ShadyGardens Blog

September 24, 2009

Deer: How to Keep Them from Eating Your Garden!

Filed under: Deer, deterrant, gardens, nursery, proof, resistent, Shadow, Shady — shadygardens @ 4:03 pm

Whenever visitors come to our nursery and garden they always ask, “How do you keep the deer from eating all your plants?” Well, we did have a problem years ago, but have found some things that worked for us—maybe they’ll work for you too! 

First, we planted things the deer don’t like. Deer love hosta, pansies, and daylilies–if it’s edible for people, deer like it too!  They don’t like plants with strong odor like herbs, except for basil. We planted lots of Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and Oregano, Ageratum, Florida Anise, Daffodils, Holly, Iris, Barberry (they usually won’t eat anything with thorns), Buddleia, Mock Orange, Spirea, Lilacs, Dogwood, Magnolia, Boxwood, Leucothoe, Pieris, and Yucca. Remember though that when deer get hungry, they’ll taste of anything! I know you’ll still want hosta, daylilies, and pansies, so try surrounding the tasty plants with some of the plants deer do not like.  

Of course you can build a tall fence to keep out the deer, but since they can jump very high, your fence would need to be at least 10 feet tall. This can get pricey, especially if your garden is large. 

If you have visited us here at Shady Gardens, you have already met my most effective deer deterrent. Her name is Shadow—a big black lab who works hard to keep deer from eating my prized plants. That’s her in the above photo–taken a much needed rest break (we have many, many deer!) She also does her best to keep squirrels off the birdfeeders! Of course she does a little damage–she tramples plants sometimes, and she digs a hole when she believes a chipmunk would be tasty, or when she smells a rat. And when she was a puppy she chewed a little bit, but she never did as much damage as a family of deer can do in a single night! So probably the best thing you can do is run down to the animal shelter and ask them, “Who’s the friskiest dog you have?” (That’s the kind you need–a playful hunter with a loud bark!) Take him home and love him. By the way, the big dog will eat alot, but I believe feeding him will still be cheaper than buying all that Deer-repellant spray! 

For a complete list of deer-resistant plants, visit Shady Gardens Nursery.

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