What are you all doing to protect your veggie gardens from deer?

estreyaJuly 16, 2009

Hello everyone! I started my first veggie garden this year, and although i've made (and will continue to make) many mistakes, it's already been an adventure that has nourished me body and soul.

Often, while i've been weeding or harvesting, or simply gazing adoringly at the veggie garden through my upstairs window, i've thought, "Boy, am i lucky the deer haven't discovered this garden!" Tonight, they discovered it.

What have you all been dong to protect your veggie gardens from deer? I'm looking for any and all advise, particularly solutions that are inexpensive since i've already spent all i'd budgeted on these beds.

Here are the beds as of a few days ago - many things in the wrong location, lack of proper support, WAY overcrowding of the rows (who knew so many seeds would germinate), and so forth. But for all it's faults, this garden was special because it's my first.

~ sigh ~

help? please?

By the way, after i chased the deer away (snapping my dishtowl at them and shrieking like a banshee), hubby and i harvested all the peas that were left. My plan is to rip out the vines tomorrow, along with the damaged lettuce (which was overcrowded and not too appealing at this point anyway), and the various other molested bits. This will leave me with several empty rows, which i thought i'd try seeding for a second harvest. The nipped tomato plants i just thought i'd clean up and see if they continue to grow. Does that sound like a good way to proceed?

Although i know it's discouraged, i'm going to cross post this to get as many suggestions as possible.

Thank you everyone!

a determined novice

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I don't have a deer problem, but I've heard of using Irish Spring soap. Just break it up and spread it around the perimeter.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 8:54AM
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Dan Staley

Everybody has a remedy and all you can do is take them and test them out until you find one that works. Or you can put up a fence.


    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 12:26PM
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Several gardener's here have been having problems with deer, os they have put a couple strands of white rope around their gardens and so far it's working. Another friend put a couple strands of an electric fence around his, and hasn't had any more problems, but electric fence is expensive if you don't already have it, and access to power for it. I've also heard of the irish spring soap doing a good job.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 5:55PM
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Thank you for your thoughts everyone! The soap has been shaved. Having said that, i remember shaving Irish Spring around my fruit trees last year, only to wake up to broken branches and munched foliage the very next day. So, i also spread a mix of water, eggs, garlic, Tabasco and red pepper flakes around the beds in the hopes that a two pronged deterrent might be more effective.

Dan, you're right. Deterrents only go so far, and a fence may well be the only truly effective course of action in the long run.

Thanks again all ...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2009 at 9:24PM
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We have deer in our neighborhood daily.

So far, we've gotten by with a simple 4' plastic mesh fence on light fence posts.

If the deer really wanted to get over, they could. If the deer wanted to crash through, they could. The deer also eat over the top, so tall plants (i.e poll beans) get browsed around the edges.

But it is simple, cheap, easily removed, and so far, pretty darned effective.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2009 at 11:31PM
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i read that one lady tiedd kinda like a soap on a rope with irish spring, and put them in several places in her garden for the deer, another lady went to the barber and got bags of hair clippings and put them around the garden, they didn't like the human smell. my hubs' moms husband ties his dog out there with the corn and when the deer come he barks and it scares the deer away. so he has lots of corn this year. hope that helps some??? ~Medo

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 8:13PM
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I know we have deer and I chased one away from the vegetable garden earlier this year although it wasn't actually in the garden. Fortunately we have an adjacent field with clover and other goodies. During the spring I sprayed the perimeter of the garden with a deer repellant spray I got at the farm store. It is made from wild animal urine. Last year they browsed certain hostas but this year they didn't so I think the spray worked. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 7:18PM
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shasta_2008(5 NE Ohio)

Your garden looks great! I'm normally on the winter sowing forum and thought I'd take a break to visit others. We had deer problems every year until we bought some cayenne pepper. Sprinkle this on your veggies/plants and you won't have a problem! Once they bite into it they won't be bak for more! Good luck :)

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 10:00PM
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