21 Ways to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden and Plants Without Killing Them

Garden 22

Do you have a lot of deer on your property?

They are beautiful creatures but can also be quite a nuisance if they begin to eat your garden, berry patch, orchard, or your favorite flowers.

So what do you do about them?

Well, there are actually quite a few solutions that can help rid you of deer. And that is what I have for you today.

So let’s get started.


1. Don’t plant things that tickle their taste buds

So there are certain things that you can plant in your yard that is going to scream ‘endless buffet’ to a deer. By not planting too many of these things, it will help make your yard a little less attractive to them.


First, you should avoid planting a variety of lettuce. I mean, if you were an animal that loved your veggies and then stroll upon a yard that had every variety of lettuce known to man in one location you are probably going to think you died and went to salad bar heaven.

Second, don’t plant too many beans or peas. Deer love them and will love your property all the more if you have a bunch of them planted.

Third, don’t plant too many inpatients and pansies. I know, I love those flowers. They are a great way to add a dose of beauty and color to your yard. Just make sure if you plant them you don’t go overboard. Because as much as you love them so do the deer.

Finally, avoid planting too many hastes and fruit trees. I know, this is a total bummer. We have a small orchard planted on our property. And I love hastes. They grow practically anywhere which is a great way to add a little life to even the shadiest corner of the yard. But deer love them. So try to plant these items sparingly.

Here’s a list of more plants that deer loves to eat.

2. Or, plant them close to your home

So if you are someone that loves your fruit trees and inpatients and refuses to let a deer dictate what you grow in your own yard then I say, “Good for you!” Just don’t be surprised when they still hang around.

But you can do something to help protect your precious plants:

Simply plant them close to your home.

We have been so fortunate that deer have left our fruit trees alone. The reason I believe they have is because they are actually planted quite close to our home. We planted our little orchard right in our front yard.

I love this because I get to see the beautiful trees bloom, but I also get to keep a close eye on any pest that want to make a snack out of them.

So anything that you know is going to attract them such as berries, roses, azalea bushes, and so forth, try to plant them closer to your home.

3. Make strong-scented perennials your friend

Deer have a very sensitive nose. I mean, they can smell just about anything. So if you want to keep them away plant things that don’t smell good to them.

You can accomplish this by planting perennials such as garlic, lavender, and chives. I actually have each of these planted in my yard right now. They are very useful for other things besides deer repellent and are very easy to grow.


If you are interested in learning how to grow lavender, garlic, or chives just click each word and follow the link.

4. Plant ‘uncomfortable’ plants around those you want to protect

There are some plants that are not ideal for deer to dig through in order to get to the plants that they desire.

So if you plant things like fuzzy lamb’s ear or barberries, it will help to deter them from eating your plants.  Just look for plants that are prickly or feel different to your skin.

Lambs earLambs ear

In reality, if you don’t much care for the way they feel against your hand then they probably won’t enjoy the way they feel against their nose either as they are trying to rustle through them to get to the plant that they desire.

5. Sub out your plants

There are some plants deer just love. So instead of planting them, see if there is a similar plant that can take its place that is less appetizing.

A few examples of common substitutes are trading out deer favorites, the tulip, with daffodils. They are beautiful flowers that will still add the vibrant colors that most people plant tulips for. Not to mention, they both are meant to come back year after year.


Another good substitute is instead of planting roses with fewer thorns, choose the rose options that have plenty of thorns on them. I know the less thorny options make gardening easier. But it also makes it easier for deer to eat them too.

So try to keep these substitutions in mind as you decide on which plants to use at your home this year.

6. Place a hedge about your garden

You can place a fence around your garden to help keep deer out. This option can be costly unless you choose to use pallets.

But there are also other great options to help protect your garden. Place a hedge of shrubs around it. This will cause a thick hedge and make getting into your garden less enticing.

A good option for hedge shrubs is the boxwood shrubs. But really any large shrub that will come together to form a natural fence will do.

7. Plant the deer’s favorite foods

This may sound counterintuitive but if you plant a few deer favorites at the edge of your yard then it will keep them from wanting to enter your yard.

So basically the idea is to give them what they want as easily as possible so they won’t be willing to go any further and make a snack out of the rest of your plants.

Who knows? It just might do the trick.

8. Give them a little shock

There’s something called a static shock repellent.


Basically, what it does is lure deer in with a bait. Then it gives them a little shock. The hope is after they get shocked a few times it will send the message that they aren’t wanted there, and they’ll leave your property alone.

It is completely humane so there is no worry there.

9. Don’t feed the birds

I know a lot of people love having birds in their yards. They put out lots of different bird feeders to attract them and then they get to watch them all day long.

Well, the only problem is that bird feeders look like easy food to deer. So not only are you bringing in birds, but you are also enticing the deer to come too.

So if you want to keep the deer out of your garden and flowers then take down the bird feeders.

10. Make a little noise

Deer are very skittish creatures. They don’t like noises especially loud ones that are unfamiliar. So if you are having an issue with deer then start making some noise.

So there are lots of different options to make noise to keep deer at bay. You can make a wind chime out of tin cans or even buy one here.

rainbow wind chimerainbow wind chime

You can also use fireworks or even the static from a radio. Just use a dial radio and place it in between stations. That loud static noise should be enough to scare off any deer in the area.

11. Shed some light on the subject

I have a really funny memory with motion lights. My grandmother would get so made when a stray cat would walk across her car.

So when she would go out there and see their paw prints on her windshield it would drive her insane.

Finally, she got the idea to use a motion light and every time one of those stray cats would walk across her car under the carport the light would come on. It stopped her stray cat problem.

The same can be the case for you with your deer problem. Motion sensor lights scare them so it should keep them away. Motion sensor lights can be purchased at any general merchandising store or here on Amazon.


12. Turn the sprinklers on

This would be enough to scare away a human, let alone a deer. Just as there are motion activated lights, there are also motion activated sprinklers.

So if you have a deer problem put some motion activated sprinklers in the ground, and they’ll do the rest of the work for you. They too can be purchased at a general merchandising store or here as well.


13. Who let the dog out?—You!

If you have a deer problem then simply open your door and let your dog out. That sounds too easy probably.

That sounds too easy probably. But in all honesty, deer are very afraid of predators. So if they hear an animal they are most likely going to avoid the area.

So just try to keep your dog’s presence very well-known so the deer know upfront that there is a dog in your area and it isn’t going anywhere.

14. Put your fishing line to use

Fishing line is great for more than just fishing. If you have a particularly prized plant, and you want to keep it protected then put fishing line around it.

Basically, you’ll start about two feet off of the ground. Then you’ll wrap the plant in fishing line. It confuses the deer.

See, deer can’t figure out objects that you can see through such as glass. Fishing line will basically work the same way with them.


15. Try some homemade repellents

There are so many homemade repellent options. The key to any of the homemade or any other repellent options is to keep switching them up. If a deer becomes familiar with your tricks then they’ll no longer work.

Variety is key.

The first homemade repellent option is hanging fabric softener strips or bar soap from your trees and plants. It is an unfamiliar smell and will trip up their scent and deter them from your property.

The next option is using hot pepper sprays. That will mess with their sense of smell and their taste buds. Since it is unfamiliar, it will scare them away.

Other options like garlic, blood meal, or ammonia soaked rags will impact their senses as well. That will be enough to deter them from your property for a while as well.

As long as you keep rotating your methods, you’ll be surprised how quickly the deer will leave you alone.

Here’s a good article if you want to learn how to make homemade deer repellent:

Deer in the garden.Deer in the garden.

16. Use different repellents

As I mentioned, you should rotate your repellent options or methods frequently so the deer don’t become use to it.

If you choose to use store-bought repellents, be sure to rotate between them.

The first repellent option is Deer Away Big Game Repellent. This will cause an odor that does not appeal to their senses and keep the deer at bay. Then switch to Deer Off. This will impact their taste and since it is unfamiliar it should be enough to scare them away.

Finally, rotate to Hinder. This is another odor barrier that will mess with their sense of smell. If the odor is unfamiliar and unappealing then they will most likely stay away.

You can also find several different deer repellents on Amazon.

17. Fence in your yard

Fencing in your yard can be quite a project but if it protects your plants then it might just be worth it.

By fencing in your space it makes it very difficult for a deer to get in your yard. So ultimately, if you’ve tried most of these options and the deer in your area just keep returning then it might be time to consider doing something more permanent.

A fenced yard does add value to your property, usually. It is also great to allow your kids and animals to run free as well.

18. Wrap your seedlings

When you first plant your seedlings in your yard, it is very common that animals will make a snack out of them. Deer are no different.

So you can avoid this by wrapping them. You can place netting over fruit trees, bulbs, and new bushes.

But you can also add garden nets and tree protectors to go over other items you may have planted in your garden or orchard.

Wrapping your seedlings should hopefully help them so they won’t become a deer’s lunch.

19. Make a scarecrow

Scarecrows have been working for many, many years to keep pests out of the garden and to protect your harvest.

They are very easily made, or can be purchased here.

How to make ScarecrowHow to make Scarecrow

I must say, the only downside to a scarecrow is that they might take you off guard. We used one our first year gardening, and I haven’t used one since.

Every time I walked out in the garden it scared me half to death because I always thought there was someone standing in the middle of the garden.

So after I jumped all season long, I said never again. We switched to pie plates attached to sticks with string after that.

20. Cleanliness helps

By keeping your garden area clean, you are making it less homey for deer.

See, the deer will bed down in tall grass. So if you leave lots of tall grass around they’ll think it is there as a great bed for them.

Also, pick your fruits and vegetables when they are ripe. If you leave fresh veggies just laying around, the deer will think it is a free meal for them.

Finally, discard your crops after harvest. Deer like the plants themselves too. So if you get rid of them as soon as you’re done with them then it should keep them out of your garden.

21. Create uneven ground

By creating unleveled ground (or at least make your ground appear unleveled) then it looks a little too difficult for the deer to want to fool with.

So if you stack up pallets at the tree line, it makes it look like the deer have to climb things to get in or get out of the property.

Because deer are not avid climbers, like a goat is, they prefer to not have to deal with those challenges and will move on to look for food elsewhere.

Deer are beautiful creatures, but they also can wreak havoc on your harvest. Hopefully, these tips will help you keep them at bay.

So now that we’ve discussed these tips on how to keep deer off of your property, I’d like to hear from you.

Do you know of any other ways to keep deer from eating your harvest?

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