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Deer Control Protection For Garden Plants

deer control netting image, jpeg, picture

Romaine lettuce damaged by deer

Oh, 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 free-loaders.

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 blackberry plants.

Male buck deer

arborvitae deer pest netting winter protection

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 time-consuming.

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 years.

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 are required.

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 good source.

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

Animal Garden Pest Control - How to control a variety of garden pests



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