Deer can cause extensive damage to your garden as well as other areas of the landscape. Not only do they feast on garden veggies, shrubs, and trees, but deer also cause damage by trampling plants and rubbing tree bark.
Trying to keep deer out of the garden can be frustrating, to say the least, but with a little know-how and ingenuity, your efforts for garden deer protection could be well worth the trouble. Keep reading to learn a little more about how to keep deer out of the garden.
How to Keep Deer Out of Garden
Figuring out how to keep deer out of garden areas may be as simple as installing fencing around your perimeter. Suitable fencing is one of the best choices for stopping deer from entering your yard.
Of course, the type of fence you choose will depend on your individual needs-- including your budget. Although deer do not typically jump over 6-foot (2 m.) fencing, if threatened or chased, deer can easily clear an 8-foot (2 m.) structure. Therefore, regardless of the type, it's still a good idea to erect something at least 6 to 8 feet (2 m.) high. High tensile and woven mesh fencing are both suitable choices for garden deer protection. However, high-tensile fencing is typically more affordable.
Since deer will also crawl under or through openings in a fence, it's important to check it often for damage, fixing any areas in need of repair. The fence should also be placed as close to the ground as possible, filling in any low spots that deer might take advantage of. An alternative to tall fencing is an electric fence, which may be ideal for smaller garden areas.
Some people even favor the “peanut butter” fence to keep deer out of the garden. With this type of electric fencing, peanut butter is placed along the top of the fence in an effort to lure deer. Once the fence is on and the deer come up to nibble the peanut butter, they receive a good shock. After being shocked a time or two, the deer eventually learn to avoid the area.
How to Keep Deer from Eating Plants
Sometimes fencing may not be practical. Therefore, protecting individual plants with garden deer repellents may be more effective.
For instance, one way how to keep deer from eating plants is to use tree protectors made from wire or plastic that can be placed around individual trees, especially young fruit trees and ornamentals. These should be at least 6 feet (2 m.) high for older trees.
Repellents are another option to keep deer out of the garden. Garden deer repellents are designed to deter these animals through unattractive tastes/odors or frightening noises. While some repellents are questionable, many can provide short-term relief. Since deer usually browse from the top down, repellents should be placed at the bud or new growth level. One of the most effective garden deer repellents includes the use of an egg mixture (80 percent water to 20 percent eggs), which is sprayed on the plants and reapplied each month.
Additional Garden Deer Protection
Planting less preferred plants in their place may offer additional relief. Some deer-resistant plants include:
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Nikki Tilley has been gardening for nearly three decades. The former Senior Editor and Archivist of Gardening Know How, Nikki has also authored six gardening books.
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated
How To Overwinter Ollas For Years Of Use: Get More From Irrigation Pots
If you overwinter ollas properly, you'll keep these unique watering pots from cracking. Here's how to protect them in erratic winter temperatures so they last longer.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Published
Deter Deer And Prevent Ticks By Getting Rid Of Honeysuckle
We don’t usually think of sweet-smelling honeysuckle as being unsafe, but the deer love it. and where there are deer there are often ticks. Read on for more reasons to avoid non-native honeysuckles.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Last updated
Deer Proof Shade Flowers: Choosing Deer Resistant Flowers For Shade
Watching deer move through your property can be a peaceful way to enjoy nature. However, they can become a nuisance if they start eating your flowers. If you have a shady garden bed, add flowers they will have no interest in. Click here to learn more.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Last updated
Deer Droppings On Plants: Is Fertilizing With Deer Manure Safe
Whether you love or hate deer, or have a more complicated relationship with them, there is one important question to answer: Can you use deer manure in gardens? Click on the following article to find out more about fertilizing with deer manure.
By Mary Ellen Ellis Last updated
Deer Proof Evergreens: Are There Evergreens Deer Won’t Eat
The presence of deer in the garden can be troublesome. With some proven planting techniques, however, gardeners may be able to reduce the occurrence of damage caused by deer. Planting deer resistant evergreen plants, for example is one method. Learn more here.
By Tonya Barnett Last updated
Deer Proof Gardening: What Vegetables Are Deer Resistant
The best defense is a good offense. In deer proof gardening, plants that smell offensive to deer can deter them from their favorite edibles. Planting a garden with edible plants deer don't eat is also a defense. Click here for fruits and vegetables deer won't eat.
By Darcy Larum Last updated
Deer Resistant Garden Plans – Creating A Deer Resistant Garden
Deer are lovely to watch but not when they are stomping all over your vegetable garden or eating the tops off of your bulbs. Creating a deer resistant garden is a must for any gardener who suffers from these grazing marauders. Learn more here.
By Bonnie L. Grant Last updated
Roses And Deer – Do Deer Eat Rose Plants And How To Save Them
Deer do indeed love the beautiful, succulent growth they find in those meadows and valleys, but they cannot resist a rose garden if there is one close by. Learn how to fix deer damage and prevent more in this article. Click here for more info.
By Stan V. Griep Last updated
Deer Rubbing Tree Bark: Protecting Trees From Deer Rubs
Deer are majestic creatures when they're bounding through open fields and frolicking in someone else's woods. When they come into your yard and start damaging trees, they become something else entirely. Learn more in this article.
By Kristi Waterworth Last updated