or 3 old eggs in blender along
with 2 Tablespoons of finely minced garlic, a generous dash or two of cayenne
pepper & tobasco sauce. Add 1 cup of water with couple drops of any cooking
oil. Puree this and strain it. Then, put it into a spray bottle. Spray regularly,
and after each rain, on shrubs and plants you want to protect.
Human Hair- Deer recognize humans as a natural predator. One sniff
of a human, and off they bound. At least, that's the theory for those who
spread human hair around their garden. Barber shops and hair salons are a
The Shotgun- Sorry Bambi lovers. Where allowed, this is an effective
means of control. Obviously, it's not an option in urban or suburban areas.
Irish Spring Soap- Hang bars of Irish Spring soap around the garden.
Does it work? Collect some used bars of soap and give it a try.
Fabric Softener Sheets- Fasten them to stakes around the garden. The
scent deters them. A pumpkin farmer shared this tip.
Invisible Fishing line- String it around the garden, high and low.
The deer can't see it. When they run into it, they get confused and go elsewhere.
Deer resistant plants and
deer resistant flowers - see our list of flowers and plants which
deer find distasteful
Garden Pest Control - How to control a variety of garden pests