Oh No DEER…Not Here!
If deer are causing problems in your yard and garden, here are some ways to protect your plants.
Natural repellents like dish soap, cayenne pepper, sour milk, garlic and rotten eggs are ingredients some gardeners use to repel deer (although the rotten egg smell might keep you out of the garden too!).
These solutions are made with ingredients you probably have around your house right now. If you want to take this route, Better Homes and Gardens has a good list of deer repellent recipes HERE.
REAL RESULTS: Spraying store-bought deer repellent early in the season when tulips are budding (left) is an effective way to keep deer away. The result is a bed full of blooms (right) — even in this area with high deer pressure.
The simplest, most effective way to keep the deer away is to buy a commercial deer repellent at your local hardware store, garden center or online. Many brands of deer repellents include the same natural ingredients as the home remedies, but in higher concentrations. Some of the most highly recommended brands include Plantskydd, Bobbix, Liquid Fence and Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper. You will also need a garden sprayer that will hold at least a gallon of liquid solution.
How to Apply Deer Repellents
Most liquid deer repellents need to be reapplied once a week and after it rains. Some brands claim to be rain resistant, but use your own judgement based on the amount of deer pressure in your neighborhood and the amount of rain (sprinkles versus a downpour).
It is important to start spraying early in the season, before deer discover that your plants are tasty. It only takes a few minutes to spray your beds, and the time you invest early will save you the frustration and disappointment of flowers that end up being deer food.
Deer Resistant Plants
Another way to cope with deer is to grow plants they tend to ignore. Rutgers University has gathered lots of information about deer-resistant shrubs, perennials, annuals and bulbs. Learn more in this article: 60 Most Deer-Resistant Plants. To shop for deer-resistant spring-blooming bulbs, click HERE. For deer-resistant summer bulbs, click HERE.