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​​How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

Two deer in a garden

Deer are beautiful creatures, but they can wreak havoc on your garden. Hungry deer are known to destroy flower beds, fruit trees, and garden beds. Fortunately, there are a few effective methods you can use to keep them at bay. Here are a few ways to keep deer away from your garden so you can grow fruits, veggies, and flowers in peace.

Put Up a Fence

A fence around a yard
Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock.com

One of the most effective ways to keep deer out of your garden is by putting up a tall fence. When selecting a fence for deer, there are a few factors to consider. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a tall privacy fence that is at least seven feet tall, or a double fence that is three to five feet apart. This will ensure that deer can’t jump over it.

If you’re looking for a temporary solution, you can build a tall fence with metal stakes and wire netting. Leave a two-foot perimeter of lawn around the garden to prevent long-necked deer from reaching in.

Feitore Deer Fence Netting

This can be used for deer netting, garden fencing, bird netting, and chicken netting.

Plant Things Deer Don’t Like

A deer in a field
Alex Cooper Photography/Shutterstock.com

If you love gardening but aren’t partial to particular plants, consider growing things that deer won’t be interested in. While no plant is completely immune to a hungry deer’s appetite, some plants have strong scents, flavors, or textures that deer find unappealing.

Incorporating deer-repelling plants like daffodils, foxgloves, marigolds, peonies, rosemary, and lavender into your garden can help deter deer. These plants offer different textures and scents that can repel deer and make your garden less appetizing to them. You should also try to avoid planting their favorite plants, which can include hostas, tulips, and daylilies.

If you’re not sure which deer-resistant plants to choose, consider adding a few barrier plants, such as juniper, holly, or spruce, which can help create a natural boundary around your garden.

Package of 30,000+ Deer Resistant Wildflower Seed Mixture

These flowers aren't appealing to deer.

Hang Metal Objects

A hanging metal decoration
Casey W E Robinson/Shutterstock.com

Deer get spooked easily, so hanging shiny metal objects around your garden can be a surprisingly effective way to scare them off. Hang old CDs, aluminum pie tins, metallic streamers, or any other shiny objects from tree branches, fence posts, or other features around your garden.

Hausse Bird Repellent Spiral Reflectors Silver Mylar Spinner

These can be used to scare deer, birds, and other pests.

The flashing lights and noise created by these objects are likely to scare curious deer away. Over time, they may become wary of the garden surroundings as they perceive it as a danger zone. Be sure to place these objects strategically around the garden to maximize protection.

When hanging the shiny objects, ensure they are in motion and create a bright reflection in the sunlight. This reflection can be seen from a distance by the deer, making them cautious of the area.

Install Motion-Activated Sprinklers

An outdoor sprinkler

If you’re looking for a high-tech solution to keep deer out of your garden, motion-activated sprinklers may be just what you need. These devices use infrared sensors to detect the movement of animals, and then spray a burst of water to scare them off.

Motion Activated Sprinkler & Motion Sensor Sprinkler

Adjustable 24/7 animal detection unit with a 30-foot range for maximum property protection.

One of the main benefits of motion-activated sprinklers is their versatility. They can be battery-operated or solar-powered, so you can choose the option that works best for your garden’s location and your lifestyle.

Another great feature of motion-activated sprinklers is their 360-degree coverage, which means they can detect and spray water in all directions. With this kind of coverage, you can protect your garden from all sides and discourage deer from even approaching your property.

Orbit 58573N H2O-6 Gear Drive Sprinkler

This sprinkler is ready to use right out of the box.

It’s important to note that you should turn off the sprinklers before entering the garden yourself, unless you want to risk an unexpected dousing.

Try DIY Odor Deterrents

Deer in a yard
Frankie Calkins/Shutterstock.com

Odor deterrents can be a great, affordable tool in keeping hungry deer away from your garden. These deterrents work by emitting an unappealing scent to deer, which makes them less likely to approach and eat your plants.

One common DIY solution is a spray made with milk, egg, and spices such as cayenne pepper or garlic powder. To make this spray, simply mix one egg and one cup of milk in a blender or mixer, then add two teaspoons of hot pepper powder or garlic powder. Dilute the mixture with a gallon of water, then spray it on your plants.

McCormick Ground Cayenne Red Pepper

Great for keeping deer away and spicing up dishes.

The odor will deter deer from grazing in your garden. Only spray a small amount in order to avoid damaging the plants themselves.

Human hair can also be an effective deterrent because deer will avoid the scent. After getting a haircut, you can ask your barber for your hair trimmings to scatter around your garden.

Use Deer Repellent Sprays

A deer behind a fence

If you don’t want to take the DIY route, you can commercial repellents instead. These work by creating a scent that is unappealing to deer, deterring them from entering your garden. While these sprays can be effective in the short term, deer may eventually become accustomed to the scent and ignore it over time.

Messina Wildlife Deer Stopper II

Simply spray a fine mist to apply.

If you own pets that have access to your garden, be sure to purchase pet-friendly deer-repellent sprays, or make your own solution.

Bobbex 32 oz. Ready to Use Deer Repellent Spray

This spray is safe for all animals if any dogs or cat accidentally get into it.

When deer get into your garden, they can ruin plants, trees, and flowers in just a few hours. Here are a few ways you can keep them away from your hard work outside.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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