A Deer Proof Garden

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Don’t plant this…

First, you can steer clear of planting some of the plants deer like to eat. As far as shrubs; azalea, rhododendron, dogwood, roses, lilac and burning bush are some of the favorites. Trees like yews, pines (especially white pine), and fruit trees are all eaten by deer. Garden plants, like most vegetables including beans, peas, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. Corn, blackberries, spring bulbs and hosta have all been known to disappear.

Plant this…

So, in avoiding plants they love, you can go for plants they DON’T like. Among these are borage, ice plant, marigolds and zinnias. Some perennials include alliums, aloe, black-eyed susan, bleeding heart, any of the mints, fern, geranium, iris, and herbs like oregano, rosemary and yarrow. Among the trees and shrubs are bamboo, pampas grass, yucca, barberry, butterfly bush, currant and gooseberry, hawthorn (despite its apple-like berry), holly, mountain laurel, palms, oleander, boxwood and viburnum.

Need other options?

If you already have the plants they like and don’t want to change what you have or start from scratch, there are other natural alternatives to discourage Bambi from munching on your garden and landscaping.

One thing you can start with is a smell deterrent. Among the best ones are the sulphur compounds. They smell like rotten eggs and deer hate them. You might too, but the smell will die down in a day or so. You can also get predator urine. Around here we use coyote urine, which can be purchased at a local garden center or online here. Your area may have other urine preparations that are region specific. I have another one I use that’s a clay granule base with thyme, peppermint and piperine, which is black pepper oil. It also works well for other animals such as bunnies and groundhogs.

Soap also works as a natural deer deterrent. Simply hang a bar in the bushes. (learn to make your own soap here)