While they are beautiful creatures of nature, in Upstate New York Deer are often a nuisance. With no natural predators, deer are often left unchecked, causing problems for many homeowners. There isn’t a homeowner who hasn’t had a problem with deer eating their carefully tended plants. There are several basic steps that you can take to deerproof your property.
Pick the right plants
There are a number of popular flowers and plants found in many people’s gardens that deer are extremely drawn to. Plants such as azaleas, yews, and and Rhododendrons should be avoided. However, there are plenty of plants that deer will steer clear from that still look great. Here are a few of our favorites:
Juniper (Juniperus spp.)
Junipers(on left) are coniferous trees widely distributed across the world. They are wonderfully versatile plants, being able to act as everything from groundcovers to privacy screens. Not only are they deerproof due to the oils in their needles, they are also immensely drought resistant and resilient. No matter what
variant, the juniper is an attractive deer resistant option.
Butterfly Bush (Buddlei spp.)
Butterfly bush (on right) is a perfect candidate for a beautiful plant that deer won’t eat. Growing up to 10 feet high with a spread of 15 feet, the bush is covered with long, bright blooms in the summer. Butterfly bushes come in a variety of different varieties, each with their own unique colors of blooms. On top of being deer resistant, the honey scented blooms attract a plethora of butterfly species to your garden.
While they may not seem to be effective, planting perennial herbs in your garden can be effective in deterring deer. Deer hate the scents of herbs such as mint, thyme, lavender, and chives. Planting these herbs can be a cheap and effective way to keep your yard or garden free of deer.
One of the most logical ways to keep deer out of your yard or lawn is to fence it in. There are several different kinds of fences that can be effective for keeping deer out. The most logical and straightforward is a wooden stockade style fence, as deer don’t jump over a fence unless if they can see what is on the other side. Double fences also tend to work, as deer do not like being trapped in small spaces. While it may seem unorthodox, patches of rock can also work as a “fence”, as deer don’t like to walk on rough surfaces. Like a lot with deer prevention, it can take time and experimentation to find the best solution for your yard.
While planting the right plants and installing fences can go a long way to keeping deer out of your space, sometimes extra measures need to be taken. A powerful tool in your arsenal is applying a deer repellent to your plants. Many repellents use coyote urine, garlic, soaps, or other natural products to deter deer from entering an area. Most of these repellents come in spray bottles, but there are also hanging versions that can be purchased. Again, it will take time and experimentation to find the best repellent for you. No matter what kind of repellent, the key to their success is consistency. For these repellents to work, they must be sprayed daily.
By taking all of these steps into account, you will be able to protect your garden and yard from deer.