How to keep deer from eating your landscaping
Everyone loves seeing the quite, graceful beauty of deer. They are often seen at dawn or dusk, and paint an ethereal picture of serenity.
However, many know first hand the destruction they can reek in landscaping. It’s not just that they can eat or kill trees, bushes, and flowers, but that the beauty and value of your property can be destroyed also.
The answer to keeping the deer in our communities from eating more than we want is complex. In areas that have a severe overpopulation of deer, or a lack of natural areas to feed, the problem is even worse.
Starting early, and staying vigilant with control strategies is the best way to keep them from eating the landscape that you have planted to beautify your home. If a deer starts to get a taste for forbidden foliage or flowers, they will become bolder, and bolder and take the chance in order to eat the treat.
Following are some ways to keep deer from feasting on your landscape.
Physical barriers include fences, electric fences, and netting. Fences need to be 7-8 feet high, preferably with an additional section at the top slanting in. Using combinations of fences in different heights, and set parallel inside of each other is another method. Electric fencing can be used. Netting can also be wrapped around certain plants or shrubs to protect them. The biggest downside to fencing is that some neighborhoods do not allow the type of fencing that will keep deer away from landscaping..
Noise, water sprays, throwing things, gunshots, and dogs, are some of these. There are commercial items that are set up by motion sensing, and water to go off when something moves in the yard. Noise can scare deer away, but you would have to be out in the garden constantly to make it work. Gunshots in the air can also work, but only when you are there. Also, gunshots are not allowed in some areas. Dogs work by two methods. The noise method and the scent repellant method. But if the dog or noise is not around the deer renew their determination.
Grow plants they don’t like. In general, deer do not like anything with fuzzy leaves. Some great plants that deer do not like are: daffodils, foxglove, lambs ears, daylilies, heuchera, burning bush, butterfly bush, and hydrangea. There are many more selections. White Flower Farm gives an excellent guide and good selection of deer resistant flowers and shrubs. However, none are 100% deer proof. If a deer is hungry enough it will eat anything.
Hunting is often debated of whether it should be allowed. Of course it can only be done in some areas, not in municipalities. However, hunting can be the most humane way to keep the deer population in control. When deer overpopulate in an area, slow starvation, and disease take over.
Mark Viette explains how to prevent deer from eating our gardens.