Deer: How to Browse-Proof Your Gardens
Wildlife in your backyard is something we all strive for, but when deer start to graze on your prized specimens, you reach your limit! What to do?
There are generally three types of barriers: chemical, visual and physical. Keep in mind, however, that if deer are starving they will eat even toxic material.
Plant quick growing plants that deer love at a distance from your plants you want to protect. This is known as distractive feeding. Deer are lazy and will eat the closest, most nutritious food they can find.
Deer are creatures of habit. They take the easiest and safest path to the food source and use it constantly. Hanging colored flags along the path on strings of wire at different heights will help to scare them off. Another option is installing a deer fence. This fence must be at least 8’ high and anchored to the ground (check your zoning laws first!). Fishing line is also a good deterrent: tie several lines across the area you want protected. The line is nearly invisible and is harmless to the deer, while still being effective.
The use of scent is another method of protection. There are several over the counter products that are effective. Antifeedent sprays that contain combinations of egg yolks, garlic, peppermint oil and cinnamon have proven to be the most effective. Be sure to spray when there is a dry spell and reapply after rain, snow or hot weather. Also take caution that these products have an unpleasant odor. A popular choice the past couple years that has been proven very effective is the PlantSkydd product, it is rainproof and long lasting, http://www.plantskydd.com/
There are some deer resistant plants that you can use to distract deer with, or at least leave as a last resort if they are starving. Attached is a list of deer deterrent and resistant plants to help keep your garden deer-free.
Resistant Perennials and Shrubs
Asclepias Butterfly Weed
Baptisia False Indigo
Cerastium Snow in Summer
Dicentra Bleeding Heart
Echinops Globe Thistle
Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed
Gaillardia Blanket Flower
Monarda Bee Balm
*Nepeta Cat Mint
Rudbeckia Black Eyed Susan
Trees and Shrubs:
Buddleia Butterfly Bush
Cornus florida Flowering Dogwood
Hydrangea anomala Climbing Hydrangea
Picea abies Birdsnest Spruce
Picea glauca Alberta Spruce
Pinus mugo Mugo Pine
Rosa rugosa Beach Rose
Thuja Giant Arborvitae
Aunt Dee Wisteria