Keeping deer out of your garden can be quite tricky whether you live in the city or the country. With increasing deer populations, we are seeing more and more issues with deer in urban areas. As a result, our gardens are seeing the damage, but deterring deer naturally is quite easy with the right plants and the right fencing techniques. I gathered up the top ways we have used to keep deer away from living on 15 acres. These tricks are not only easy to implement if you live on land but also for those in smaller settings as well.
As a note, every herd and population of deer is different, and nothing is 100% certain to deter deer, but these ways are quite tried and true in our own garden over the years. Here are the top ways to keep deer out of the garden, whether you are growing veggies, flowers, herbs, or anything in between.
How To Keep Deer Out Of The Garden
Top Plants to Keep Deer Out of The Garden
Yes, choosing the right plants to perimeter your garden will be extremely helpful in keeping them away. I have seen it in action, actually with how deer move on the land around us. Here are the top plants I use to keep deer out of the garden:
Lavender is one of the best ways to keep deer away from the garden. Placing it around your garden in abundance will keep deer away. The plants not only won’t be eaten, but the deer won’t come near them. No need for them to have their blooms either. They can exist. The more, the better.
2. Giant Marigolds
Standard marigolds work, too, but the Giant variety is EXTREMELY fragrant, and deer do not like them. Though they are edible to us as humans, deer, and other pests do not like their scent. They will keep the deer out of the garden without question. I have throughout the whole garden throughout the whole growing season.
This plant isn’t a favorite of deer because of the flavor and foliage variety, so they stay clear of it, especially when there is a large amount of it.
Strong smelling and repellent. This plant is one of the best to keep away deer. It is low maintenance and loves tons of sun. It also gets HUGE. It takes on a strong scent somewhere between mint and sage as part of the mint family.
Another strong-smelling plant that the deer do not like. It also creates a large height which, as you will read below, makes deer nervous about jumping and assessing how to get over.
6. Russian Sage
Another plant that is close to the Catmint in variety. It has a strong smell as well as beautiful flowers. It is beautiful but one that deer are not interested in. Also, the foliage has a texture they do not like.
Strong smelling and tall, dill holds a ton of resilience against deer in the garden. Planting it around the perimeter of a fence, can keep deer away from sneaking in or placing their heads over the fence to grab a snack.
One more that is similar to Catmint in variety. It is beautiful, and the bees and butterflies love it but will keep the deer away.
Deer do not enjoy these and are completely deer resistant. Using them to make deer believe that other items near them are not edible either is a great way to use them in the garden.
These plants are poisonous to deer, so they will avoid them completely in your garden and provide a barrier early in spring to keep deer away from young spring plants.
Best Way to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden With a Fence
A garden fence can be a great way to keep deer out of the garden. A fence such as this one that you can easily DIY can be a great option, but there may be a few ways to keep it both more affordable and more proactive at keeping deer out with less work. Here is what I mean:
11. Create a fence with varying widths and heights
Having a fence helps keeps deer out of your garden without a doubt, but you may not have to go as high as you think to keep out deer. Deers don’t do well with both height and depth perception. They don’t want to get stuck somewhere they cannot get out of, so if you have things that grow vertically, wires that zig-zag higher up, or you grow a hedge that varies in height, you can spend less on fencing, make a lower fence using cedar, and still keep the deer out as well. I’m a big fan of this beech hedge as it looks amazing when fully grown, and getting them as bare root means they are a lot cheaper too.
Also Read: DIY Garden Fence
12. Use broad rocky border beds
Using larger rocks around your garden bed can actually be a deterrent to the deer as well. All you need to do is take larger rocks and place them in a thick band around your bed, and the deer will not go inside the bed. You can also plant things within the rock bed, but make sure they are deer deterrent plants. Deer do not like walking over large rocks to access something, so they simply will not do it.
13. Fish Line or string has a lot of power
Deer do not like not knowing what they may encounter, so if they have a hint that there is a string or something they cannot estimate in the way, they will not jump and access an area. Using a fish line or string is all you really need to create this. You can use a zig-zag pattern which will even create that sort of dimension for them.
Other Ways to Easily Deter Deer From Your Garden
14. Have a Dog
Deer don’t like the smell of dog urine, so having dogs around will keep the deer away as well. It is at all a sure thing, but we have found it helps a lot.
15. Light Deterrents
You can use motion sensor lights or even these lights called Nite Guards to deter the deer from coming close to your garden. Either one creates a startling or predator response for the deer.
If you don’t have a fence, netting can also keep them out. Using bird netting to deter the deer or fleece can have the same effect on the deer.
You can see the fence we have used to keep our garden safe from deer. So far, so good. The plants have kept the deer out, and the varying depths of plants have also acted as protection.
How do I keep deer from eating my plants?
The best way to keep the hungry deer out of your garden is with soap bars. Simply punch some holes in each bar, string them up around trees, and fencing near where you grow to produce–the sweet scent will be too much for even the most determined herbivores!
What smells repel deer?
Deer have an amazing sense of smell, which they use to find food. You can take advantage and repel deer by using smells that are disliked, such as marigolds or lavender; mint will do too! Don’t forget about fox urine – it will be effective for you this winter when hunting season starts again in a few months.
If this article helped you how to keep deer out of the garden, consider checking out these articles below –