The Q&A Archives: Plant Damage by Deer

Question: How do you keep deer away from landscaping beside a long driveway in a remote area? My son has a 1/4 mile long driveway and he has made some islands with flowers along the lowest part where a creek goes through the culvert in his driveway. The deer (about 5) come and pull the annuals up by the roots. I suggested a scarecrow to him and to put some human hair clippings near the flowers so that the deer think humans are nearby. What suggestions would you have. He doesn't want to hurt the deer...just wants them to keep away from his flowers.

Answer: Many gardeners across the country struggle with the deer problem in urban, suburban and rural areas. There are many suggested remedies and deterrents, including using commercial sprays, soap, human hair, blood meal and so on as deterrents. In some cases these efforts are successful in breaking their habit of munching in a particular spot. I hope this is true in your son's garden! Unfortunately, the most reliable protection is a physical barrier. He may be able to build a fairly unobtrusive wire or nylon mesh "cage" around the plantings, or he may need to fence a larger area. An eight foot fence is usually recommended.

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