Deer are specially adapted to reside on the edges of forests and grasslands. These ‘edge animals’ graze in the open plant-rich boundaries of forests from evening to morning then go back into the woods to rest during the day. This means a lush peri-urban garden with a nearby patch of forestland is a perfect deer habitat, and if you are living in such a place; and you don’t want your garden to get ruined by a deer invasion; you should better learn how to keep them out of your yard.
Although, keeping them away from your plants is a hard task since they are talented jumpers and can cross any fence, which is less than 8 feet tall. Though they look innocent, gardeners must understand that they can be an enemy for their beloved garden/yard.
Deer have favorite foods, they love high protein crops like beans, peas, as well as fruit trees and a variety of nutritious vegetables, so you could just avoid growing such crops in your place. But if you like to have vegetables in your area or wish to grow some fruit crops, you must know some tactics to keep your garden safe from these predators. Some of the many such techniques are discussed below.
As stated earlier, deer can easily jump through the barriers which are less than 8 feet tall, and placing an 8-foot tall wire fence may also harm the jumping animal. Considering the wildlife safety, one must build an opaque fence, so deer cannot gaze upon the treats beyond the barrier.
Motion Sensor Tools
You may also place the motion sensor sprinklers around your garden. Deer don’t like such surprises. Motion sensor lights are also used to scare off these invaders.
Thick hedges like boxwood can help keep deer out. Line these plants along the boundaries, they act as a border or wall and prevent deer from passing through. Deer can’t see through hedges, which also prevents them from taking the risk of proceeding towards an unseen place.
Do Strategic Planting
Growing daffodils in your garden may prove best to resist the entry of these grazers. Grow roses, which are thorny such as rugosa roses. You can also grow American Holly, angel’s trumpet, bayberry, bearberry, blue fescue, blue oat grass, cactus, flowering tobacco, iris, larkspur, and lavender.
Position plants that deer like to graze, closer to your vicinity because even a hungry deer will avoid coming closer to a human dwelling. At garden borders, plant some deer repellent aroma plants such as garlic, mint, marigold, or lavender. The scent of these plants keeps them away and helps your garden to grow safely. Also, know that deer avoids bushes with thorns, and they don’t like to go somewhere, where they have to pass through such thorny plants. Hence you should line the perimeter of your garden with some prickly vegetation.
Remove Deer Attractants
Harvest your produce as soon as it is ready. Ripe fruits and vegetables produce strong aromas, and deer have a powerful sense of smell. Harvest them timely; it will prevent deer from smelling and invading your yard.
Own a dog and let him walk into the garden as often as possible. The presence of a pet and his scent keeps deer at a distance from your place. Even after the pets go inside, their scent can stay in the garden for some time.
Another useful and least expensive method of keeping these animals away is using a repellent. These repellents can be made at home, or you can buy them from the store, either way, you must use different repellents in the shuffle, because deer are quick learners, and they may learn this tactic of yours.
- Homemade repellents: Deer dislike hot spices, you can mist some homemade chilli spray on your plants. Mix a pinch of red pepper flakes in a pan of water and use it as a repellent spray.
- Commercial repellents: Repellents containing the urine of wolves or any other natural predators of deer are most effective. Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
Deer don’t like loud sounds or bangs. Use firecrackers or create a tin can wind chime, or any other such noise-producing equipment. But don’t become the cause of noise pollution.
Electric fences are beneficial but are not allowed in many municipalities. Before installing them, review your zoning laws.
Electric deer fences can be solar-powered, which can also minimize your electricity expenses. Be careful while working around these fences, and completely avoid using them if you have children or pets.
Some other techniques which may help include:
- Wrapping of new plantings: Place a net over fruits, bushes, and bulbs.
- Scare them: Unfamiliar objects like scarecrows and sundials scare wildlife, so these can be used in your garden.
- Create levels: Deer don’t like climbing. Terraces or sunken beds in your garden discourage them from coming to your place.
- Stacking wood pallets: Stack wood pallets around your garden. Deer are afraid to jump or walk on such pallets.
- Cleanliness: Discard crop waste after harvesting and trim tall grasses regularly.
- Ribbons and reflectors: Ribbons and reflectors may keep deer away until they learn that there is no actual threat in your garden.
- Hunting: Not a good suggestion, but hunting helps in preventing deer from wandering around your area. But they return after the hunting season ends.
Keeping a deer out of your garden is not rocket science. They are super grazers and love to feed on tasty and nutritious crops. A technique that is useful for a gardener may miserably fail for another. Deer are smart; one must learn their behavior and understand what they like and dislike.
Using some of these above-mentioned techniques, timely, can save your vegetation from a deer attack. Remember, dear are beautiful creatures, don’t harm them or use any poisonous material to prevent their entry. Save your garden and also consider the safety of natural wildlife. Try all the techniques and choose what’s best for your garden.