How many of you feed deer? I feed deer primarily in the winter to help them get through Wisconsin's harsh winters; we also like to watch them.
Fall the pests that can raise holy hell on your landscape; few are as destructive as deer. Whether they are alone or in small herds, they can wipe out entire vegetable gardens, flower gardens, trees, and shrubs, and they virtually do it overnight. Even folks who are plagued by deer admit to a curious love/hate relationship with them. After all, they're a beautiful sight to behold while you sit on the deck with a cocktail and watch the sun go down. We enjoy watching the deer. I have had as many as seven deer in at a time. In the rut, it is exhilarating.
Hungry deer will eat almost anything—including the foods listed on our "won't eat" list. It partly depends on what else is available and how hungry the deer are. Deer in different regions have different palates. And the deer in your backyard might not be the only one in the neighborhood that enjoys gobbling morning glories.
What Deer LikeDeer often go for tender greens of lettuce, pansy, ivy, hosta, and most young plants. Spring and early-summer plants, including tulips, lilies, and roses, seem especially delectable to deer. They feast on fruits of all kinds, from strawberries to fruit trees and fallen fruit. Deer will eat bark, twigs, and leaves of most trees and shrubs. They damage woody plants, particularly during winter, when food is scarce.
Deer will do anything and everything to get their hands (or hooves) on your flowers and vegetables. Keep deer from eating their way through your garden with these solutions.
Build a Deer FenceThe ideal deer fence should be at least 10 and preferably 12 feet tall, and the cross pieces, whether wire or wood, should be spaced eight inches apart. If they are any more comprehensive, the deer can squeeze through them. It's also an excellent idea to electrify the fence. Even better is a fence that slants outward at a 45-degree angle and rises to a height of 4 feet. You see, it's the depth of the fence rather than the height that keeps the deer from jumping over it. Some people may not be able to afford these types of barriers, or it's possible that they may be in violation of local ordinances.
For minor deer problems, wrap the trunks of trees with 4-foot-high galvanized hardware cloth or chicken wire, or use either material to encircle plants prone to attack.
The best-known deer repellent is ordinary bar soap. Hung from strings in trees or large shrubs, whether wrapped or unwrapped, the scent of the soap is said to keep deer away. Some people even attach soap bars to stakes, placed at 10- to 15-foot intervals along the perimeter of their property or garden area.
Another favorite repellent is human hair, the smell of which is also said to send deer scurrying elsewhere. Just ask a barber or hairdresser to collect a bag full of hair, and then stuff a handful of it into the leg of an old pantyhose and hang it in your trees and shrubs or scatter it about your garden beds as if it were mulch.
How about rotten eggs as a means of repelling deer? Some commercial deer repellents contain what's called putrescent whole egg solids, which is a solution containing rotten eggs. Whether you use the store-bought or mix up your own, the stench is just as offensive to deer as it is to people. To make your own, mix five whole eggs in five quarts of water, add that to a sprayer of some kind, and drench your plants. Here is a recipe I use, and it does work!
Homemade Deer Repellent
Three tbls. of red hot sauce
Three tbls. of garlic juice or minced
Add enough water to a blender to process and mix well. Add this to a gallon of water and spray on plants. You have to do this after every time it rains. The only drawback. The month of June I used bar soap. Grated and sprinkled around the border of the garden. They raided my sunflower plants. I switched up to this recipe and stopped them. Three weeks now without a deer. I have been using solar motion lights also, seems to be working so far.
I can't wait to get my hands on one of these! I checked them out on amazon.com the "Scare Crow" looks like the buyers choice. Watch the video they are funny. Motion-activated sprinklers are a real game-changer when it comes to deterring deer from specific garden areas, but not all of them are created equal. When they sense motion, these sprinklers deliver a sharp burst of water in the direction of the movement, scaring the wits out of the deer and sending them running. The range of the sprinkler’s aim can be easily adjusted to target a reasonably particular area, making them ideal for protecting vegetable gardens and individual shrub or flower beds. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4feEceifGMU the only disappointing thing is. It is not solar, and I suggest buying rechargeable batteries, save some dough. I hope this article gives you some ideas how to combat Deer. It is always a challenge. Who doesn't like a good challenge? 5/14/2018 Resources for the article are
1. https://www.hgtv.com/design/outdoor-design/landscaping-and-hardscaping/deter-deer-in-the-garden. 2. https://savvygardening.com/deer-proof-gardens/ 3. https://www.deerrepellentpacks.com/homemade-deer-repellent-solutions