This time of year, roving herds of deer are a common sight in neighborhoods in Maryland. In addition to being a dangerous nuisance to drivers, whitetail deer can also be a real headache for gardeners. Deer love to munch on plants like hostas, pansies and impatients. They’re also fond of many of the same fruits and vegetables humans like to eat as well. If you have a garden in this area, chances are you’ve had to chase a few deer off from time to time. You may have even lost some of your favorite plants to the wandering foragers. This year, let’s take a few extra precautions to deer proof your garden.
There are a number of repellent products on the market that you can apply around your garden to deter deer from stopping in for a snack. Most of these repellents use naturally-occurring chemicals like Sulphur, ammonia and capsaicin to make your garden less appealing to deer. For best results, you should rotate different types of repellents throughout the season and reapply them after rainfalls.
This is a different kind of deterrent that tricks deer into thinking there are predators around your garden. Many people find predator urine to be an effective way to keep deer away, but it can be expensive to maintain around a large garden. Spray applications need to be reapplied as often as once a week. Granular options are typically less expensive and more practical for use in large gardens.
Other Scare Tactics
Deer are easily spooked by unfamiliar noises and movement. Placing ornaments like wind chimes and wind spinners around your garden can make deer nervous about getting too close. A simple fishing line suspended about three feet above the ground can also help to keep deer out of your garden. Deer are incredible jumpers, but they don’t particularly like to climb over things.
Keep plants that deer are most attracted to close to your house. Conceal them with other plants that deer are less likely to be interested in. Planting pungent herbs like garlic, mint and lavender can help to mask the scent of other more appetizing plants. Adding thorny or prickly plants to your garden can make it less appealing to deer as well.