Texas Gardening forum: Homemade deer repellent that actually works

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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Mar 18, 2016 1:53 PM CST
As I've posted in this forum before the deer here in town, thanks to the residents who think it's cute to feed them, have become a real problem for those of us who value our plants. Currently I've got my overwinter greenhouse cleaned out except for my Hibiscus which I'm afraid to put out because last year they ate them down to practically nothing.

I've found lots of sites with tons of homemade deer repellent recipes listed but I thought that instead of trying each of them and 1)wasting a lot of time and money and 2)having a lot of my plants eaten because of those that don't work, that I'd ask here if anyone has a good, sure fire recipe for deer repellent that they absolutely know will work and if they would be kind enough to share it.

Chris
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
Daylilies Butterflies Dragonflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers Hibiscus
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froggardener
Mar 18, 2016 9:27 PM CST
Chris somewhere on one of the forums, they were talking about deer spray
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Mar 18, 2016 9:58 PM CST
They are talking about this on the daylily forum: http://garden.org/thread/go/46943/
In case the link doesn't work, look for the thread 'spraying for deer'. The thread is currently active.
Donald
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Mar 19, 2016 7:49 AM CST
Thanks Jolana and thanks for the link Donald. From reading the entire thread it seems like nothing really works except a really high fence. I'd love to have one of those steel fences like the guy a couple of houses down has. It's either 8' or 10' but that would only help keep them out of my back yard. I like putting my Hibiscus out in the front to show them off and of course with the deer doing their daily grocery shopping that's the first thing they grab. I've still got 3/4ths of a bag of Milorganite guess I could make sure I apply that on a weekly schedule and see what happens.

On another quick subject what do you think about the cold snap we're supposed to get tonight and tomorrow night! I emptied out my overwinter greenhouse the other day and some plants are already out front and the rest are in the back waiting to be moved. I've even got my tomato seedlings planted. Guess I'll just water everything really well and hope for the best. Will have to run the heater in my orchid greenhouse though tonight and tomorrow night. Thought I was done with doing that. But then I should know better.
Chris
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Mar 19, 2016 11:33 AM CST
Yeah, I'm always a bit skeptical about animal deterrents. Currently I'm using a lot of Cayenne pepper powder on pots because my dog likes to dig in them and he doesn't like the pepper. That has been ineffective with past dogs, though. In fact, I think this one might be the first pooch that didn't just ignore it. So far it's working. I just don't know if he'll get immune to the effect or how long the powder retains the heat. Hopefully by then he'll have dropped the habit soon. I've always wanted to try Milorganite, but it's never available locally or even in larger cities when I've looked for it.

It got cold enough here last night that I could have seen frost, but I think there was enough breeze to keep it from doing any damage. I'm not seeing any damage yet, at least. A rare time when some wind is appreciated. Tonight is supposed to be even colder and then another night in the frost range tomorrow night. I hope it misses, but being in a low river bottom sure puts my location at risk. I think you might miss an actual frost where you are. I'm about 100 miles north and I'd think you'll probably stay a few degrees warmer. I've been expecting it. Latest I can remember a really damaging freeze here was on April 20. I just moved everything back inside. Monday I'll start hauling it all back out again, I guess.
Donald
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
Daylilies Butterflies Dragonflies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Native Plants and Wildflowers Hibiscus
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froggardener
Mar 19, 2016 11:53 AM CST
What a pain.
Decades ago we lived where deer were a problem. We tried everything, hair from barber shop, soap, cayenne, Sulphur and eggs, coyote and bobcat urine, nothing worked
My sil's sister told me after hearing about the cayenne pepper, " you know Jolana, they are Tx deer, you know they love pepper !"

We have them in the front here but just have plants that they won't go near.
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Donald
Eastland county, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Enjoys or suffers hot summers Raises cows Plant Identifier
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needrain
Mar 19, 2016 12:22 PM CST
I wouldn't expect Cayenne to work with deer. It's on the soil and my puppy gets a sniff and then rubs his face with his paws and starts rooting a bit on the ground - just like he does when he gets blasted by a skunk. My past experience with using it never worked, but I decided to try it again. I think it would have to be stuck to the foliage to have an effect on deer and I think taste buds are really a different matter than inhaling it. I'd expect that puppy to scarf it right down the gullet if it was applied to a piece of bacon! If I could get some Scorpio pepper powder, I might try using some kind of sticker with it for foliage, but it would be for the tree squirrels to see if it would work. They do persist in tasting things. Smiling
Donald
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
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drdawg
Mar 19, 2016 1:10 PM CST
I have a plastic mesh fence around my raised garden and it is 5' at its maximum height and 4' at its lowest (my garden tappers because it is built on a slight hill). I found that if I put tall plants just inside the mesh every 3-6 feet (I use plumeria and tall tomato plants and the branching takes up some of the space between), deer will not jump that fencing. The tallest plumeria will be inside the fencing with the shortest height. I will bunch the tomato plants some to give more visual density. I think the deer want to see a "safe" landing spot and the plants don't afford them that. I must admit that I have never tried any deterrent though.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 19, 2016 8:23 PM CST
My sympathies, I can relate to the deer problem. We used to have a very bad deer problem in our old development about 8 years ago. The neighbors did just that, fed the deer and thought it was "fun". Our plants took a beating, until I contacted our pest control company. Once a month, we had a technician come out and spray all the plants in the yard with what smelled like rotten eggs, and garlic. It actually worked the whole month unless it had been super rainy, so maybe the last week wouldn't be so great. Anyway, the technician would come at end of day, put on a suit, and spray the heck out of the yard. Saved a lot of plants and us from buying gallons of Deer Off. The neighbors that were down wind weren't all that thrilled for a few hours after, but I didn't care because they were the ones feeding the deer.

Perhaps that is available in your area? It was human and pet safe, just took a few hours to lighten up after the spray. Other than that.....fence is the only option I know of (believe me I tried a lot of other ideas). My current resolution? We are again in an area with deer. I am making my indoors my main garden and any roses, etc that I worry about, are next to the house or wherever they (deer) don't normally go. Good luck!!!
[Last edited by AlyssaBlue - Mar 19, 2016 8:29 PM (+)]
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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Mar 20, 2016 7:40 AM CST
Maybe if I stuck life-sized silhouettes of hunters with AR-15s in the yard that would scare them off Rolling on the floor laughing , no, I doubt it. I doubt the city would go for an 8' chain link fence around my property. A 6' would not do as they can jump that easily. I guess right now my option is to use the Milorganite when I move the Hibiscus and other plants they love up front and see what happens. If they eat them down to numbs I can always move them back into the greenhouse to recover.
Chris
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
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AlyssaBlue
Mar 20, 2016 8:07 PM CST
Their brains must tell them "ok, first I go the arborvitae....then the hisbiscus....then to the lavender. He he....humans think lavender is deer proof but its dessert for me....." One time they ate the clematis. The darn plant actually grew back more full than before, so there's always hope....
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 27, 2016 2:22 PM CST
We have several dogs patrolling our property. The deer keep their distance.
Porkpal
Name: Carol Texas
Central Texas (Zone 8b)
"Not all who wander are lost."
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Ecscuba
Mar 31, 2016 4:42 AM CST
@Chris1948 the best thing we did was buy some of that low voltage electric wire/fence from Home Depot. We put a cheap fold out type of fencing around the garden area first (it's about 38" high maybe) - and then we bought the tall "stakes" for the electric fence and that made a row above the fold out fence. We've had it up over a year and the deer are now well trained. They totally leave it alone. We get to eat the veggies now !
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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Mar 31, 2016 7:37 AM CST
Great idea Carol, I don't have a way to put electricity out to the backyard and I'm sure my wife would tell me how tacky it looks if I tried to put up some of the orange barrier fencing above the chain link we have which would stop them from jumping the fence.
Chris
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Mar 31, 2016 9:03 PM CST
If you want to try the electric fence you can use a solar powered charger.
Porkpal
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Apr 1, 2016 8:18 AM CST
Good idea, I've got a couple of solar panels and batteries here at the house already. Can't remember if they're 6 or 12v.
Chris
Texas (Zone 8a)
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GrammaChar
Apr 3, 2016 12:32 PM CST
I sympathize. Here in Central Texas, the white-tailed and axis deer are out of control - mainly due to corn feeders. Now that my dog is getting up in years, she doesn't chase them like she used to (but she loves to hunt for antlers that have dropped off). I've moved my butterfly plants into the vegetable garden (which is small and fenced). The rest of the yard I'm transitioning to gray-green plants and salvias which, apparently, don't taste good. This year the deer have eaten every poppy flower as soon as it bloomed. Frustrating! I can't afford a deer fence - so I'm trying to outsmart them.
Sad about your hibiscus plants.
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GrammaChar
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Apr 3, 2016 4:09 PM CST
Same here, we're not too far from each other. There are a lot of hunters on Ft. Hood who have their feeds up most of the year I guess in their spots and also there are so many new houses being built around here that their habitat is being destroyed so they come into town looking for food. Certain people here in town think it's neat to hand feed them or setup out food for them but of course they don't have plants to worry about that they've dedicated a lot of time and effort to in growing. I took the chance this year and set two of my nicest Hibiscus out front this year and then filled the pots with Milorganite. So far they haven't messed with them but then I haven't seen any signs that they have been around either. I'd love to add another 4' of fence in my back yard even if it's just putting up T-Posts and connecting orange barrier fence to it. Anything that they can't jump over. I'm afraid that wouldn't go over very big with my wife though. She will allow me to put some around the greenhouse this year when I roll the sides up though.
Chris

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