1. Build a fence. Yes, this is somewhat obvious but it is one of the most effective solutions for keeping them out of your prized plants. Inexpensive fencing can be erected within hours, and there are almost-invisible options (netting or vinyl fencing) so your view and the sunlight aren’t blocked. The recommended height for keeping deer out is 8 feet, but gardeners have had effective results with 5-foot fencing as well. Anything under 5 feet, however, and they can jump it.
2. Fabric softener is reputed to repel deer. They dislike the strong scent. Try pinning some scented dryer sheets around the area you want to protect.
3. Since deer dislike strong, soapy scents, some gardeners have found grated bar soap to be an effective barrier. Try Fels Naptha or strong deodorant soap. Some people recommend bars of Irish Spring or Ivory. Sprinkle the grated soap around the garden to make a barrier.
4. Distract them with something better. If your garden seems to be right along a deer path, plant something especially tasty to them along the path and then angled away from your garden. Some farmers have saved vegetable gardens by planting better fare away from their gardens.
5. Salt is another distraction that can deter them. Hunters have known for centuries that deer will be attracted to salt. Set a salt lick where you know there are deer, but far from your garden. Again, it helps if you can intercept and redirect their path.
6. Cats and dogs can both be helpful in deterring them. The scent of cat and dog urine (and gardeners know how kitties like to use the soft soil of a flower bed for a bathroom) repels them. If your cat is not using your flower bed (lucky you!), try sprinkling some of its used kitty litter around the garden to make a barrier.
If you have a dog that like to bark at deer, its presence can be extremely effective at keeping them away. If possible, have your dog spend warm nights outside near your garden.
If you decide to go with any of the above options that involve sprinkling a repellent on the ground (such as the grated soap), make sure you go beyond the border of your garden. This way, the deer will turn away before they get to your plants. If the repellent is too close to your garden’s edge, they will be more likely to ignore it since those tasty greens are right within their reach.
Throughout the growing season, vary your strategies to keep them confounded.
We hope that Keeping Deer Out of Garden The Natural Way helps you keep your garden healthy green!