While there is no way to guarantee any garden will be “deer free,” there are ways to help deter them from feasting on your landscape and one of those ways is to use Deer tolerant plants in your garden.
Combining multiple solutions and tailoring them to your plants and needs will likely yield the best results. For a copy of this list to keep on hand please click here to download a PDF.
Choose plants that are deer tolerant.
This list is subject to change based on the location of the herd (different herds have different preferences) and the hunger level of your deer.
Use animal repellents, both store bought and homemade. Be sure to follow manufacturer’s instructions for anything you buy. Avoid anything toxic as it could pose a hazard for children or other animals.
Repellents should be started before the deer incorporate your garden as a food source. They also should be reapplied regularly and still may become less effective over time if you do not alternate products.
Cage plants with mesh or hardware cloth to prevent deer from reaching plants.
Cages are a good defense in the winter, but may not be as appealing the rest of the year. If you have a plant that is always being eaten and don’t wish to cage it, maybe substitute with a more deer tolerant species.
Fencing an area off, like a vegetable garden, is a way to keep deer out of an area if you’re not interested in keeping them out of your entire yard.
Deer fences need to be over 8 feet tall, as deer can jump anything shorter.
Hedging around your yard keeps deer from seeing right into your plants and makes it less likely that they will jump over, as they cannot see the other side.
The hedge must be maintained so that it is tall and thick enough to block their view. It will take time to grow, though how long will depend upon the plant you choose to hedge.
Garden ornaments with movable parts, or that make a sound.
If the deer become accustomed to them, they will no longer be effective.