Some ideas to keep deer away from gardens

CountryWayApril 3, 2004

Here are some ideas to consider when trying to keep deer away from your garden.

~High fences---deer can jump extremely high, so fences, if installed around a garden, need to be higher than a deer can jump over.

~Soap bars---hang soap bars in plastic mesh bags on trees near gardens

~Dogs---having a dog around can be helpful when dealing with deer problems. Just be sure it is either fenced in or on a chain near the garden so it can't chase the deer. The deer will most likely be driven out of your yard as soon as the dog starts barking.

~Scarecrows or other strange objects---when placed in or near a garden, can help to keep deer away, just be sure to move them every few days so deer will not get accustomed to them.

~Noise---this sounds silly, but a radio or other source of loud sound may also help to keep deer away.

~Predator feces or urine---Deer respond to these as if a predator is near. They will avoid your garden if these are placed in or near it since deer will think that there is danger. You can obtain real coyote urine from a hunting store, where scents and lures are available.

Thats all I can think of for now. Hope these help.

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The most effective fence I have seen is the one here:

Here is a link that might be useful: deer fence

    Bookmark   April 4, 2004 at 2:28PM
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littlebitofheaven(New Jersey)

I've found that we can plant a vegetable garden that is about 10 feet by 15 feet and put only a 5 foot fence around it and they will NOT touch it, unless of course the leaves go through the openings in the fence and then they will eat the leaves. They do not like tight spaces, and they do not go where they can't see on the other side (I think I heard this on Martha Stewart's program one time. She said that she has a stockade fence they won't go over. We have 2 1/2 acres and the deer virtually own our property. I just planted 8 PJM rhododendruns last fall and they ate every single plant. I can recall hearing that they do not like to walk on gravel, so I was thinking that I might try making a gravel walk path around the garden surrounding the house.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2004 at 12:57PM
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I live in the mountains of North Carolina (a newcomer) and my garden has been overrun with rabbits. Can anyone suggest flowers that they won't eat? thanks

    Bookmark   April 11, 2004 at 10:06AM
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A fence too high for deer to jump over will certainly keep them out: but I'm told that deer won't jump over a fence if they can't see what's on the other side. If that's true (and it makes sense - why risk jumping to your death?) then a fence that they can't see through should work too.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2004 at 2:55PM
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david52 Zone 6

The no see over rule works well, and a 6' high solid fence will do the trick. If not, 8' is necessary, and they will clear that in an emergency, like being chased by a dog.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2004 at 10:16PM
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My veggie garden fence is only 6' tall, and 40 X 40 feet. I've never had a deer in there. The flowerbeds are a different story. The deer come right up to the house, look in the windows, and eat the plants. The most effective deterrents I've found are: placing dog fur in the beds (from brushing them), and black plastic mesh from the hardware store that you place over the beds. This works well if there is a background to the bed such as the house or a fence. You staple it to the background and make a tent which you can anchor with rocks. This way it's easy to lift up for work in the beds. Also, from a few feet away you can't see the stuff. We have a major deer issue here in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, so I have a lot of experience with this problem.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2004 at 11:07AM
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GAAlan(z7b(on map) 8(imby) Atlanta)

I recently witnessed some fence damage done by deer that really floored me. The fence is brick and wrought iron. The wrought iron is in 8' sections between brick columns with a short brick border underneath the iron. The fence runs along a busy street so I know the damage occured because the deer were trying to run in front of a car.

The deer ran into one of the iron sections and knocked it completely down, pulling the middle iron post out of the brickwork underneath. In another spot they hit a section and bent two iron bars so much they looked like a half moon. On the roadside of both damaged sections there were big bunches of deer hair all over.

I have never seen such heavy damage to such a heavy fence, which makes me think that if its an emergency situation, nothing will stop them. Something to think about when considering fencing.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2004 at 5:58PM
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aspen178(z6 NJ)

My next door neighbor left the gate of their fenced in garden open(after harvesting in the fall); the deer were getting in and started to panic trying to get out(they saw people in another yard). I tried to coax them out, but in panic one of them scaled a ten foot fence---not jumped, mind you, but clawed its way to the top and fell to the other side. And ran. And ran.........

So much for fences.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2004 at 8:46PM
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I once watched a deer climb a twelve-foot chain link fence. Just went chunk-a-chunk-a-chunk, climbing up with its hooves.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2004 at 6:02PM
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yjtj(5/6 NY)

last fall i was staking my trees near the road and i heard a wierd noise. i turned around to see a deer flying through the air. the farm across the street from me is about 10 feet higher than my property and the road. anyway that deer almost cleared the entire road in one leap. he landed on the road i jumped at the noise and looked at him, he looked at me then ran right through my garden 10 feet from me. i have three dogs and i am on a main road so they really dont mess with the trees in my front yard and havnt come to close to the house probably cause the dogs. yesterday my neihbor said he seen 5 by my deck. that didnt make me happy. i cant figure out what they were eating but i put soap out anyway. rabbits are my main problem. i think im going to buy the bamboo windchimes and see if they help and maybe a plastic owl.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2004 at 5:04AM
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We had deer coming into a residential estate to eat roses. We tried a lot of things. Blood meal worked the best. It has to be sprinkled liberally and frequently on and around the roses, but it keeps the deer from eating the roses.

I also got to the point where I could hand feed a couple brother bucks cherry flavored pipe tobacco. Then I could lead them out of the roses myself.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 6:13PM
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wertach zone 7-B SC

My now deceased neighbor has always had dogs that bark all night, keeping me awake. I complained a few times, in a nice way, and he said "they keep the deer out of our gardens."

The deer ravaged both of our gardens, he never admitted it of course, but I could see the damage and the deer tracks. His dogs also ravaged my garden! Digging stuff up and going potty! Stealing my cat bowls, getting in to my garbage.

After he died, I was talking to his widow one day this spring, while I was at the mailbox. I asked her if she wanted me to come over and plow her garden and help her plant. She said no, I'm tired of planting a food plot for the deer!

I don't think dogs do a good job of deterring deer.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 2:40PM
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I agree that deer are not discouraged by dogs. I have found deer tracks three feet from the dogs pen, almost as if they were teasing him. This evening we saw a doe and two fawns crossing our drive, They stopped about 30 feet off the drive to watch us pass. Tomorrow I'll let the dog spend the night out of his pen so he can socalize with mama and her two fawns.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 12:31AM
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YES a dog works!!! I have rose bushes in every part of my yard imaginable, but only ONE dog, who is tied up on ONE side of the house. Funny that the deer wont touch a THING on THAT side of the house, yet they'll buffet on my rose bushes on the opposite side of the house - where they KNOW the dog can't get to them!!!
Hmmm...coincidence! I think not!!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2011 at 1:03AM
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Had some success some years with helium balloons & curling ribbon tied in the trees. Didn't work the 3rd year.

Also moved plastic lawn chairs around & over the strawberries to keep them out as well as laid down sections of wire flat on the ground for the spots they were entering the raised beds.

This year we put up temp fence posts & strung poly rope, but not electric. Deterred them some, but they figured out ways to get in to eat the raspberries & strawberries like last summer, but skipped the new row of raspberries planted this spring with wire supports. I think the wire scared them off from those areas and they could walk right up to it reaching over the poly rope.

I also put down cardboard flattened out for between rows & they didn't like walking on the slippery cardboard.

A bunch of criss cross tree twigs 1/4"-1/2" thick 18-3' long in front of the knock out rose bush & they stopped reaching over to it. They might prefer the young spring foliage over the summer.

Dog & human hair and hanging Irish spring soap on the fences only works part of the time.

The key is to keep it changing.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 10:01PM
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We have been successful with motion activated water sprayers. They cost about $50 at hardware stores or on Amazon, use a 9 volt battery and hook up to your garden hose. When someone/something walks in front of the sensor, they get hit with a moving blast of water. We have two of them that we move around in the yard; they are more effective than the human urine, the soap, blood meal, or anything else.

For rabbits - we use special fencing from the hardware store; it's about 3 feet tall and has narrow gaps at the bottom, wider at the top. I've heard that some people have to bury the stuff in the ground to keep the bunnies from burrowing under; we don't have to do that. It's effective with our rabbit problem, although unfortunately when the neighborhood elk herd comes through, they usually mangle a few of the rabbit fences (sigh).

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 5:58PM
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garden_crazy(z5 N IL)

At home, I have good luck with dried blood. We have a place in WI, way up in the woods with lots of deer. We are not there enough to do dried blood but I have had excellent luck (at home as well), with color changing solar lights. They are pretty inexpensive and I put them in groups of 2 or 3 about 20-40 feet apart around my flower beds. -The color changing lights give the illusion of movement and the deer think, (because I know what the deer are thinking....!), that they are the eyes of predators, i.e. coyotes. This effect can also be enhanced by hanging CDs face-to-face (shiny sides out), and hang them from tree branches about 3 feet off the ground. The CDs are extremely reflective and multiply the effect of the solar lights for little or no additional cost. -Hanging them from fishing spinners lets them move very freely. -I hang them from the scarecrow in the garden as well. And just when I felt like a real success, a groundhog moved in and tunneled under the porch regardless of any of the above tactics....

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 6:43PM
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Hello people!

Maybe you could give me an opinion...

I am excited about planting a garden this year.

Last year I tried but didn't have time to follow through - did have beautiful squash plants though, till one day I didn't!
Tonight I saw the culprit - DEER!!! - right in the front yard.

I live in suburbia with a hydro field and a creek behind the house. I guess the deer corridor through the hydro field.

...anyway - I am loathe to put time and energy into a garden to have the deer take it all.

here's my plan - what do you think?...

for the present;
hang soap
hang some reflective CD's
spray with egg/garlic/cayenne

then along the back border,
plant some garlic,
and lavender,
then a row of high, prickly, cardoom (annual in my zone),
then lay a few strands of fishline across it,

Behind that plant a row of Jerusalem artichoke - the thinking being that I'll give them something they may like to eat before they encounter the barriers they may not want to cross...

I'm a little worried about the invasiveness of the Jerusalem artichokes, whether they'll eat it or not, or if it will just attract more deer to my yard...???



    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 3:14AM
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The CDs sound like an ugly idea....I dont think it would look very good at all. But maybe thats just my preference.

Its more or less about training the babies to go somewhere else.

this is explains it in detail

Here is a link that might be useful: deer resistance

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 12:37PM
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