Keeping Deer Away from Your Garden
Living in an area with a high deer population means your landscape may be just too tasty for these beautiful creatures to resist. But, before you throw up your hands in gardening defeat, try a combination of the three most popular remedies; deer-resistant plants, deer fencing and deer repellents for the most effective outcome.
If given a choice, deer prefer plants that are bland. In general, they shy away from certain aromatic plants or those plants whose foliage or sap they find irritating. Remember, though, if they're starving, deer will feed on plants they normally avoid. If you're looking for shrubs that are easy to plant, very hardy, and unappealing to deer, try these 3.
With today's smaller yards, more and more people are starting to landscape with vines for vertical color and interest. To keep your neighborhood deer browsing elsewhere, check out these 3 beautiful vines that are off the deer menu.
You don't grow your perennials flowers for anybody's dinner (although day-lily tubers are pretty tasty in salads). To keep deer from turning your garden into a buffet, choose from an assortment of plants they dislike. To get you started, here are 3 perennials deer don't like.
Tips on Using Deer-Resistant Plants
Don't try to use deer-resistant plants as a substitute fence around your property. It won't work. Also, if deer-resistant plants are interspersed in your landscape, they won't keep deer from feeding on the non-resistant ones. Just as if they were at a buffet table, deer will pick and choose what they want to feast on. Instead, use these plants in your landscape as enduring (and, to deer, unappetizing) features.
Enclosing your entire yard with fencing may not be possible, but you can consider putting deer fencing around your vegetable or cutting gardens, back yard, or other such select areas. The most popular type of fencing is a black, polypropylene mesh which can come in a variety of heights generally ranging from 4’ - 7.5’. Deer have a problem with depth perception and certain colors. That's why the black color makes it difficult for them to distinguish the top of the fence. Instead of trying to jump over it, they simply move along it, and, with luck, away from your landscape.
There are two common types of repellents: contact repellents which are applied directly to the plants; and area repellents, which are applied in areas you wish to deter deer from visiting. Most repellents contain natural ingredients and provide a smell that turns deer off (and sometimes humans, too). Depending on the time of year, they need to be re-applied to remain effective.
Use Trial and Error to Guide You
So, if the local deer population has decided that your landscape is their own personal smorgasbord, don't fear. Depending on your situation, and some trial and error, you can use a combination of deer fencing, deer-resistant plants and deer repellents to encourage your 4-legged friends to feast elsewhere, and you can enjoy their beauty from a distance rather than close up.