Deer are beautiful and gentle creatures and it can be a delight to see them in the wild. However, if you are trying to grow your own fruit and vegetables in a garden and deer keep wandering in and eating all of your hard work, they can be seen as quite a pest.
They will trample your lettuce, squash your flowers and munch all of the best apples on your apple tree. Deer will even devour the entire tops to your plants, destroying them before they get a chance to produce any fruit. You don’t want to hurt these beautiful creatures or damage the environment with toxins, just keep them off your property and stop them from eating your garden. Thankfully, there are a few environmentally friendly ways that you can discourage deer from visiting your 24 hour garden buffet. Here are some suggestions:
Get a Dog
If you have a dog living on the premises, deer will be scared to even come close to your garden. The smell of the dog will drive them away and even if they enter your property, the dog will bark and scare them off. Your pooch will never catch a deer as they are way too fast, but he certainly won’t stand idly by as they eat your strawberries.
Use Scented Soap
Deer have a very keen sense of smell and anything which smells unnatural to them will make them wary and cause them to avoid the area. Try taking a bar of strongly scented soap and cutting it into quarters. Hang it in a small cloth bar and tie the bag to a stake. Place these soap stakes in a circle around your garden no more than 10 feet apart. This will create an invisible “scent fence” which will discourage deer from wandering in. Add some human hair to the stakes as well, as deer are very leery of this scent. You can ask for some hair clippings next time you are at the salon.
Deer will also be scared off by sudden noises or human voices. Try having a talk radio station playing in your garden all night long to make the deer think that there are humans talking nearby. Make sure that you move the radio around to a different area of the garden frequently, as the deer will get used to it after a while.
Elevate Your Garden
Deer can jump very high, but they generally do not like climbing. If you build your garden in a way that forces them to climb then they will be less likely to make the effort to get to your fruits and vegetables. You can do this by using raised beds and terraces and placing obstacles that they need to climb up to get to your garden. Plant the vegetables in the centre of the raised bed and make them wide enough so that they cannot reach.
Cover It Up
Another way of protecting your garden from deer is to use bird netting. You can stretch it over some PVC pipe framework so that it covers all of the veggies. The deer might not see it at first, but when they try to munch at your lettuce they will be stopped by the netting and they will shy away. The only disadvantage is that it can be inconvenient to have to peel it back every time you need to work on the garden.
Having deer munch away at your garden can be a real pain, but these are just a few ways that you can keep these pests away without hurting them or the environment.