I’m from the countryside, and I’m seeing deer almost every day. Two times my small apple trees were eaten and also cherry trees. It’s not the best feeling, and the bad thing is that you can’t do much about it, especially when you have a large garden. So in this article, I will try to explain everything what deer love and how to protect them from deer.
If you live in an area where deer roam freely, you know how much damage they can do to your garden and the trees in your yard. But there are ways to protect your property and garden vegetables, and this article will show you how. In this article, I will tell you all I know about how to keep deer out of the garden without a fence. Even from food plots, bird feeders, and sunflowers.
Which Are Deer Favorite Plants?
Whenever deer did something to my garden, they did it in the night. They don’t mind about daylight also, but they are more careful then. The problem is – deer loves almost all kinds of plants, but there are some plants that are deer favorite plants.
They love cedars and yews, wintercreeper, cypress, roses, and other ornamental shrubs. They like all kinds of fruit trees, so protect them at first! Protect them and roses too. Tulips, daylilies, and other lush herbaceous plants are favorites for deer in spring and summer.
Their favorite also is English ivy, lettuces, beans, peas, hostas, impatiens, and pansies.
These are deer favorite food, but I can tell you that they are eating almost everything from my garden, even cucumbers. I think I have done something bad to them because I have never heard that deer eats cucumbers.
How To Protect The Garden From Deer?
1. Putting too many plants, which I mentioned above, together. Image yourself, when you are hungry, and you find a table, which is full of your favorite food. Hard to resist and even people will not scare them!
2. Put deer favorite food closer to the house or some other buildings. Don’t put them near the forest or ditches.
3. Plant some secret plants which are repellent for deer. These are plants of strong scent. It can be garlic, chives, mint, or lavender. Think about anything that smells strong!
4. Plant a thick hedge of boxwood or some spruces around your garden. Plant everything that will cover the view and deer will not be able to see what’s in your garden.
5. Deers love long grass, so cut them frequently.
6. Pick all ripe fruits.
7. Put away all crops after harvesting something.
8. Get some light or wind chimes. They are afraid of them!
9. You can wrap all-new plants into plastic wraps!
10. My favorite thing – add some motion-activating water sprinklers. It’s so funny to watch them running away!
11. Last and the best – build a fence. Obvious, huh? For example, my garden is so big that I can’t build a fence, so I’m using a rope or fishing rope all over my garden. Three levels, close to the ground, and you are set!
The best form of protecting your garden from the damage caused by deer is to put in a good fence. You can put in wire mesh fencing to keep out the deer. The fence should be at least 8 feet high. If you have a fence shorter than 8 feet, you could also string a wire above the fence, 7 to 8 feet off the ground.
Deer don’t like jumping underthings, and the wire will deter them. You can tie rags to the wire to make it visible to the deer. There is also cage-like fencing available, with a top to completely enclose small areas to keep animals out.
Electric fences also work to keep deer away. You can purchase a kit at garden supply centers, or buy them online. These kits include insulators, a charger, and wire. The charger is powered by a 12-volt battery or household current.
For a four to the five-foot fence, one hot wire should be sufficient. Add outriggers to the fence posts-the hot wire should be about 3 feet out and a little higher than the top of your mesh fence. Keep the brush and other foliage cleared from the area of the electric wire to prevent shorting out.
There are certain odors that repel deer as well. You can soak the rags that you hung on the wire in kerosene. Deer don’t like strong odors. There are less flammable options too. Deer don’t like the smell of humans, so you could hang small mesh bags filled with hair on the wire, or on your fence.
You could use clippings saved from haircuts, or use the hair you pull from a brush. Mothballs and cat litter also work. You can buy deer repellent, but commercial replants can’t be used on food plants. They can be used, however, for ornamental plants and trees. Plan on reapplying commercial repellents every month or so. Ornamental and fruit trees can be protected by surrounding the trunks with wire mesh.
One more option is to get a dog. Deer are easily frightened by a large barking dog. Chain your dog out in the area you want to be protected, and he’ll scare the deer away. This is not a method to be used alone, as you can’t leave your dog out there chained all the time, but is still usefully combined with other methods.
All these options can be useful in protecting your garden from deer damage. But the most effective one is simply to put in the 8-foot tall fence around the entire garden. If the deer can’t get in, they can’t create a problem.
6 Tips to Help You Repel Deer from Your Garden All Year Long
Use Plants and Shrubs that are Natural Deer Repellents
Deer are heavily dependent on their sense of smell and will avoid anything that smells unappealing to them. Deer have food preference in terms of plants and will eat foods and plants that they prefer only. You can outwit them by planting trees and plants that they find repugnant and help repel them. Here are some natural deer repelling plants that you can plant in your garden:
- Oriental Poppy
- Russian Sage
- Tiger Lilies
Use Scented Deer Repellents
Applying deer repellents to your plants is effective in fooling deer’s sense of smell and taste. The repellents that you apply to your trees give off a scent that is similar to a decaying animal to the deer. This decaying smell will make your garden unappealing to the deer’s sensitive nose.
Set Up a Wind Chime in Your Garden
Repellent sprays work when deer are feeding on your plants and trees but will not help when the deer start to use your trees as rubbing posts. The best way to prevent this is by giving them the impression that your garden is not a safe place for them to visit, forage or rest in. Wind chimes tend to make noises at a random times, whenever the wind blows and they’re inexpensive as well so they will keep on startling deer at all hours. Deer may become used to the sound of one wind chime in particular so you need to be a little creative and keep on changing the wind chimes from time to time.
Scatter Garlic Around Your Flower Beds
Garlic is a natural deer repellent and something that deer hate, you can take full advantage of this by scattering tiny pieces of it on the ground where you have planted your seeds. This is bound to repel the deer from your flower beds.
Install Underground Sprinkler Systems
You can also install underground sprinklers with timers which are pretty effective against deer. You can also upgrade to motion-activated sprinklers to keep deer away from your selected flower beds and trees for extra measures. This is harmless to the deer as well as helpful to your plants.
Install Solar Powered Night Lights with a Screw-In Motion Detector
You can also resort to using solar-powered night lights with a screw-in motion detector to repel deer from your garden. Installing solar-powered night lights with a motion detector will startle and frighten the deer when the motion detector detects their movement and switches the lights on. This will eventually force them to leave your garden and start avoiding it in the long term.
Deer can be pretty smart when it comes to eating which can be very frustrating to homeowners who pride themselves on the quality of their gardens and plants. The only way to outsmart the deer is by understanding them to know their likes and dislikes to take effective action against their destructive appetites.
It’s impossible to keep deer out of your garden all the time. If deer came once and got something to eat, deer will come again and again. You will put a fence from ropes, after some weeks deer will learn how to bypass them. After some months deer will be used to bad-smelling plants. After a year, even a sprinkler won’t be an obstacle. But maybe it will. Just try one of these methods and share your experience!