Tips for keeping Deer out of your vegetable garden and away from your fruit trees
This is a problem I have dealt with all of my gardening life. If you live in an area with a large deer population then you know this problem can be huge. There is nothing more disappointing then to have a very nice garden full of vegetables and have it wiped out or destroyed in one night.
What works and what doesn’t. I can give you some ideas that will help- but nothing outside of a 12-foot high fence seems to be ironclad.
I will start with my favorite.
Electric fences seem to work the best for me. They are not really expensive to set up and if done right work very well. You can purchase fence chargers that plug into your household current. If your garden is located in an area with no electricity you can also buy solar and battery powered units.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up your charger.
Keep the fence wire close to the ground, about 18 inches. This seems to low but it is not. You want the deer to walk into the fence. Not to walk up to it and jump it.
I can remember the first time I set one of these up. The deer somehow managed to get inside. They must have bummed the fence after getting in. You could see from their hoof prints where they had jumped and hit the ground hard sending the dirt flying- on their way out. Knocking part of the fence down in the process. I didn’t see a deer for the rest of that summer.
Take your fence down in the fall. Wrap your wire up. You don’t want the deer to get used to it being there. You want to catch them by surprise in the spring when you get the fence operating again.
So you have some smart deer and they keep getting through your fence. Try This-my wife says it is mean- But it works great!
Use aluminum foil and make some envelops or pockets out of them. Put salt in the pockets and hang them on your fence. A wet tongue, salt, and electricity don’t mix very well. Chances are once the deer get a taste of this you won’t have trouble again with them for the rest of the summer.
I have used sprays with some success. When I first applied them they seemed to work really well. The problem was every time it rained I had to spray again. If you have a wet summer this can get very expensive. If you have a small garden this may be a good option. Another thing I don’t like about the sprays is that it is being applied to a vegetable garden. That you plan on eating.
Most articles I have read on this suggest dial soap. I have used both dial and the store brand deodorant soaps. There seems to be no difference except the store brand is a lot cheaper. I cut a bar into quarters, wrap it in a piece of nylon stocking -then hang it in my fruit trees. I have good luck with this. It does not stop the deer completely but if they do damage the tree it is usually not very severe. I also use this on my blueberry bushes