Deer are prolific in my neighborhood. Last summer they destroyed all my tomato plants and damaged some flowers as well.
Do members have recommendations re. the most effective way to repel deer without resorting to 6 foot fencing?
Fencing is the most reliable way, doesn't have to be a wood fence, deer fencing works well here in NJ where we have a big deer problem.
However, what you can do is either spray with a repelent or plant things they don't like along with the plants you have. For example deer never touch my salvia, russian sage, peoney, lavender and other "silvers" so I put these out front where its not fenced. I then mix in some plants that deer do like with them. They seem to not notice them.
If deer pressure is mild, a single strand electric fence around a vegetable garden works IF it's baited with peanut butter so they put their tongues on it. Smear small squares of heavy duty aluminum foil with peanut butter and attach to fence with clothespins. The PB gets moldy pretty fast, but you shouldn't have to do this very often. I see deer sign in my yard in late winter and late summer. I bait the fence and that's it until next season.
Deer - Repel with Baby Formula
In a strange but promising study published last year in the journal HortScience, Bruce Kimball and others at the National Wildlife Research Center reported that white-tailed deer were consistently turned off by food sprayed with highly concentrated hydrolyzed casein (also called HC) an easier-to-digest form of the main protein in cow's milk.
Kimball says his deer-browsing research, usually focused on large-scale reforestation and agriculture, can be adapted to home gardens by using powdered formula made for colicky babies.
Available online or at drugstores, the formula usually lists HC concentrations of 17 percent on the label. And at about $25 for 16 ounces, it costs less than many deer repellent products, he says.
Look for Enfamil Pregestimil, Nutramigen, or Similac Alimentum.
Retail sources of HC (concentrated baby formula powders) are not as effective as pure hydrolyzed protein, but do offer browse protection when alternative sources of deer food are available nearby.
Mix 2 teaspoons of Elmer's glue in a gallon of water and spray it on your plants, then sprinkle the powdered formula over that with a grated-cheese shaker
See the post 'Will This Harm the Deer?', second response.
Here is a link that might be useful: Will This Harm the Deer?
I have fought this war for a decade on the losing side....until....I began spraying with a product called Liquid Fence.
It is ONLY remedy that I know works and I have tried them all--except for the high fence which is not practical on my property.
You need to spray once a month but after a few applications you will notice the deer know in advance to avoid your plants.
I have also found that it is very important not only to spray the foliage directly but also to spray the soil around the plants and the perimeter of your property.
The odor is awful but disappears in a day or so. Don't use it before a garden party or it will repel your guests as well as the deer.
I second the effectiveness of Liquid Deer Fence spray. I have a yard of mostly deer resistant plants, but on my deck, I have several large pots of roses. If sprayed regularly, the deer stay away.
However, the problem with Liquid Deer Fence is my laziness towards the middle of summer. I find it most effective to spray every 2-3 weeks, even though it doesn't rain here, I found once a month wasn't enough. And, I don't know if others have found this, but I think it's best to use "fresh" spray. I had a bottle from last year, and this spring hasn't proved as effective, so I picked up a new bottle last week.
Someone in another post here recommended putting 2"x4" wire mesh down on the ground around the area you are trying to protect. I am going to try that around the deck to see if that will help when I forget to spray...
The deer are amazing- even if there is just the beginning of new growth (no flowers) on the roses, they make a B-line for them! There's really not much else to attract them to the inner circle of the yard, so it amazes me that they know when those roses start leafing out...