If you have ever planted a garden just to come out the next day and see that it’s been eaten by the deer, you know what I mean when I say “Oh Deer!” They are beautiful animals, but they can do serious damage to your expensive landscaping.
Here are some tips on how to keep the deer from ravaging your gardens.
First and foremost, our number one suggestion is to chose plants that tend not to be eaten by the deer. It’s tough, I know...you really want that rose shrub, or those hosta plants, but if they get demolished by deer, it’s just not worth it. So, you will need to know what plants are on the “less edible” list for the deer.
We’ll make a list of some of the most common ones at the end of this article.
Some other ideas to reduce deer damage are barriers and repellents. Barriers such as fencing, although not completely effective since deer can jump really high, is a common method especially for vegetable gardens. You just can’t choose only vegetables that the deer won’t eat. So, fence in that vegetable garden. Fences aren’t necessarily desirable for entire landscapes though, mostly due to the overwhelming cost involved. So, repellants are another method to deter deer. Again, repellants are not always one hundred percent effective. There are 2 types of repellants: Contact and Perimeter. There are some good commercially prepared spray-on products that work pretty well, but be aware that they can smell bad to humans and also need to be reapplied regularly, especially after rains. These are considered ‘contact’ repellants. If you miss applying after a rain, all your efforts may be in vain. Deer just seem to know when the eating is good. There are lots of homemade remedies too. For more ‘contact’ repellants, there are recipes that include ingredients in the sprays such as cayenne pepper, garlic, eggs, etc. For ‘Perimeter’ type repellants, there are ideas that include Tin pie plates clanking and waving in the wind, soap tied to branches, mesh bags with human hair and the like. Barking Dogs and Motion Sensor lights/sounds can be fairly effective.
So, back to our suggestion of the most effective thing to do. Use ‘deer resistant’ plants...these are plants they tend to not like to eat. Here’s a short list of some of the most popular plants that are deer resistant.
TREES: Spruce, Fir
SHRUBS: Lilac, Spirea, Potentilla, Juniper
PERENNIALS: Yarrow, Ornamental Onion, Heuchera, Coreopsis, Liatris, Lamb’s Ears, Peony, Sage, Nepeta, Veronica, Ajuga, Cranesbill, Turtlehead, Globe Thistle
We hope you deer proof your gardens the natural way! No bullets, no poison, no electricity, just common sense and use of naturally deer resistant plants. Happy Gardening!