Keeping deer away

TheMasterGardener1(5B)December 19, 2011

How do you keep deer and other animals out of your garden without using a fence. Does the pepper solutions work well?

Has anyone had results with egg spray?

Any other methods? I would like to know. Thanks.

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I don't seem to have a problen with deer, turkeys yes. Much of what I read indicates the commercial repellents are not very good, and one article some time back indicated a gardener needed to switch products periodically. However, in looking for that article I found the one linked below that may be of some help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer repellent

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 6:36AM
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Nothing has worked for me or anyone else I know, other than high strong fence. I'm getting set to enfence an acre by springtime.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 8:03AM
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oldmainer(z5 Maine)

I agree with the above about fencing. I have been gardening for many years and tried many products and found they don't work all that well or for long. One bambi...or a bunch of them will wreck your garden in one night so go with a good fence. I use the seven foot tall plastic deer fence and havn't had a bambi jump it yet. Franklin

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 9:03AM
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Last year I got away with out my peppers getting eaten. I used a little liquid fence but not much. I hope I am as lucky this year because I want to make more rows of peppers, I just hope the one year I deside to make a larger garden isn't when they deside attack!!

I planted the peppers last year just thinking they wher going to be eaten but they never did. I hope its not the other way around. The area I am making this garden is in an area I cant make fence so I hope I find something, thanks everyone.

Thanks Kimmsr for the link.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2011 at 1:19PM
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This past year was the first time deer consumed parts of my tomatoes. When the top 1/3 of a three foot plant is eaten, not too hard to figure out what size animal did it.

On another thread, a VHS tape 'fence' was suggested, and I tried it. It seemed to work fairly well. Stakes about three foot high were placed around the tomato area, and two strands of VHS video tape were wrapped around the stakes. The deer repelent is said to come from the movement of the tape, and reflections off it.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 11:31AM
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ralleia(z5 Omaha, NE)

Anything that I used to try to repel the deer (human hair, Irish Spring soap, disgustingly-strong perfumes, grape kool-aid) failed miserably and resulted in browsed plants. Once the damage is done, it can be difficult to recover.

Like the posters above have said, some form of fencing is a necessity.

Deer have never went after my pepper plants--tomatoes yes, and their favorites in my garden are cucumbers, green beans, and peas.

However, even a rudimentary fencelike barrier kept those around my property out. For impromptu barriers I've used extra concrete reinforcing mesh to cage them out, or plastic-covered wire mesh (5' tall) wrapped into a quick fence all around some T-posts for my cucumbers and beans.

In small areas, even 4' tall chicken wires are effective (as long as they haven't already learned about the delicacies inside the fence. Deer don't like to go into small areas, so my chicken wire around my cramped 5' wide x 20' long of garden beds has kept them out.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 1:03PM
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One thing that has not been mentioned is the predator urine. A bottle of coyote, fox, wolf urine might sell for twenty bucks in a big box store. I try to do everything on the cheap, so have not tried these products.

May try the deer repellent recipe Kimmsr listed. Since my garden is in the 'burbs, I only have to make my toms, peppers, spinach less attractive to deer than those of my close neighbors. The plastic tape with a repellent mix might be enough to encourage the deer to try a yard 100' away. But I maintain my plants with compost mulch, trim the stems and spray compost tea; so no one else has tomatoes or spinach in October.

The neighbor with two dogs seems to have the fewest deer incursions. A hardcore gardener further away keeps two old dogs -- enough energy to chase away pests, not enough to jump over the fence and escape. My one dog is not outside enough to keep animals away. A mountain lion got his/her picture on front page of the newspaper a year ago when a hunters camera five miles away took a automatic photo at night.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Temporary solar electric fencing. Two strands set at 1' and 3' for vegetable gardens or permanent electric fencing if needed for the whole yard. Also, unrolling and pegging down long lengths of chicken wire on the ground along inside edge of gardens, scrunching it up a bit here and there is a very effective deterrent. Animals will not walk on it.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 3:31PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I get a little deer browsing in back, enough that it's annoying, but not too much to ruin the whole garden. Last year I built a 25-foot long, 7 foot high natural wood trellis in the back garden and planted it with Morning glories, Cardinal climber, etc which the deer thought was their own personal buffet! TWICE they ate the vines down, and I tried "Deer Off" which works okay but is expensive and a bit of a pain to apply.

I sometimes collect rolls of old wire fencing, my favorite fencing is 4 foot high with 2x4 inch grids. So just as Nandina describes I laid down 30 feet of this fencing flat on the ground along the back and sides of the trellis where the deer liked to wander thru. The fencing is used, so it's not perfectly flat and kind of "lumpy" on the ground. The result - the deer would not walk over it, and no more damage to the vines! They actually recovered and flowered kind of nicely. Yippee!

Here are the culprits -

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:17AM
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david52 Zone 6

Putting up an 8 foot high fence with a gate is the best solution.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife recommends a simple and inexpensive deer spray that does work, as long as you remember to apply it regularly.

Using a blender or food processor, whir up one raw egg and one teaspoon of dried chicken bouillon in water. Run through fine-mesh strainer, put in sprayer, dilute to one gallon, and spray away. This works very well if you remember to spray often enough, an issue in spring when the growth is at its fastest, and after a rain.

Remember to strain it, otherwise the sprayer will clog.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 11:12AM
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I have often heard that laying fencing horizontally on the outside of a vertical fence is very effective. I invite hunters, in season, and because mine is a commercial operation, I am permitted to kill deer if they are in my crops, but in all the years I've gardened they have never been a serious issue for me. I've lost an entire crop of grapes to turkeys in one night, and had a blundering moose do a lot of damage, but it's mostly bugs 'n' slugs that I'm fighting. My favorite visitor is a bobcat that I see a few times a year at most, and foxes are welcome too.

    Bookmark   February 7, 2012 at 8:29PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

I seem to have a lot of deer roaming around suburbia this year. My beds are covered with tracks.

I've had good results with Liquid Fence in past years, as long as I spray regularly. It's organic, made of rotten eggs. It's the worst smelling material on earth, I'm convinced.


    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 8:52PM
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"I've had good results with Liquid Fence in past years, as long as I spray regularly. It's organic, made of rotten eggs. It's the worst smelling material on earth, I'm convinced. "

Thank you for this. It is what I was going to use this year.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 9:08PM
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I do something a bit unique....I hang old CDs (or blank new ones)from 25 lb. test fishing line with a #5 swivel in it....I hang 2 together, one below the other one and each has a swivel. There are also 2 back to back at each level so both sides are shiney. I generally hang them in trees and the deer shy away from them at night due to the flashes that are reflected from my neighbor's night lights.
When I put some in an area with no light source, I purchased those cheap solar walkway lights to scatter around or the solar, color changing garden lights...they work fine. I got the cheap walkway lights at Walmart & the color changing ones at Harbor Freight.
Works for me! But I like that fence laying on the ground idea too!

    Bookmark   February 11, 2012 at 2:23PM
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Maybe we should do what folks did 300 years ago and sleep outside on the ground! Or thirty years ago -- make the dog sleep outside. Put the doghouse right next to the garden.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 3:19PM
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david52 Zone 6

One thing to remember is that the deer population in North America is now likely the highest its ever been. The animals adapt very well to the forest/brush/open ground interface - or the ecosystem that now predominates so much of the country, its a perfect environment for them. Add on strict hunting seasons and far too many screenings of Bambi to young kids who burst into tears when Daddy heaves a brick at the deer who just ate the roses. There are now so many deer that in many areas, they are eating the young sapling trees, messing with the over-all forest ecology.

I have, right now, a dozen mule deer that are jumping through gaps in my deer fence every night and tearing up the flower beds after the new growth under the snow. They regularly get hit with a pellet gun, but they just come back an hour later.

/$$@@!#!^^& rats with hooves

    Bookmark   February 16, 2012 at 7:59PM
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