skip to Main Content

Easy Tips for Deer-Proofing Your Garden

Easy Tips For Deer-Proofing Your Garden

Deer are graceful creatures to observe in natural settings. The romance wears off when you see the damage they’ve raked through your flower beds. As human habitation spreads more thickly, the deer’s natural predators are being forced out, leaving our vegetarian garden predators in paradise–no enemies and plenty of well tended delicacies lovingly arranged for optimum dining. Deer particularly appreciate expensive, pampered plants like roses, turning the joys of gardening into an unpleasant war for the gardener.

Many herbs are just as vulnerable to Bambi’s versatile palette. The trick is to plant the herbs deer don’t like and properly shelter the rest. Once this is accomplished, finding a few hoof prints from the night before won’t result in outrage. Keep in mind there are two types of deer herds. One type is the traveling deer herd, who are just passing through for a few evenings. The other is the resident deer herd who are living in the area. Residents are often eager to experiment with plants they normally wouldn’t eat when their natural food sources are depleted.

Tips for Setting up the Deer-proof Garden

Whether you’re planning a new garden space or defending an existing garden against a deer-invasion, you have several practical, organic solutions available. Start with any of these options for deer-proofing your garden based on what makes most sense to you.

  • Choose Deer-proof Plants
  • Install Proper Fencing
  • Install Motion-sensitive Irrigation

Deer-proof Planting

Fortunately for the herbalist, most of our favorite plants are naturally deer-proof. The essential oils generated by the rosemary and lavender we adore are repulsive to deer. Many culinary plants have these strong odors, and it’s easy to encourage them to intensify their scents by decreasing their watering schedule. When these herbs are drought-stressed, they protect themselves by producing more deer-repellant essential oils. A few dear-repellant plants to consider are:

Deer-proof Fencing

Fencing is the best way to protect the herbs deer find especially tasty like parsley and basil. A deer can jump at least eight feet in the air from a stand-still, so don’t pinch pennies on height. Having deer usually means you also have raccoons or rabbits, too, so consider digging the fence line into the soil several inches and curving the excess toward the enclosed garden before burying it. Deer can be deterred by planting a low line of shrubs inside the garden fence along the base.  Their long, graceful legs are prone to breaks. If they can’t see where they’ll land clearly, they’ll be less willing to take the leap.

Motion-sensitive Irrigation

Many garden shops and feed stores carry motion-sensitive irrigation that will spray any offender with a cold blast of water once they step into your yard. These contraptions are spendy but effective on deer, raccoon, neighborhood dogs, rabbits, and other unwelcome guests.

Sue Sierralupe

Sue Sierralupé is a Certified Master Herbalist, Master Gardener and Sustainable Landscape Specialist. She is the clinic manager and lead herbalist at Occupy Medical clinic. Sue is author of The Pocket Herbal: Medicinal Plants that Changed the World and co-author of The Practical Herbalist Herbal Folios series. Follow her blog at Herbalism Manifesto for commentary on herbs, parenting, nutrition and a whole lot more.

Join the Herbal Nerd Society - Today!

New Advanced Herbalism Articles Just for Members

Access to ALL Real Herbalism Radio shows, past and present

Special Real Herbalism Radio Topics •  Curated Member Only content

Webinars and lectures with Experts • Opportunity to tell us what You Want to Learn!

Join the Herbal Nerd Society - Today!

Only 4.99/Month or $49.99/Year

Get in the Know - Sign Up for the Free Newsletter


FREE for signing up and join over 2000 Subscribers who are receiving our newsletter and learn how herbs, herbalism and homesteading can become a a money saver in your life and household.

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: