High deer populations and bad weather can strain habitat and make deer eat plants they don't normally like - which means you have to be proactive in keeping deer away from the tasty treats in your garden. For the most effective defense, try a combination of the three most popular remedies: deer-resistant plants, deer fencing and deer repellents.
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 hungry enough, deer will feed on plants they normally avoid. If you're looking for shrubs that are hardy, easy to plant and unappealing to deer, try these three.
People landscaping in smaller yards are starting to grow vines for vertical color and appeal. To keep your neighborhood deer browsing elsewhere, check out these 3 beautiful vines that are usually off the deer menu.
There are flowers you can grow to keep deer at bay, too. Here are 3 perennials deer don't like. But growing deer resistant plants won't prevent deer from munching on selections from your garden they do like. For that you'll need to rely on some additional measures.
Enclosing your entire yard with fencing may not be possible, but you can consider erecting deer fencing around your vegetable garden, back yard, or other select areas. The most popular type of fencing is a black, polypropylene mesh, which generally comes in heights ranging from 4 - 7.5 feet. Because deer have a problem with depth perception and certain colors, the black mesh makes it difficult for them to distinguish the top of the fence. Instead of trying to jump it, they move along it - and, with luck, away from your landscape.
Two common types of repellents dominate the market: contact repellents, which are applied directly to the plants, and area repellents, which are applied around areas you wish to deter deer from visiting. Most repellents, like Ortho® Deer B Gon® Deer & Rabbit Repellent, contain natural ingredients and emit an odor that turns deer off. Depending on the time of year and rainfall, repellents may need to be re-applied to remain effective. With some trial and error, you can discover a combination of deer fencing, deer-resistant plants and deer repellents that can encourage your 4-legged friends to feast elsewhere, and you can enjoy their beauty from a distance rather than close up.