Natural Ways To Keep The Deer Out Of Your Garden

Dated: 12/02/2017

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As I was working at my desk, I was startled by my dog who went into a barking fit.  Why?  I can not work with a barking dog.  I look out the window and see a few gentle grazing deer.  This upset the attentive cocker spaniel.  I love the deer and welcome their serene and graceful presence.  However, when I think of the plants that I would like to see blossom next spring, it occurs to me that I prefer to admire deer from afar, or at least in my neighbor’s garden rather than my own.  Is it time to install the unsightly deer fencing and burlap, or is it time to consider other options?  For those of you who would prefer have deer in someone else’s yard rather than your own, here are some natural alternatives to fencing in order to keep the deer at bay.  

Something Pungent

Deer will be deterred by foul odors.  I find that Milorganite (a rather smelly, inexpensive fertilizer) is a very effective deer repellant and it fertilizes too!

Rodale’s Organic Life recommends this homemade (rather stinky) spray that helps keep deer away:   In a gallon jug, mix 1 cup of milk, 1 egg, and 1 tablespoon of organic dish soap and some cut up hot peppers and fill the rest with water.  Set in the sun for a day before spraying.

Create Some Unexpected Movement and/or Noise

“By simulating unexpected sights and sounds, you are triggering the deer’s main defense against prey,” says Professor Leonard Perry from The University of Vermont’s Department of Plant and Soil. For instance, by stringing up CDs around your garden, you’re creating a motion that deer are not used to, and they will spook.  Another effective visual is creating a white flag about 10 inches long and five inches wide that resembles a white deer tail. “They see this ‘tail’ move, but no deer, and they often get spooked and flee.” Hanging up pie tins and aluminum cans does two things, creates an unusual visual and sound.

Add Some Plants

Next spring, perhaps you would like to surround your garden with a “fence” of aerobatic plants such as lavender,  marigolds, Peony, Narcissus, Yarrow, sage or Oriental Poppy.

Let Your Dog Run Around

If you have a dog, encourage him or her to mark around your property.  Deer will be discouraged from venturing in.  This was the method I chose today after snapping a few photos.  I let my little brown dog out to run through the yard.  He wouldn’t hurt the deer and the deer won’t hurt him, they all just get a burst of exercise!  

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Shaun Manning

Shaun's focus is on residential real estate in Fairfield, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and the surrounding counties. Licensed in New York and Connecticut, Shaun is also Commercial and Investment Rea....

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