If you live in an area with a population of deer nearby, you likely struggle to keep deer out of your vegetable garden. These beautiful creatures are herbivores, and of course they are naturally drawn to your fresh grown produce. This can be devastating to budding plants and a growing crop. How do you solve this problem? Use these tips for keeping the deer out of your vegetable garden!
These tips on How to Keep Deer Out of Your Vegetable Garden will help you to safely keep deer away. No longer will you go to bed with plants and wake up with nothing left in your garden. Using these easy tips can keep your plants safe.
How to Keep Deer Out of Your Vegetable Garden
Plant items that deter deer. Deer love sweet smells. They are naturally going to be attracted to things like corn, peppers, and even squash. Plant items around your garden that are strong in odor and will keep the deer away. Lemongrass, mint, lavender, rosemary, thyme, and other strong herbs are a great deterrent. They can also be used in your cooking and homemade beauty products.
Not only do you want to try plants that are fragrant and keep deer away, but you may also want to consider planting things that are thorny or prickly to keep them away. Deer will think twice about venturing further when they bite down on a plant with thorns, nettles, or a prickly texture.
Spread mothballs around your garden. Much like planting items that have strong unpleasant odors, things like moth balls are an easy and inexpensive item to spread around the outside of your garden to keep deer away. The strong odor is enough to keep them disinterested and this is a simple item for anyone to add to their garden.
Build a fence. Fencing is one of the most effective methods. Since deer can (and will) jump to get to something they are interested in, a taller fence is necessary. Many people create gardens with a screen or chain link fencing that also covers the roof of the garden while remaining open for rainfall and sunlight. This takes a lot of effort and can be expensive, but is a good long-term solution if you have ongoing issues with deer.
Other than wooden or chain fencing, you might also consider building your vegetable garden behind a row of shrubs. Shrubbery is thorny and prickly enough to keep the deer out, but lower plants are still easy for them to jump over. A taller shrub like a holly bush may be a great choice to add decor to your property and build a natural wall or fence that keeps the deer out of your vegetable garden.
Create a tiered garden. Instead of planting your vegetable garden directly on the soil in your backyard, consider a tiered garden or container garden. Deer are unlikely to climb to reach plants, and definitely don't like walking across noisy items. Surround your garden with stones or build up against your home behind a porch or walkway in a tiered manner. The deer are less likely to be enticed.
Install a motion sensor light or noise maker. Light and noise are one of the best ways to keep deer out of your garden. Installing motion sensor lighting around the garden exterior will keep deer out. The light coming on at night will frighten them away. This doesn't work so well during daytime hours, but that is when a noise maker is a great choice. Many install a simple rope with bells or other noisy items on it for deer to bump against as they enter the area around the garden. This noise will startle them away from the garden.
Spray plants with homemade pepper spray. This is one solution that can be effective, but can be frustrating to the deer. A little homemade pepper spray made with water and hot peppers will keep deer from eating plants. The oils from the peppers are released into the liquid and create an unpleasant taste that will keep deer from eating the plants. The problem with this is that it can be disruptive to the deer as it will be painful and frustrating for them. It can also be something you have to treat multiple plants with on a regular basis. It's one of the least effective methods.
Give them an alternative food source. In many instances, providing food for the deer at a decent distance from your garden can satisfy them while keeping them away from your fresh produce. This is one plan that doesn't always work alone, but in combination with fencing and other plants that mask odors and keep deer out of the garden, it can be a great tool.
Deer corn is fairly inexpensive and is easy to spread out on the ground where deer often walk. Take the time to watch where they come from so you can stop them in their tracks with a food they enjoy. Use what you can afford to lose versus losing your entire crop of vegetables.
Get a dog. Most dogs do not welcome visits from deer and other animals on their turf. If you have a fence and can safely allow a dog to roam in your yard, then a dog can help deter deer from visiting your yard. Just the scent of the dog on your property, can help repel deer.
Go hunting. While this is an extreme choice, in some areas, it may actually be ideal. If you are allowed to legally hunt for deer in the area near your home, then do so during the hunting season. This can give you a freezer full of venison that is healthy and free. At the same time you will cut down on your source of garden produce theft. This isn't something I would recommend for everyone. Again, only when you live within legal guidelines. I definitely discourage this if you are not going to actually use the meat. Deer are beautiful creatures and if you are just hunting to kill, it is wasteful.
Whatever methods you choose to keep deer out of your vegetable garden, remember that these beautiful animals are just out hunting for food after a long and bare winter. Just like you are building a garden to feed your family, they are out hunting for food to feed theirs. You can't blame them for wanting your yummy vegetables!