Best Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

There are numerous deer control measures regularly parroted on various commercial, online, and even academic platforms. However, finding some consensus on the most effective deer control measures available to property owners, to prevent deer in backyard gardens can be a little more challenging.

There is some division, even among experts, on whether it would be more prudent to implement the more creative wireless solutions, instead of using more mechanical and perhaps draconian deer-resistant methods against a wild animal that is usually curious enough to push the envelope on just about anything. Curious deer don’t know their limits. 

What we do know is the deer control measures property owners end up adopting are usually determined by their general location and the surrounding environment. 

If you live where plump deer pass in late spring, this article is for you. 

How To Do Deer Proof Fencing Using Wireless Methods

While wireless deer control methods are actually highly effective in stoking fear in wild animals that roam around your property, there are some drawbacks that you should know about when considering some of these solutions.

Wireless deer control can be sensitive to time, in the sense that the devices used need to be regularly charged and replaced. If you are not particularly diligent, the deer could wreak havoc on your vegetable garden, fruit trees, foliage, or evergreen shrubs before you realize that some level of maintenance ought to be done.

The other significant drawback for people seeking wireless deer control options is that there is usually a cost implication involved in making sure that the various methods stay effective over a sustained period of time. Nevertheless, all of these options remain worth looking into.

Can You Control Deer With A Wireless Deer Fence?

Yes, wireless deer fences used to help deer-proof your garden are readily available on the market, and some of them have received overwhelmingly positive reviews from customers who have bought them.

The basic tenet of a wireless deer fence is negative reinforcement, through shock treatment. The designers of a wireless deer fence were riding on the widely accepted notion that deers are incredibly curious creatures, who don’t see the danger until it actually hits them. 

The wireless deer fence also plays on a deer’s senses, which are drawn to the fence by a sweet strong scent. When they touch it with the nose or with the tongue, they are immediately shocked, which hopefully deters them from roaming in the area again. For all the senses of smell and touch, deer have very poor depth perception. Therefore most things will surprise them.

The great difficulty here is that there is only so much area a wireless deer fence can cover, and there are no guarantees that a deer will not figure out a way to circumvent it either. So, this is more of deer control, and not so much deer deterrent. Like other similar products, a wireless deer fence is not 100 percent effective.

Do Ultrasonic Deer Repellents Really Work?

Yes, ultrasonic deer repellents do work but your level of success is often determined by the product that you purchase at online vendors like Amazon. The commonly held view is that this is better than an electric fence. You will seldom see deer return with this. You don’t need a fence to deer-proof. 

The beauty about ultrasonic deer repellents is that they are also effective when repelling other animals that can prove an absolute nuisance when wandering onto your property. 

Among the more common curious animal visitors are rats, squirrels, raccoons, skunks, rabbits, moles, and domestic animals like cats. Where the wireless deer fence has been designed to inflict some level of pain on a deer roaming around your property, an ultrasonic device is considered to be the more humane of the wireless options available.

The ultrasonic deer repellent rides on just how sensitive deers can be to high-frequency sounds that don’t usually have an impact on humans. With this device, the sound is emitted by speakers once the motion sensors on your property have been triggered. Many products like this also have lights installed on them, which feeds on another deer weakness, which is the high sensitivity to lights.

Do Motion Sensor Sprinklers Keep Deer Away?

Yes, motion sensor sprinklers are an outstanding option for property owners who need to scare deer away. Not only is this an effective liquid fence, but is perhaps among the more humane wireless options currently available on the market. Like the ultrasonic devices, sprinklers are also effective with more than just deer and work on numerous animals.

The underlying principle of this device is that a sprinkler system is activated once a set of motion sensors have been set off. The device also plays on the deer’s senses with the clicking sound that comes with the territory when a sprinkler is activated. 

Deer are very sensitive to sound, as they are to lights which can also be used instead of a sprinkler system. Or you could use lights in combination with the sprinkler system, to enhance the effect of deterring the deer in your garden.

How To Deer Proof Your Garden Using Mechanical Methods

You can get a landscape designer, with expertise in landscape plantings to help you with some of these creative solutions. 

Keep Deer Out Your Garden By Building A Wall

The key to building a wall that will keep deer out of your garden is that it needs to be high enough. The trouble with deer is that they can jump anywhere in the region of eight feet high, which makes height a primary consideration when building a wall to keep deer out, because the list of deer that jump this high is actually endless.

It is also worth remembering that while deer jump high, they do not jump particularly far forward, which is why it might be more prudent to build a wall that is slightly lower but at a slanting angle, to help save on the cost implications.

The type of landscape you are dealing with will also determine the choice of deer proof wall that you build. Sometimes an erect wall will be more practical than a slanted wall. Double fences are also a suitable option or something worth considering when building a wall for deer control. You could also consider a split rail fence. Just make it a tall fence.

Metal deer fencing is also a compelling option, although it is often a louder option, and sometimes a more dangerous option for the animal.

Keep Deer Out Your Garden With Deer Netting or Electric Deer Fences

While height remains a primary consideration, even with deer netting, a defining feature of this deer control tool is that it is considerably easier to install and also a lot more cost-effective for homeowners. It will also be great at keeping most animals away from your fruits, vegetables, and plants. The functionality is similar to that of tree wraps. 

The only real drawback with this option is strength. Deer are strong animals that can force their way through a situation when it’s demanded. So, it might act as a deterrent, but if a deer is committed to the task of raiding your garden, you might need to explore something a little more resilient.

Electrifying the netting or fence does change the dynamic though, and it won’t matter how fragile the deer control system is.

What Can I Put In My Garden To Keep Deer Away?

You don’t always need a physical barrier or electric fencing to create a deer resistant garden. Just knowing how to deal with a hungry deer is enough, by controlling what it does and does not eat. All of these will qualify as a highly effective deer barrier. Deer resistant design does not need to be complicated.

Keep Deer Out Your Garden With Commercial Deer Repellents

Chemical deer repellents or commercial products are perhaps the least desirable option because they can be harmful to both animals and humans. But they are still effective deer repellents. A common example of a chemical repellent that can be used for comprehensive deer control is Irish Spring Soap. You can use a grater to produce soap bar shavings, which you should then sprinkle across your garden, to create deer resistant flowers.

The deterrent here is the scent that the soap gives off, which the deer don’t like. However, it probably isn’t the most effective option available to property owners out there. 

Thiram is another compelling option used for deer control. Thiram is available to consumers as dust, wettable powder, spray product, flowable concentrate, water dispersible granule, soluble concentrate, and as a ready-to-use liquid. It is usually sprayed or brushed onto trees and plants. If those trees and plants aren’t vegetables that you plan on eating, you should be reasonably safe here.

The application of creosote is another common technique used for deer control in some parts of the world, although the method does come with a bag of mixed reviews. Those who claim that it is effective in dealing with deer, usually soak a set of rags or similar cloth with creosote, before hanging it around their gardens. If effective, it might even be useful to use this deer control technique in combination with putting up a tall and slightly slanted fence.

What Vegetables Do Deer Not Eat?

Deer Resistant Plant List 

A commonly held view is that deer do not eat tobacco plants, although this remains a subject for debate. However, the logic here is that you plant tobacco on the outskirts of your garden to help steer the deer in the wrong direction, as they avoid exploring around your tobacco plants. 

The jury is out on just how effective this is though, although fragranced foliage does remain a sellable option for those trying to keep animals and other critters off their property. It might also help ensure that your flower beds or garden beds are not completely destroyed. 

There is also a commonly held view that deer are not too big on root vegetables either, because digging them up is too much of a chore. So, you could get away with planting only those in your garden.

You will also get to keep deer away by planting hairy foliage or prickly foliage in your garden, even if they only have sharp hairs on their leaves. Pumpkins, squash, and cucumber are all deer proof plants found in your vegetable beds.

Deer can also be a little fussy on taste, which means that you will probably keep them away with vegetables like onions, garlic, and fennel. Naturally deer do not like anything that tastes too bitter. The strong odor associated with these vegetables also acts as somewhat of a deterrent for the deer in your neck of the woods.

Deer also do not like velvety silver leaves, because of the smell. Daffodils, foxgloves, and poppies are some of the other resistant varieties of plants that deer try to avoid. These can also be strategic varieties of plants, when you need a plan to keep deer out of your garden. 

However, the list of deer favorites, that deer will have an absolute field day with includes: 

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Beets
  • Berries (most kinds)
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrot (tops)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce & Leafy Greens (red lettuces are less palatable)
  • Peas
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Swiss Chard
  • Turnip
  • Some poisonous plants

A deer exposed to these plants is a happy deer. If you plant any of these in your garden, you are in for a long struggle if you do not implement any other form of deer control to prevent them from attacking a favorite plant. These are not deer-resistant plants. 

Deer are usually around from spring until frost, which is sun bloom time, and when there are more than enough plants around to nibble. So, whatever methods you use, there can be no half measures. 

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