Keeping Deer Out of Your Garden
Myles Gleason
Keep your garden safe this spring!

Deer are beautiful creatures and oftentimes we are awe-struck when our paths cross. However, that feeling can quickly disappear when we realize our gardens are disappearing due to deer.

While there is no fool-proof way for deterring deer, here are some helpful tips you can use to protect your gardens.

  1. Shooting deer is not permissible in residential areas. Instead, try to scare them away. Attach pie tins, aluminum foil and other items to tree branches to frighten deer.
  2. Deer prefer certain plants over others. Add a selection of plants with strong aromas like lantana, rosemary, sage or thyme. Other plants deer do not like are butterfly bushes, barberry, Carolina jessamine, marigolds and zinnias. Deer particularly are fond of hostas, daylilies, candytuft and hibiscus among others.
  3. Build a fence at least eight feet in height. Deer can typically jump over fences shorter than eight feet. You can also install wire fences that can shock deer when they come near; the shock will only startle the deer and not harm them.
  4. Spray taste repellents to your plants. Repellents give off an offensive smell and bitter taste without harming the deer. Over time, deer learn to avoid these plants; however repeated spraying will be necessary.
  5. Wrap a barrier around tree trunks. Deer, especially young bucks, like to rub their antlers on trees, damaging the bark. This can be particularly harmful to young trees that are trying to establish. Wrapping a barrier around the trunk with materials like tubing, mesh wire or similar materials will make the tree less attractive and reduce damage.

Again, please be mindful and respectful when protecting your homes from deer. If there is a lasting problem, you feel you cannot fix, contact your local Bryan county office or visit www.caes.uga/extension/bryan.

Photo courtesy of countryliving.com.

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