Keeping Deer Away From Your Garden Buffet

To the average deer your flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees, and shrubs are like a 24-hour salad bar. These creatures of habit can eat from 2-4.5 kg of vegetation a day and cause extensive damage.

The key to keeping Deer off your property is to give them the brush off before they establish their visitation pattern. Keep your grass cut short or even consider replacing your lawn with ecologically friendly plant species.  A dog or cat that spreads their scent on your property is an excellent deterrent. Deer generally avoid plants that are bitter, fuzzy, coarse, spiny, or highly fragrant.

Deer rely on their acute sense of smell to alert them to danger. By using this to your advantage you can discourage them from becoming regulars at your garden buffet. There are many home remedies Deer dislike for example the scent of onions, chives, and garlic. They’ll also avoid pungent herbs such as sage, thyme, and oregano.

There are many recipes for homemade repellents, with users reporting varying degrees of success. Egg-based repellents work best because the sulfurous odor of putrefied egg smells like rotting meat to deer, suggesting the presence of predators. Including cooking oil reduces the need for reapplication after a light rain.

Another easily purchased deterrent is to sprinkle chili powder or blood meal around plants that you want to protect.  Citrus based cleaners that can be diluted with water and sprayed on your shrubs work great because of the nasty taste. These types of products need to be applied every 2-3 weeks in spring and early summer to keep the offenders away.

There are also many commercial products available but it is highly recommended to read the label thoroughly to be sure the ingredients will cause no harm to pets that visit the area. Use only those products approved for human consumption to protect plants in your vegetable garden.

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