Tips for Deer-Resistant Gardening


Whole books could be written about methods for deer resistant gardening. Thankfully, deer haven't been that much of an issue for me over the past 18 years living on my property as they seem to have preferred the higher elevations of Colfax, Grass Valley and Forest Hill.

This year, however, is different. For some reason the deer have chosen to place my property in their listing of five-star resorts to visit. For the past few months there has been a family of deer that regularly stop by my property and treat my plantings as I would treat the banquet table at Thanksgiving dinner. A nibble here. A chomp there. Bold as you please with little regard for me and my dogs they saunter through my shrubs, gardens and plantings sampling as they go. So inured have they become to my presence that I can even walk my dogs and they will do little but stop and stare for a few moments. Or perhaps they're just resting their jaws.

 Baby bandits 

And so it is that I have joined the ranks of those who have made it their life's work to deter deer from their garden without the use of deadly force. So, keyboard in hand, I have scoured the Internet in search of remedies and here is a sample of what I've found.

Suggested methods to deter deer:

  • Keep a dog in your yard.
  • Plant deer-resistant plants (short list below)
  • Hang bars of deodorant soap near plantings.
  • Hang bags (a stocking will do) of unwashed human hair near plants.

Commercial products include:

9/3/2012 2:38:45 PM

Claire, deer can indeed be a nuisance. Because of the drought conditions around the country animals that never were a pest are becoming one now. The quest for moisture more than the food has been the driving force to cause the animals to forage areas not on their list from years past. I'm learning the ins and outs of living in harmony with many different species of wild life. Not only do I have jumping deer but I also have flying wild turkeys. Since my newly acquired garden (Terra Nova Gardens) has never been tilled before and the wild life have had their way for generations, they just can't believe that I have turned their territory into a smorgasbord nirvana of wonderful vegetables. I have a fenced in area that I'm working on but haven't completed it well enough to keep out the groundhogs yet. They have discovered that tomatoes are a wonderful treat. So much so that they can't wait to completely eat one before going on to the next one. Between bottom rot and the groundhogs about two thirds of the tomato crop has been destroyed. Such is life in the untamed mid city gardening land. Have a great deer free day in the garden.

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