As adorable as they are, do not let the fuzzy charm of these mammals lower your guard as a gardener. Deer are capable of wreaking havoc in your garden bed and turning it upside down if they are not deterred.
They are a beautiful sight to behold as you sit on your porch with a warm cup of coffee, but they can destroy hours of hard work in the garden. These herbivores simply cannot help themselves from munching on delicious trees and shrubs and even leafy vegetables. Here are a few ways to know how to keep deer from eating plants.
Grow Plants That Repel Deer and Rabbits
If you live in a region where these white-tailed creatures love to feed on your outdoor plants, we recommend being flexible with your plant choices. Avoid growing plants that these hungry deer love such as; young leafy plants such as lettuce, pansy, and ivy. Fruits trees such as apple trees and strawberry plants are a particular favorite amongst deer.
Instead, you will want to grow plants that have characteristics that do not appeal to deer, such as plants that taste bitter, have an unappealing odor, or are wrapped in thorns. When a deer comes across such a plant their sense of smell will pick up the unappealing odor and it will walk away without trying to enter further into your garden.
The following are deer resistant plants:
- Agapanthus African Lily
- Fountain Grass
- Sea Holly
- Herbs such as rosemary, sage, and mint
- Butterfly Bush
- Spirea shrubs
- Crape Myrtles
- Carolina Cypress
- Ocala Anise
Use a Deer Fence for the Garden
One of the simplest and most effective solutions to keeping deer away from your precious plants is to put up a deer fence. Understandably, most gardeners may not want to opt for this option as installing a fence is time-consuming and expensive.
However, you need to evaluate the damage that deer do to your beautiful plants and determine whether a fence is a worthwhile investment. If you choose to go ahead with setting up a fence, it will protect future plants for years to come.
The best part? You will not have to limit the kind of plants you grow. You will be able to grow leafy and sweet-smelling plants without worrying if they are prickly or bitter enough to ward off the local deer population.
Weigh the costs and benefits carefully before deciding on installing a fence.
If you have chosen to put up a fence, please note that it needs to be tall enough to deter deer from entering. Some deer can jump over an 8 ft. tall fence without too much trouble.
The most popular choice for a deer deterrent fence is the traditional 4×4 metal bar made from black mesh metal wires. Note that deer may not be able to see your fence until they bump into it, so consider attaching a neon-colored fabric or colorful piece of cloth. After all, you do not want a deer to get hurt in the process of protecting your plants.
Install Deer Motion Detectors and Sensors
A fence can make you feel like you are caged in your living space. You may end up locking yourself in instead of keeping the deer out. So if you decide that a fence is not up to your alley, an outdoor motion-activated system may be the solution to your deer problem.
Every time there is the motion sensor is activated, you will be alerted through the motion-sensing system. You can then come out and physically ward off the deer. This system works for both unwanted intruders and deer, so you get to strike two birds with one stone.
Caution: The deer may learn how to come to a stop or trot softly, which will not trigger the motion detection system. In such a case, you might have to add a device that squirts water.
Best Deer Repellent for Plants
Did you know? Bar soap is a natural deer repellent that can be used to keep deer away from your precious plants. Head over to the grocery store and buy yourself regular bar soap!
Tie bars of soap with wires, ropes, or fishing line and hang them vertically on tree branches or shrubs to repel deer. If you are worried about your hands getting dirty or creating a soapy mess in your garden, you can wrap the soap bars in tissue or netting.
The smell of soap tricks deer by making them think there is a predator nearby. Once alerted by its smell, deer will think twice about coming anywhere near your garden and its plants. This trick works like a charm to keep other mammals such as rabbits and mice away from your plants. You can also use deer repellant spray on your plants to rid your yard of deer.
Turning your garden into a deer-proof landscape is an investment, and it can cost quite a bit.
However, depending on how frequently your garden is barricaded with a herd of deer, you may have to take measures of various degrees.
Get started on repelling deer from your garden and keep them from eating plants