After painstakingly choosing the perfect blooming plants for your garden and spending an entire weekend planting them, it can be devastating to wake up one morning to realize that your petite roses fell victim to deer overnight. These creatures are notorious for wreaking havoc on suburban gardens, but luckily there are ways to deter their efforts. Here's how.
Choose Plants They Don't Like
It's always a good idea to plant flowers and vegetables that deer don't typically enjoy eating. However, Better Homes and Gardens Magazine points out that this isn't foolproof, as deer might eat things they normally wouldn't if they're really hungry. Also, what deer like to munch on depends on where you live.
While it's not a guarantee, try planting greenery that's poisonous, spiky, fuzzy, bitter or extremely aromatic, suggests the news source. This includes shrubs and trees like Japanese maples, lilacs, mountain laurel and pines. Choose other garden plants like catnip, daffodils, snapdragons and chives to keep deer away.
Protect Your Garden
There are ways to make sure your garden remains off-limits to deer. Perhaps the best way, according to TLC, is to allow a four-legged companion, such as a dog, to roam free outside. It may also help to put up a fence, reports Northern Gardening. Believe it or not, deer can jump up to 12 feet high from a standing position, so you'll need a fence that's at least 8 or 10 feet tall. The news source also suggests motion-detecting sprinklers around your property, which will spray water when a deer (or other garden pest) approaches.
If you're not afraid to get a bit more creative, there are ways to make your garden a lot less appetizing to families of deer. Northern Gardening suggests using human hair or urine to surround the garden. You can use dispenser bottles or hang satchels of hair throughout the area. It may sound a little strange, but it usually does the trick.
Food.com has a recipe for deer repellent with which to spray your plants. Mix a gallon of water, one grated bar of Ivory soap, a large smashed bulb of garlic and a 2-ounce jar of red pepper flakes in a large pot. Simmer the concoction on the stove until the soap flakes dissolve, then let it sit for several days. Strain the liquid and store it in a jug. When you want to use it, mix it with more water and put into a sprayer. Apply every couple of weeks and after heavy rainfall.