Ask a Question forum: How to deter deer

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4Dee7
Aug 17, 2015 11:07 AM CST
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 17, 2015 11:32 AM CST
It depends somewhat on how attractive your garden is and how scarce food is for the deer nearby. There are so many different deer deterrents, from scent deterrents, sounds of voices (an old radio) and moving scary things to motion activated sprinklers. But the only true, for sure method is a really high fence, I'm afraid. Has to be over 6ft. to make them think twice. A 4ft. fence will only amuse them.

For the lowest price, I'd start with a scent deterrent, spray something noxious smelling like egg whites mixed with garlic and pepper in a perimeter around the area you want to protect. There's a commercial product called 'Critter Ridder' available at the big box stores. Or there are a variety of scent deterrents available online. Be sure to choose one that says it repels deer, because some scents are repellent to smaller animals but the deer don't mind it. Here's a link to a bunch of others to try from home made stuff:
http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf/Pest_Control/Deer/Keeping-Deer-... Be sure to scroll down to the second article where there is a list of several ideas.

My favorite is a motion detector sprinkler, a gadget called a Scarecrow sprinkler. It has a motion detector (even works at night) that activates an impulse sprinkler that sprays a strong, noisy spray of water for 3 seconds. Very startling. It works to keep the birds and squirrels off my fruit trees, but does use a fair amount of water if it's windy. The motion of the leaves also activates the spray. They're available online from Amazon. Also works well to keep the neighbor's dogs off your lawn . . . Whistling
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Aug 17, 2015 11:43 AM (+)]
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Name: woofie
NE WA (Zone 5a)
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woofie
Aug 17, 2015 11:42 AM CST
And in some places, the Fish and Wildlife Departments will provide deer fencing. When we lived in Oregon, they gave us 8 ft field fencing and posts to protect our garden.
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4Dee7
Aug 17, 2015 3:09 PM CST
Thank you both for the input.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Chillybean
Aug 18, 2015 9:47 AM CST
We are starting to see more deer here, so it is a little concerning. So far, they have not done any damage to plants around the yard.

Deer do not like grazing where there are strong smelling plants. They want to smell that a predator is coming. Because we did not see deer until recently, I didn't consider this when choosing plants. I had planted quite a few Monarda fistulosa around the property and later I learned this is one plant they avoid. This summer, I planted Mountain mint here and there for deer and rabbits. Admittedly, I have also heard some people say if they are hungry enough, they will eat anything, anywhere. At least, so far, we are doing well, and I enjoy the plants.
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 18, 2015 3:40 PM CST
Where we lived in Utah, before moving to Florida, if the fall weather was warm and dry, the deer would migrate down the mountainsides into people's gardens where there was still green forage to eat, because of course the gardens were irrigated. I'm sure it's the same in other mountain, desert or cold winter areas.

As the nights got colder and more plants died back, yes, they would feed on anything that was left with green on it. If you didn't scare the local herd away early on, they would even feed on the rose bush canes, and dormant evergreens, and then eat the bark off the trees which really did a lot of damage. So it's a good idea to establish a 'perimeter' for the plants you really care about, using scent deterrents and other means, and plant the deer resistant plants outside of that.

Oh, I was reminded that someone gave me a tip to hang old computer discs around the yard, for reflection and motion. My critters got used to them pretty quickly, but hey, it's a use for some old useless pieces of plastic anyway.
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Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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