Deer are graceful, beautiful animals who are a delight to watch – but it’s far from a delight to see them destroying your garden! Deer can be voracious eaters and especially if you live in a rural or semi-rural area, they’re always around. At certain times of the year, deer may be nightly visitors; and if this is your situation, you’re probably wondering just how to keep deer out of your garden.
How do you keep deer out of the garden?
There are a variety of ways to deter deer, ranging from physical barriers to natural animal repellents like Repellex. Fencing is effective, but can be very costly and difficult to install yourself. You’ll also need to have a fence which is at least six feet tall (and preferably eight) to make sure that deer stay out. Depending on the terrain where you have your garden or local zoning ordinances where you live, you may not even be able to build a fence.
Have Your Dog Protect The Garden
If you have a dog, they may be able to help you keep deer away from your garden. However, this assumes that your dog won’t wander off if left outside overnight and that you don’t also have coyotes, bears or other predators who could pose a threat to your family pet. If your dog is on the lazier side and isn’t inclined to chase deer, then this probably isn’t a good option even during the day.
Try Deer Resistant Plants
Certain plants are less attractive to deer, such as verbena, marigold and heliotrope. That doesn’t mean that deer won’t eat these plants, but they’ll wait until they’re very hungry to do so. Think of them as a natural deer repellent, although not necessarily a completely effective one.
Commercial Deer Repellents
Ultimately, natural animal repellent products are the way to go. They’re less expensive and far more effective than just about anything else you could do to protect your garden from hungry deer. They’re long lasting, safe for your plants, pets and yourself. Some work by having a smell which deer don’t like (they have much more sensitive noses than we do), but the most effective are systemic deer repellents which use capsaicin, the natural compound which makes chili peppers hot to make your plants too spicy for deer to want to eat.