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Oh, Deer! 9 Ways to Banish Deer From Your Garden

Oh, Deer! 9 Ways to Banish Deer From Your Garden

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September 13, 2010

Spring and summer bring the flowers and beautiful vegetable gardens, but the seasons also bring the most lovely deer to your property line, in search of tender shoots and protein-rich veggies to munch on. These tips can help prevent those beautiful deer from chewing on your carefully-tended plants!

Deer-Busting Tips and Tricks

  • Include pungent flowers and plants in your landscape design. A deer's sense of smell is very acute, and they look for greener pastures if they encounter strong smells in your garden. Any overpowering scent can be suitable, including chives, mint, and garlic.
  • If you have a dog, let it out into your yard. Deer are very wary of dogs, and quickly head in the other direction if they smell your dog or hear it barking.
  • Keep up with the fruits and veggies. Pick fruits as soon as they become ripe, and don't let vegetables linger on the vine. The fewer tasty things a deer can find in your backyard garden, the better.
  • Shiny and unfamiliar objects can make deer keep their distance. Introduce wind chimes, scarecrows, sundials, and reflective lawn ornaments and see what happens.
  • Annoy their sense of touch. Plant barberries or cleome near the entrance to your garden. The deer won't like the feeling of it, and just might look elsewhere to munch.
  • Motion-activated sprinklers can work wonders to ensure deer keep their distance. The sudden surprise of a burst of water is enough to confuse the deer and send them running for the hills!
  • Use protective tree wraps to keep deer from feasting on young, vulnerable trees. The wraps go around the trunk of small trees to prevent deer from pulling away the bark or otherwise damaging the tree.
  • Thick, tall hedges of boxwood or short needle spruce make for naturally deer-resistant landscape design by preventing the deer from seeing what is behind them. In this case, out of sight, out of mind.
  • When all else fails, fence it in. Your best bet is a solid, stable fence at least eight feet tall, for deer can easily jump over anything shorter. Electric fences might work, but keep in mind that savvy deer may simply jump right over them.

Remember, what works to keep one deer away might not phase another in the least. Maximize your chances of success by using more than one deer-repellent trick at a time.

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