If you’ve ever gone camping in one of our state parks, you know that our forests are teeming with wildlife—from beavers to black bears, foxes to falcons. But no critter inspires our affection quite like the graceful, innocent white-tailed deer. Until they decide to creep into your garden and nibble on your tulips.
Fortunately, keeping Bambi out of your yard doesn’t require using anything that will harm nature. Our tips for keeping deer out of your garden will show you how.
Be Strategic About Plant Choice
If you have any experience with deer, you know they eat just about anything. But there are some plants that not even deer want to touch. Those are the plants you want to put around the outside of your garden to keep curious deer from wandering in. Focus on plants with a strong aroma, bitter taste, or prickly or fuzzy texture such as:
Additionally, certain hedges and trees will help fence the inner garden while keeping deer away. If you have Carolina cherry laurel trees growing in your yard, you may not have known they make perfect deer-deterrents.
Add Gardening Ornaments
There are lots of animals who would love to chow down on a deer. Because of that, deer tend to be skittish, especially when they encounter new and unfamiliar items. You can use that to your advantage by incorporating things into your garden a deer may not see in the wild, like garden statues, reflective ornaments, scarecrows, or path lights. Hanging wind chimes in the trees will also spook deer without disrupting your garden’s aesthetic.
Deer are excellent leapers and exceptional listeners, but they aren’t great at climbing. You can utilize this by planting your garden with sunken or raised beds. You can also create barriers around the outside of your yard by stacking different levels and layers of pallets. Remember, you’ll want to make this barrier wide enough that deer would have trouble leaping over it.
We love our white-tailed deer. There’s a reason they’re our state animal, after all. Fortunately, there are ways to keep deer out of your garden while appreciating the gift of nature that they are.