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Deer, Deer Go Away and Let Me Kept My Flowers One More Day

Ask the Expert: In our small town we have a problem with deer. Each section of town seems to have it’s own herd. They eat all our fir trees and now eat tomatoes plants,green peppers and even marigolds. We have tried different ways to keep them away.ie. human hair different sprays and nothing seems to work. Any suggestion?Please contact me if you can help. Thanks Judie


  1. Judie,

    Unfortunately, there are not many successful options to deter deer. Because we have encroached on their habitat and natural food sources, deer now look to our garden for food. You can purchase deer repellent from your local garden center, however unless your very diligent in applying the pellets they are not effective. You could try applying a predator scent around the perimeter of your garden. A local hunting goods store might have predator scent or you could use a 1 part ammonia to 3 parts water solution. You could, also, plant deer resistant plants like Achillea, daffodils, allium, rosemary etc. The problem is depending on how hungry the deer are nothing is a sure thing in keeping them away from your tasty plants. Maybe another reader will have some suggestions

  2. The best deer repellent I’ve found is Liquid Fence, but it must be sprayed regularly, especially after heavy rains. One quart of the concentrate goes into a 4-gallon backpack sprayer and is enough to cover the landscaped area of our 2 acre lot. It is not a chemical, but smells awful til it dissipates –not as bad for you to smell as ammonia is. Deer/bird netting draped over and around plants also deters them. Rebar and heavier wire deer fencing around trees and shrubs also works. Fishing line wire, stretched at two foot levels from the ground up and three feet from any plant has also worked for us. Dogs are great chasers if you can keep them on your property. Any product with blood meal seems to attract predators and smaller pests like skunks, racoons, possums and the like, who can do as much digging damage as the deer do eating damage. As a last resort, and if you’re really ambitious, the most permanent might be electric fencing.

  3. P.S. Oct-Jan is male deer rutting season, where they rub their antlers on smaller tree bark and destroy limbs, breaking them all to pieces. If they encircle the tree, chances of saving it are minimal. Use white plastic spiral strips from your nursery made for this purpose. They not only deter the deer if you place them high and low enough, but are reusable next season.

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