Protecting Your Garden From Deer

Browsing deer can cause a considerable amount of damage to your garden. Due to a loss of habitat and a reduced food supply, more and more deer are visiting home landscapes.

To reduce losses, several strategies can be used. Although no one method will guarantee the safety of your plants, a combination of the following tactics will foster a more protective environment.

Barriers

Tall, sturdy fences will impede deer from entering your garden, but can be costly and difficult to implement, especially in large yards. Inexpensive wire fencing can aid in protecting small areas like a vegetable garden. If the deer are repeatedly eating certain plants, you can also cover areas of your garden at night using netting or special plastic tree and shrub protectors.

Repellent

Repellents boast an unpleasant odor or taste that deer will recognize and avoid. For best results, follow the instructions on your product's packaging and remember to reapply after any rainfall. Repellents should not be counted on for long-term results though. Deer will gradually grow accustomed to the taste or smell of the deterrent and will feel less intimidated, therefore reducing the repellent's effectiveness.

Deer Resistant Plants

Certain varieties of plants have been recognized as unlikely food sources for deer. Of course, no plant can be completely "deer proof". If deer become hungry enough, they will eat almost anything.

Fertilizer

Apply a low nitrogren fertilizer to your plants that may be susceptible to deer damage. Nitrogen is less palatable to deer and will often ward them away from their favorite plants. You can find the amount of nitrogen in a fertilizer by looking at the first number in its formula, which is typically displayed as N-P-K.