Seeing a deer grazing out in the middle of a serene, sunlit field is certainly a feast for the eyes, but if that deer is grazing right in the middle of your garden, those vegetables certainly won’t be a feast for your stomach.
A garden is an excellent source of food for your family as it allows you to stay self-sustainable with healthy, homegrown fruits and vegetables. But in a world of competitors, the deer that graze around your property will be attracted to that garden for the same reason you are: It’s food.
Deer thrive in open areas on the forest edge, giving them plenty of grass to feed upon while also providing them with ample cover for when they are startled or need to rest. Gardens, especially large ones, are planted in a similar habitat, making it a prime target for deer who will eat anything that’s growing.
Additionally, deer populations have exploded in the last few years, only increasing the threat to one of your primary sources of food.
Shooting all the deer you see is one (albeit messy) way to correct the problem, although you’ll probably run into trouble with the law if you shoot anything outside of hunting season. Besides, we like deer and enjoy seeing them peacefully graze out in the fields through our windows, but we just don’t want them in our gardens.
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With that in mind, here are some strategies you can use to protect your garden from deer:
1. Smell and Taste
Deer may seem to eat anything that’s growing, but if it smells and/or tastes bad to them, it should be enough to turn them back to the grass where they should be grazing. While there are plenty of anti-deer deterrents you can buy, two excellent home deterrents are garlic and rotten eggs; deer abhor the smell and taste of both. Use one (or both) around your garden. Of course, this is assuming that you can stand the smell of rotten eggs or garlic in your garden.
2. Noise and Movement
Deer are some of the most alert animals in North America. Even the lightest of unexpected noises can send a deer galloping away into the woods for cover. If you can use noises or frightening things to keep deer away from your garden, it will keep them at bay. Try a wind chime or even a guard dog. The problem, though, is that this is only a temporary solution. Eventually, the local deer will become accustomed to the noises around your home and will no longer be unnerved by them. Either that, or your guard dog may become accustomed to the deer and no longer consider them a threat. Keep things interesting by moving items around your garden.
Try hanging several aluminum pie pans on strings surrounding your garden; the wind will cause the pants to be in constant motion, and believe it or not, this can be startling enough to a deer to keep them away.
This could keep deer on their toes — or hooves.
Finally, you can build a fence around the perimeter of your garden to keep deer away. Perhaps it is not the ideal solution, but it works. This fence will need to be at least seven-feet high, since deer can leap short fences. Your fence should also be sturdy and heavy to prevent a deer from simply pushing its way through. Also, place wire or netting around the stakes and poles to the fence to prevent the deer from simply moving between the fence lines.
What are your favorite all-natural ways to deter deer from a garden? Share your suggestion in the section below: