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Keep Deer out of the Garden | 5 Non-Toxic Gardening Tips

Keep Deer out of the Garden | 5 Non-Toxic Gardening Tips
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deer in garden
It can be very disappointing to find that a plant or plants you have nurtured from seed and lovingly tended to for weeks, has been damaged or destroyed due to opportunist deer who love to munch on tender green shoots just as much as we do.
If you live in an area where deer herds are large and abundant, a physical barrier such as fencing is probably the best bet to keep deer out of the garden. If you are only pestered by deer occasionally, there are a few techniques, tips and natural remedies that may just do the trick to keep these gentle herbivores away from the garden without using chemicals and or spending a lot of money.

5 Ways to Keep Deer out of the Garden

  1. The next time you get your hair trimmed, bring the hair clippings home and spread the hair around the perimeter of your garden. The human scent is said to ward off deer.
  2. Gardener’s with pet dogs or neighbors with dogs are less likely to have deer intruders as the scent of the dog and the dog’s marking of the territory is something deer tend to avoid.
  3. Animal urine. The urine of deer predators may be purchased at hunting retail and supply stores. It’s important that the urine purchased is from a predator that is native to your area. Sprinkle a few drops consistently over various areas of your property. Repeat this application every two weeks or as needed to keep deer out of your garden.
  4. Grow ornamental plants that deer do not like to eat as companion plants near the plants that they do eat.
    TIP: Deer usually do not eat plants with rough, fuzzy or prickly foliage. Or choose plants, flowers and herbs that emit a strong odor — such as garlic, onion, sage and marigolds. These options are all unappealing to deer. Place several of these plants or a combination of the plants in areas where deer are likely to access your garden.
  5. Lastly, some folks swear that installing or using a small blinking LED light-such as those used on bicycles or on pet collars for night travel will keep the deer away.

Do you have a method to keep deer out of the garden that was not mentioned here? If you do, please share it with us.

Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley Wigglesworth


Shelley (Fleming) Wigglesworth is an award-winning freelance journalist from Maine specializing in maritime topics and the commercial fishing industry. She is also a certified Maine Master Gardener who writes gardening articles on a regular basis for Yankee Magazine. Her work can be found in the following publications: The York County Coast Star, Portsmouth Herald, Bangor Daily News, Yankee Magazine (online), National Fisherman Magazine, Commercial Fisheries News, Tourist News, Points East Magazine, Coastal Angler and The Maine Lobstermen's Association’s “Landings.” Follow Shelley on Facebook.
Updated Monday, May 27th, 2013

2 Responses to Keep Deer out of the Garden | 5 Non-Toxic Gardening Tips

  1. Cecilia July 22, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I use Liquid Fence, that I spray weekly for the first month, then continue to spray once monthly. It really works. I buy the concentrate and dilute it myself to save some money. I have tried many other methods, but so far, this one has worked for me

  2. Doug Ray May 26, 2016 at 7:41 am #

    I’m not a salesman but the product “Deer Out” beats everything.

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