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How to Keep Deer out of a Garden

Updated on November 14, 2014

Are deer eating your garden?

Deer can be quite a garden pest. Many common plants that home gardeners grow are very tasty to deer. It can be quite annoying to wake up in the morning and see deer destroying your hard work. If you are like most gardeners, you would like ways to keep deer out of your garden and still keep a nice garden. Plus, you don't want to hurt the deer, just keep them away. Here are some tips for keeping deer out of gardens.

Sure way to keep deer out of your garden.

Don't grow plants they love to eat. Simple. Many people forget this when starting a garden. They just plant and grow things they like, then worry about deer later. The best way to keep deer out of gardens is to not provide them with a tasty dinner! Deer are known to love some ivies, peas, lettuce, beans, various fruit trees, and berry bushes. They can have a love for some flowers like impatiens and pansies. If you insist on planting things that deer love, a good trick is to plant them as close to your house as you can. You can keep a watchful eye on them much better, and deer may be reluctant to get so close to human activity.

Keep Deer Away - Deer Scram

Enviro Pro 1006 Deer Scram Repellent Granular White Pail, 6 Pounds
Enviro Pro 1006 Deer Scram Repellent Granular White Pail, 6 Pounds

Deer scram stimulates a strong fear response by emitting an odor that deer and rabbits associate with their dead kin. It repels the animal before they nibble on plants. Deer scram does not have an unpleasant odor to humans, but discourages unwanted animals from returning to the protected area. It contains no synthetic additives, is non toxic, biodegradable and will not harm animals or the environment.


Oh that smell!

Deer like sweet smelling plants. So, why not mix in a few plants that are not so sweet? Deer in many cases will turn up their noses at things that have a more bitter odor and turn tail. Some of these plants are very desirable in a garden. Chives and mint are great choices. They keep the deer away and are great in cooking. SInce the first choice for deer is a good smelling plant, turn the tables! Plant other ones to mask the odor.

Liquid Fence

Liquid Fence 265 Granular Deer and Rabbit Repellent, 5 Pounds
Liquid Fence 265 Granular Deer and Rabbit Repellent, 5 Pounds

Easy to use product to keep deer away. Just sprinkle near plants.


Natural deer repellents.

Because deer rely on smell, anything that has a foul odor may work in keeping deer away. Sprinkle chili powder around plants. Mix hot pepper with water in a spray bottle and spray your plants. Garlic and onions have a pungent odor as well. None of these will hurt the deer and make your garden less desirable.

What would you like to put in your mouth?

Even though deer pick plants that smell good, they are not stupid. They will not eat plants and leaves that are fuzzy, thorny, bumpy, or otherwise irritate their mouths and throats. Even a sweet smelling flower or plant that has these characteristics will most likely be ignored by the deer. They are looking for an easy meal. Thorny roses provide color as well as a built-in deer repellent.

Maintain your garden and surroundings.

Deer like the cover of tall grass to lie in. If your yard is surrounded by tall grass or brush, you are inviting them to move in. Cut it down.

Since unripe fruit does not taste as good as ripe fruit, which do you think deer will prefer? A sure way to get deer into your garden is to leave ripe, sweet, tasty fruit and vegetables right there for the munching. Pick your ripe fruit. Even if you are not going to eat it right away. If you don't, and you have a deer problem, the deer will take care of it for you. The ripe fruit should be on your table, not in the deer's stomach.

Deer don't climb.

They jump, but do not like climbing. Build your garden in such a way that forces them to climb, and you have created a nice deer deterrent. Raised beds and terraces may do the trick. Placing obstacles in strategic places around your garden also helps. Deer like and easy walk-in meal.

But remember, just a raised bed garden may bring the plants to the deer's height. Plant in raised beds in the center and make them wide enough so the center is far enough away from deer.

The secret garden.

If it is practical, make your garden invisible to deer. How? Put up a fence or hedge that one cannot see what is on the other site. Just any old fence or hedge will not do. A fence or bush that is easily see-through can be jumped over in a minute. If deer don't see a garden, chances are they won't go there.

Scare 'em away!

Not always effective, but putting things in your garden that have movement, noise, statutes, and scarecrows may be a good option.

Wind chimes provide noise, so do whirly-gigs.

Garden statues of various things, like people and other animals may frighten the deer.

Wind socks can have bright colors and move in the wind.

But remember, a well-seasoned deer will know that all these things don't mean a thing.

A sure thing, but not always practical.

There is a sure fire way of keeping deer out of garden. Having a tall enough fence completely surrounding your garden. The problem is they need to be at least eight feet high and go completely around the garden. Many times this just is not practical, and it does not look pretty. Plus, it distracts your view of the surrounding area.

Things not to do.

If you are a gardener, chances are you like wildlife as well. Keeping deer out of your garden does not mean you want to harm them. don't use poisons or electric fences. Never. Besides, don't we like deer? Surly we can tolerate a few deer feeding on a few plants!

Keep deer out of your garden

products to help keep deer from destroying your garden.

I Must Garden Deer Repellent - Spice Scent - 32oz Ready-to-Use Spray
I Must Garden Deer Repellent - Spice Scent - 32oz Ready-to-Use Spray

With an estimated whitetail deer population of 30 million, today's gardener is being invaded by a hungry army of plant eating deer. No wonder gardeners are looking for reliable solutions to get rid of deer. We guarantee to get rid of deer or your money back. Foraging deer can destroy a garden in a night. Our natural deer repellent is perfect for deterring deer year round, it's long lasting and has been proven to work under all conditions. Don't find out in the spring that the deer destroyed your garden this past winter. Protect your garden with I Must Garden Deer Repellent now. Control deer in your yard with the best smelling guaranteed deer deterrent on the market. Ready to use trigger spray bottle. Covers up to 1,000 Sq Ft

Bell + Howell 50104 Motion Activated Ultrasonic Solar Powered with Rechargeable Batteries
Bell + Howell 50104 Motion Activated Ultrasonic Solar Powered with Rechargeable Batteries

Repels raccoons, skunks, deer, squirrels, rabbits, mice, rats, stray dogs and stray cats. Durable weatherproof plastic housing. Completely wireless and solar powered. Works both day and night. Mounting bracket in back for easy mounting on wall or tree and comes with bonus garden stake so you can place just about anywhere! Perfect to keep unwanted animals out of garbage cans and to keep neighbors' dog or cat from entering your yard. Solar powered works on rechargeable batteries and also can use regular alkaline batteries as well where the sun don't shine.

Havahart Deer Off II DO32RTU Deer, Rabbit, and Squirrel Repellent, 32 Ounce Ready-to-Use Spray
Havahart Deer Off II DO32RTU Deer, Rabbit, and Squirrel Repellent, 32 Ounce Ready-to-Use Spray

Put an end to garden and landscaping damage once and for all with Deer Off II Deer, Rabbit, and Squirrel Repellent Ready-to-Use Spray from Havahart. Stronger than the original Deer Off formula, this patented, dual-deterrent system stops deer, rabbits, and squirrels from eating your plants and gardens. One 32-ounce bottle covers 500 square feet, providing up to 90 days of protection with just one application. Safe for use around children and pets, Deer Off II is a convenient, economical solution to eliminating nature's nuisances.


More ways of repelling deer.

Keep deer out of your garden.

Easy Gardener 8021 Garden Defense Electronic Sensor Owl
Easy Gardener 8021 Garden Defense Electronic Sensor Owl

The realistic Easy Gardener 8021 Garden Defense Electronic Owl is a chemical-free, environmentally friendly way to control pests. Scare away birds and vermin with this great horned owl look-alike. The Electronic Owl detects movement with four motion sensors, causing the head to turn and the Owl to hoot. And as attractive as it is useful, the Electronic Owl makes a great patio accent, garden feature, or lawn ornament for any home.


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    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 3 years ago

      I love that you include humane solutions for this problem. I am not a gardener but if I were I would try every tactic to steer the deer away without hurting them.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 4 years ago from Texas USA

      i guess i could say i wish i had deer to scare away, since they are such lovely creatures. but i can understand how they may not make the best of neighbors. i appreciate that you suggested many animal friendly detterents. great lens.

    • blestman lm profile image

      blestman lm 4 years ago

      I have to go with the fence because I am located near a deer throughway.

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      I'd probably go with a fence of some sort if deer were a problem in my yard.

    • gadifi lm profile image

      gadifi lm 4 years ago

      looking for my sister in law as she has a big problem with deer eating her plants great lens and great information

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 4 years ago

      You have some good tips for keeping deer away. I guess I have weird deer though, they always eat my rosebushes.

    • OnlineGardener profile image

      OnlineGardener 5 years ago

      Some great in depth info there for a problem which affects so many country gardeners.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I knew about the chili pepper - but not garlic and onions

    • profile image

      tpostman 5 years ago

      Make your t post fence taller by adding the tpostextension on top you can buy them from www,tpostextender,com

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Great ideas. We put up chicken wire around our garden. Keeps out the rabbits as well.

    • ShariBerry profile image

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      When the deer first started coming into our yard I thought it was great and enjoyed watching them. Then they started to eat my hosta's. ALL of them! Now, they are cute in someone else's yard, not mine.

    • pigwear profile image

      pigwear 5 years ago

      The most effective way I have found to keep Deer out of a garden/food plot is to drive stakes in the ground approximately 3 ft tall and tie a ribbon on it going all the way around. On this ribbon you place a slurry comprised of fish guts and cow/horse manure. Works every time. When you take it down, they will run into the food plot within a week.

    • profile image

      lionmom100 5 years ago

      As a gardener, I knew most of these methods but one. I did not know that deer don't like to climb. This is good to know.

    • thegreenninja profile image

      thegreenninja 5 years ago

      We live out in the woods and have terrible problems with deer in our've given me some new ideas to try!

    • chi kung profile image

      chi kung 5 years ago

      great lense - and I love the idea of planting other repellent stuff to keep deer away as I love deer as well and don't want them to be hurt either!

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 5 years ago

      Lots of great ideas but you have to experiment. Some work some don't. Sometimes a combination of several work. I have a whole family of deer in my yard, and we live in the city (Cleveland). They are everywhere. I love watching them and I would never want to harm them. It is frustrating when you have a garden and they eat all the fruits of your labor. We just have to try to outsmart them. Sometimes planting things they don't like in close proximity around things they do like will keep them away. Again, sometimes it just the right combination of several different deterrents. There are some good tips in some of the comments too!

    • casnider profile image

      casnider 5 years ago

      Great lens with some good ideas. Do you happen to know if rabbit repellent will work to keep ground hogs out? I've trapped a family of them and removed from the area, but one pesky old one refuses to go into the trap. He destroys my tomatoes.

    • EmeraldWillow LM profile image

      EmeraldWillow LM 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info! we live in a wooded area and were thinking of gardening this year, but we worried about the deer.



    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks, very interesting and informative lens!

    • Donallphin profile image

      Donallphin 5 years ago

      Thanks for a great lens. I write a column for a major newspaper and I may be able to use some of your tips in a future piece, with permission of course.

    • stephen777 profile image

      stephen777 5 years ago

      Wowsers! This is a great lens on keeping deer out of my garden. All of your tips are extremely practical and we will be using them next spring. Our garden this year was fun and productive, so we plan on expanding it next year, now with your advice. Thanks.

    • shewins profile image

      shewins 5 years ago

      I have found that deer do not like to walk on fencing wire laid out on the ground. I used this trick when deer kept eating some small shrubs I had planted. They have left them alone ever since.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      I am a deer hunter, or at least I was one. But I know several people who swear by hair as a way to ward off deer. Just save your own hair when you get a haircut or make friends with a barber and get the sweepings from the floor. Spread it around the perimeter of the garden and it will keep the deer away. If you try it, let me know if it worked for you. It does seem to work down here in Louisiana and we have a lot of deer around.


    • atyqinc profile image

      atyqinc 5 years ago

      Very useful informations, thanks

    • patriciabruce1 profile image

      patriciabruce1 5 years ago

      Definitely going to try some of these great tips!

    • GregoryMoore profile image

      Gregory Moore 5 years ago from Louisville, KY

      I live along the edge of a wooded area and have given up on trying to garden. I can't keep the deer out of it. I'll give some of these products a shot this Spring and see if they help. Thanks

    • RBENL99 profile image

      RBENL99 5 years ago

      Thanks, this is a helpful lens.

    • profile image

      dhuman 5 years ago

      Deer do not have good visual depth of field. A regular fence, six to eight feet high, with a second fence of a single strand of barbed wire six feet away from the first fence is a fail-proof deterrent. If you really want to keep them out (I did) this works.

    • profile image

      dhuman 5 years ago

      Deer do not have good visual depth of field. A regular fence, six to eight feet high, with a second fence of a single strand of barbed wire six feet away from the first fence is a fail-proof deterrent. If you really want to keep them out (I did) this works.

    • profile image

      soaringsis 5 years ago

      Your tips are great, I have tried some of them. I use the garlic, oil and egg/ chili pepper spray mixture and it seems to work.

    • profile image

      countsquid 5 years ago

      well i like to see deers. Are you referring to wild deers?

    • profile image

      cmacleod lm 5 years ago

      I would love to have deer visit my garden! Useful tips for someone who wouldn't though.

    • profile image

      CristianStan 5 years ago

      At least we know some effective ways to make a deer stay away from our gardens. But don't they look so cute whenever they are around?

    • SpenceG profile image

      SpenceG 5 years ago

      Living in the city, we don't have deer problems. But we have gopher problems and I wonder if sprinkling chili powder would keep them away.

    • Rural Farming profile image

      Rural Farming 5 years ago

      hey i liked that lens

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Lots of helpful info for people who don't want deer hanging around.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      Sounds like the voice of experience here. I've resorted to planting landscape plants that deer aren't fond of. I made a lens about Deer Resistant Plants. They do like my hosta though.

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 5 years ago from Minnesota

      I use something I call "hare hair' to repel rabbits and deer. You go to your local beauty shop and request the hair that they cut... then, put it in a nylon sock, put it on a stick, pound the stick into your garden... get it wet and VOILA... the deer will stay away because when this sock gets wet, the hair smells like .... human.. and we all know how much deer like humans... NOT. [thanks for liking my lens]

    • ccsonian profile image

      ccsonian 5 years ago

      My mom is always complaining about the deer eating her flowers. I will have to tell her about your lens.

    • profile image

      Arc4life 5 years ago

      very informative post...

    • Teapixie LM profile image

      Tea Pixie 5 years ago

      Excellent info. I'm sharing it with my Mom who is always feeding the deer! Can I only favourite this once?

    • profile image

      maraga 5 years ago

      very informative

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very interesting and informative!

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 5 years ago from Corona, CA

      @sheilamarie78: Yeah, if they are hungry.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      thank you for visiting my lens and have a good day.

    • NatureLuver profile image

      NatureLuver 6 years ago

      Very useful information. Thanks.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 6 years ago

      Sometimes deer will eat even things the "experts" say they don't like. Maybe it's just my deer. . .

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      "Don't grow plants they love to eat.", now that makes the best sense of all and the war is won without a battle!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      The I MUST GARDEN Products, made in the USA, not sold in big box stores, but in local garden nurserys instead, are EXTREMELY reliable, and I have not suffered deer damage, except a one half eaten blossom, enough to tell them this is an awful garden, a couple of times a year. They get the picture real quickly! Thanks for a great lense!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      like the way you try to keep the deer out without harming them.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Great advice! At this moment I look out the window and see four deer eating dried stuff...guess they are waiting for my Hydrangea plants to start growing, they have literally eaten them to the ground, actually nothing is sacred in my Moss garden, they are not afraid of anything or anyone...I love the deer but I also love my plants...I will try the Deer repellent spray.

      a ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~ on this informative lens

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 6 years ago from Kansas

      I like all these ideas on how to keep deer out of the garden. We use chicken wire fence every year and that keeps both deer and the rabbits out, because I like to EAT my vegetables, not FEED the wildlife.

    • profile image

      VoodooRULEs 6 years ago

      Wow! This is an amazingly well written lens! It flows so well and has just the right amount of graphics. I'm in a condo in the city on assignment, but my home is in the country surrounded by dear. So the part I like best about this lens is all the great tips I can use to save save my garden without hurting the dear! Thank you!

    • goo2eyes lm profile image

      goo2eyes lm 6 years ago

      we have a bambi deer which is always grazing at the banks of the creek which is close to our house. we are not cutting the grass there so we let the deer have her fun also. the deer cannot enter our garden because it is well fenced in. when it is hunting season, i am sorry for her.

    • profile image

      laureenr 6 years ago

      I agree with Shirley. I love deer and wish I had the problem of having them in my garden. I think garlic would work as well to deter them else just send them to SA.

    • stephenteacher profile image

      Stephen Carr 6 years ago from Corona, CA

      @aardvarkapparel: Thanks for the tip. Just put a link to it above.

    • profile image

      aardvarkapparel 6 years ago

      My family has problems with deer in their Cleveland garden. They tried this stuff from amazon called "deer fortress" (just search on amazon, it's a long yellow box). They claimed it helped.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love this great Lens! I really do like deer though, and if there were any around, would probably ask them in, even if they ate everything!!

    • profile image

      seradis 6 years ago

      Great lens! I did not know smells could keep dear away! Thanks!

    • profile image

      djroll 6 years ago

      Very enjoyable lense. Our deer in particular loves our neighbor's birdfood. Also ... I like the head-turning hooting owl in your ad. It would be a great gift for ANYONE who gardens or RV's - whether it works on deer or not.

    • nichevalue profile image

      nichevalue 7 years ago

      Every year we engage in the epic struggle of keeping the deer and other animals out of our garden. We have used some of the suggestions above with some success, but we always seem to lose some plants.

    • profile image

      joe-buck 7 years ago

      Great job! I would actually love to have deer for dinner!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Excellent lens. As I don't live in a place where deer will ever be a problem it won't happen to my garden but I really enjoyed the lens. Also like the way you try to keep the deer out without harming them. Congratulations.