How To Keep Deer From Your Vegetable Garden

Keeping deer out of your garden can be so much of a chore, some growers resort to awkward repellents like bear urine, or planting only un-tasty plants that no animal wishes to nibble.  If your plan is to garden for fruit or vegetables, you are going to have to deal with the stupid critters.

Bambi is a ruminant herbivore with definite favorite and least favorite things to eat.  If you live in a climate that gets a hard winter then in the spring time she has spent all winter without anything super nutritious or green.

Nibbling dry bark or dead grass is enough to make deer roam into neighborhoods and backyards to try what might be a tasty treat that they haven’t tried.

Some folks go to store and buy a fix but that is not my style.  I have the problem nipped in the bud early in the spring when the deer are getting their feeding trails established after the snow melt.  I look for tracks in the mud or dirt and create an obstruction.  See, my garden is mostly walled by either the garage, hedge, or raised beds creating a parameter.  If I see them entering my soon to be thriving back yard, I park a wheel barrow or bale of straw where they are entering.  Just don’t let them in.

Not everyone has this option so I will write a bit about the more sane alternatives that I have read.

Have the boys pee out there!  If you have a boy or man who can discretely leak around the garden, you will not have deer pressure.

Unlike humans, deer are ‘prey’ critters and have their senses tuned for avoiding conflict with anything with canine teeth.  Fox, Wolf, coyote, or human urine is a sign for them to turn around and slowly leave the garden.  Keeping an outside dog should help but that is a lifestyle choice not to be made just to make gardening easier.

There are some strategic plantings that will not be harmed by deer, and maybe keep grazers away from neighboring tasty plants.  However, I have seen some of these plants living right next to deer damaged plants.  You can search for this list online, I won’t list it because it is only mildly effective, and controls what you have planted in your yard (wait, that’s your job).

Leaving worn laundry in the yard will suit the same purpose as predator urine by ‘marking’ the space as a scary omni/carnivore’s land.  Strong soap can be tied in an old nylon and tacked to a tree.  Not any one of these suggestions is the ultimate answer.  If the deer are starved, they might walk up on the porch and eat the wreath off the front door, so in order to really ward them off you must understand their motivation which is fairly complicated without watching them all day.  But then again, that could be fun.

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