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How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden
Use these natural solutions to keep deer from doing damage to your yard and garden!
Deer are beautiful animals, but not when they are eating your yard and garden. With the time, money, and effort you put into gardening and landscaping, no one wants to come outside to see their prized flowers eaten or plant beds stepped on by deer hooves. Bucks who wander into your garden may also scrape their antlers on tree trunks and other hard surfaces, such as wooden structures in your garden or posts and columns on your home. Luckily, deer proofing your yard and garden is easier than you might think!
Install an effective deer fence.
Deer are extremely agile and resourceful creatures. White-tailed deer can jump almost eight feet high! That said, the best way to keep them out is to create a barrier that they can’t sneak through or jump over.
The default height for most backyard fences tends to be around 6 feet. However, deer can jump that height pretty easily. If you are going to install an upright fence to keep deer out of your garden, it should be 8 feet tall in order to be effective. However, deer can’t always jump a great height and distance at the same time. If you had a lower, 6-foot fence slanted outward, deer may not be able to clear that obstacle and will look to graze elsewhere.
Lastly, deer are less likely to jump into your yard if they can’t see what’s on the other side. Solid and double fences that restrict their view may deter the deer, and don’t need to be quite as tall. If you don’t have the means to install a new fence, plant trees or large shrubs along your fence to obscure the landing area.
Use deer-resistant plants.
Deer have a powerful sense of smell, which they use in the wild to find food and detect nearby predators. However, it’s also something we can also use against them. As a natural solution to keep deer out of your yard and garden, try planting deer-resistant plants. The deer won’t like the smell, and it will encourage them to look for food elsewhere. For example, deer hate the smell of marigolds, mint, tansy, garlic, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, and lavender. If a deer is hungry enough, he will still eat almost anything unless it’s poisonous. But in general, deer try to avoid plants with prickly foliage, plants with furry leaves, and smells they don’t like.
Create a natural barrier.
Another way to keep deer out of your yard or garden is to create a natural barrier. These natural barriers can actually be quite beautiful and made to fit with your landscaping. For example, deer avoid rocky areas so you could create a rock garden perimeter around your yard. Many people love rock gardens because they can be quite beautiful and are a drought-friendly way to decorate. Just remember to vary the size of the rocks you use so that you don’t accidentally give the deer a clear path to your plants.
Alternatively, you could consider mass planting flowers and shrubs that deer DO like to eat, such as hydrangea, on the outside of your garden. This sounds counterintuitive but is actually quite effective. The idea is that the deer may graze a bit on the outside of the garden, but they won’t go out of their way to get to the flowers or shrubs in the middle. Ultimately, this method should still leave you with plenty of blooms to look at!
Surround your garden with fishing line.
One way to scare the deer away is to surround your flower beds and vegetable gardens with fishing line. To ensure this is effective, the fishing line should be installed at two or three different heights and pulled tight. The idea is that the deer will become startled when they walk into the line and will run away to find food elsewhere. Additionally, the fishing line is clear so it won’t take away from the beauty of your landscaping since you won’t really be able to see it either. However, use this idea with caution as there is some risk that the deer could become tangled in the fishing line, resulting in injury.
Let your dog out.
If you happen to have a dog, let him earn his keep! Deer have a large flight instinct, and will run for the hills if they see a dog coming for them, even if it’s a small little chihuahua. The deer aren’t going to stick around when they see dogs of any size making a mad dash at them. Of course, the idea isn’t for your dog to attack or hurt the deer. It’s just to give them a good spook so they leave your plants alone!