The Q&A Archives: Heavily Deer populated area what can be planted?

Question: My Wife & I recently closed on our 1st home. As new home owners we are to say the least very excited and just this past week set out to our local Home Depot to purchase some annuals and perennials to plant in our yard and assorted pots. Our concerns are that just about anything we are about to plant will be eaten while we sleep by the heavy deer poulation that live in our lake community. We have heard that there are certain topical substances that might deter the deer if applied to the plants on a daily basis? How effective if any are topical substances to ward off hungry deer?, also can any of these be applied to vegetable plantings safely for human consumtion? Are we approaching new plantings in heavily deer poulated regions the wrong way or should we perhaps limit ourselves to certain deer resistant plants?

Joseph Bella

Answer: Unfortunately, gardening in deer country can be a challenge. In my own experience, the only truly reliable long term solution is to fence them out of the garden.

However, some gardeners report success using the repellent sprays labeled for deer. You will need to apply and reapply it per the label directions and you may find it is more effective to alternate between the different brands. Frequency of application varies between brands and also on the weather conditions, but if I remember correctly it is not so often as daily.

There are some lists of deer resistant plants, but that does not mean they are deer proof. When browse pressure is severe the deer will eat a wider variety of plants. Your neighbors would be the best source of information as to what the local deer population has not yet decided is edible. However, you may find the following lists interesting.

Best of luck with your new garden!

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