Tips for Deer Proofing your Yard

I attended a virtual gardening seminar on how to deer proof a garden or lawn taught by Pat Reilly who is a Master Gardener at Merrifield Gardens.  The information for today’s blog comes mainly from her lecture.

She stated you first need to think about deer behavior to control them.

Deer can cause quite a bit of damage.  Not only is there loss of plants but a deer can spread disease/ticks where ever they roam.  If a person hits a deer while driving, there can be serious damages and even death.

Deer in Yard Dear in Yard

This deer is way too close to a busy roadway.

Like most living animals, deer herds need water, shelter and nutritious food to survive.  If water is not available, deer can get water from the plants they eats.  They even eat sticks and twigs when food is scare.

Some favorite plants for deer to eat are grape hyacinths, crocus, tulips, beans, corn, fruit, hostas, daylilies, and roses.

I’ve added some photographs of hostas to today’s blog since they are an all-time deer favorite.  My parent’s apple tree was destroyed when deer broke off large branches to get to the apples.

Way to Mitigate Deer Damage

  1. Don’t feed deer.  Don’t put out bird feeders since deer are attracted to the seeds.
  2. Plant deer resistant plants.  Deer hate the strong smell of catnip, mint, sage, Russian sage, dill, chives, lavender and oregano. Or you can plant vulnerable plants surrounded by the strong smelling above plants.
  3. Plant vulnerable plants close to the house.
  4. Plant prickly, heavily scented and thorny plants in your garden.
  5. Spray garden plants with the scent of predators or sprays that mimic predators.  Purchase predator urine from coyotes, bobcats, and wolves and use as directed.  Even human urine can be an effective.  Blood meal around plants can, also, be useful.
  6. Noise – Deer do not like the sound of barking dogs, wind chimes or the radio.
Variegated Hosta Plants in Front Yard Variegated Hosta Plants in Front Yard White Azaleas and Hosta Plants White Azaleas and Hosta Plants

Hard Scape Solutions

  1. Create changes in yard elevation such as sunken beds, turf sculpting, or garden “rooms”.
  2. Garden “rooms” do not allow deer a clear path of escape so they avoid them.
  3. Use rocks paths in the landscaping since they do not like to walk over rocks.  Deer also avoid walking over wire on the ground.
  4. Install at least an eight foot fence around your property.  Add fishing line or lattice work to top if your fence is not tall enough.  Slant fences outward so the deer can not jump over it.
  5. Double fences four to five feet apart also keep deer out.
  6. Grow a living fence with large dense plants.

I’ve only seen two deer in my yard in all the years I lived in my home, but my home is surrounded by fencing.  I was glad to attend this session to understand deer and learn a little bit more about ways to control deer damage.

I have a reader who lives near a wooded area tell me about her damaged hosta and Asian daylilies.  Hopefully, she will able able to use a couple of strategies  in today’s weblog to keep the deer away from her flower bed.

What is Turf Sculpting?

Turf Sculpting is creating any type of sculpture or area made with growing grasses, vines, plants, or trees including sod works. Sod works is creating sculpture using soil, grass, and moss.

Turf sculpting can also include the actual making of outdoor chairs and couch sculptures out of sod and moss.

For deer control, think more of using sod sculpting to sculpt mini hills and valleys out of dirt, grass and sod.

2 Replies to “Tips for Deer Proofing your Yard”

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