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Article: How to Control Deer in Your Garden

Deer are the most difficult of all pests to deter from a garden. They love many different plants. Flowers, vegetables, trees and shrubs are all on their menu.

The best way to keep deer out of a garden is by using a fence that is at least 6 feet high. If it's a small garden that may be feasible but for large gardens or yards, the cost is prohibitive, or possibly not practical.

So the only other choice is deterrents.

Deer don't like the smell of raw eggs, fish products, kelp, or ammonia. Any spray made from these products can be used. Just mix the product of choice in water and spray the plants to be protected.

Deer don't like the smell of soap either. Some gardeners have especially found success with Dial and Zest brands.

Blood meal scattered around the garden is another good deterrent.

Since deer don't like capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot, a spray made from chili peppers deters deers.

Hang fragrant fabric-softener strips, and small nylon bags filled with human hair on trees around the garden.

Some gardeners have found success by laying chicken wire on the ground about six feet wide around the perimeter of the garden. The deer don't like to walk on it because their hooves get stuck in the loops of the wire.

Try planting time-released garlic capsules at the bases of trees or shrubs or in the rows of plants to be protected.

There is a wide variety of plants that deer won't eat. A list of what they like and don't like can be obtained from your local county cooperative extension office.

Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney - Marilyn Pokorney is freelance writer of science, nature, animals and the environment. She also loves crafts, gardening, and reading. Website:


How to Control Deer in Your Garden

Deer can easily jump a fence that is 6 or 7 feet high. We did a lot of phoning around before we went into the expense and effort of building our fence for around our HUGE garden and orchard area. We bought 12 foot posts and put them in the ground 4 feet and then cemented the corner posts in for added strength. Then we used a wire fence that had rectangle openings 8" x 6" (cheapest that comes in a 4 foot width) for all around the perimeter of the fence, for the bottom 4' of fence. We then placed a wire, a barbless wire, at every foot above the stucco at the 5', 6', 7' and 8', all around the garden. Now in the wintertime we can see the desire of the deer to go into our garden area (raspberry bushes are in there) by looking at all of their footprints in the snow along the edge of the fence. I grew carrots, peas, beans, and strawberries for the first time last year. We looked upon the fence as being an investment well worth our time, money and effort. (03/04/2005)


By Valleyrimgirl

How to Control Deer in Your Garden

We found that just throwing egg shells, and even raw eggs in the garden (really a couple of dozen eggs cost about $2.50 at most) in will deter deer very quickly. They even leave sweet corn alone. Just buy a dozen eggs and toss them in. (03/04/2005)

By Margie

How to Control Deer in Your Garden

A mixture of 1 egg (whipped) added to 4 litres (16 cups) of water and then shaken well to mix will work wonderfully as a spray on any plant that you do not want the deer to eat. This is what I spray on the plants near the house. It has to be reapplied after each rain though. The garden is too far away from the house to be checking each night so that is why my previous post talks about the BIG fence that we put up last year.


Margie, with the whole eggs, how long do the deer leave the garden/plants alone? I have an area that is just on the edge of our dog's circle around the house, not in the BIG garden, but FULL of assorted perennials that I spray faithfully all summer. Whole dog would lick them up immediately! She already tries to lick the plants that I spray. (03/04/2005)

By Valleyrimgirl

How to Control Deer in Your Garden

Deer do not like the smell of humans so I make my husband take off his smelly t-shirt every night from landscaping all day and put it on a big rock beside my hosta. The deer have not been back since. (07/20/2005)

By Cheryl

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