Help! Deer Are Ruining My Garden!

Sure is cute, but sure can cause a lot of problems in your garden!

One of the most common problems people come to us with is that deer are eating all of their plants! What plants can you put in your garden that are deer resistant? What method works best for keeping deer out of your yard?

There are several plants that are “deer-resistant,” however, this does not guarantee that deer will stay away from them; it means they are less likely to eat these than others. If deer are hungry enough and there is nothing else to eat, you betcha they will snack on your Echinacea!

            There is still less chance they will eat “deer resistant” plants, so it is worth the shot, especially if deer frequent your yard. Some of our favorite “deer resistant” plants are Barberry, Boxwood, Rose of Sharon, Weigela and Viburnum. They are classic, functional and standout plants and deer will avoid them for the most part unless they are starving.

            If deer visit your yard and leave it looking worse for wear, eating even your “deer resistant” plants, you may want to try another method. Deer repellents are another great option. There are several different repellents on the market which you may need to experiment with before finding the one that works best for you. Most also require reapplication every thirty days or after heavy rainfalls. At Knapp Valley we have had success with Liquid Fence & Sweeney’s Deer Repellent, which we carry in our Garden Center.

Liquid Fence Deer Repellent

To use Liquid Fence, spray liberally on all plants and their perimeter. Repeat a week later and then once per month thereafter, re-applying after heavy rainfalls.

Sweeney's Deer Repellent

Sweeney’s Deer Repellent comes in the form of stakes which you place around your yard once a year. Air flows through the stakes which carries the repellent scent around your yard, triggering the flight-response in deer.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer there are also several recipes scattered on the internet that you can concoct in your own kitchen. Below is a popular recipe, which we have not yet tried ourselves but have heard many success stories about. (I believe this recipe was originally taken from Fine Gardening.)

Things You’ll Need:

4 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper

1 cup white vinegar

½ cup peeled garlic

1 cup clear ammonia

1 cup Murphy’s oil soap

1 bar Ivory hand soap (optional)

Boil the cayenne in the vinegar for one minute, and then strain it through a coffee filter. In a blender, purée the garlic in two cups of water, and then strain that mixture through another filter. Combine the two filtered liquids with the ammonia and oil soap in a 3-gallon garden sprayer. Fill the sprayer to the maximum level with water, and spray this concoction around all of the areas you want to protect. For extra stickiness, float a bar of Ivory soap in the sprayer and let it slowly dissolve over several fillings. For maximum effectiveness, reapply weekly, as well as immediately after every rainstorm. More frequent spraying may be warranted if deer browsing is intense.

Hopefully you will find success using one or more of the above methods. Let us know if you have a tried and true method to keeping the deer out of your yard!

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