How To Keep Deer Out of Your Garden


Is your yard like mine? I have a lush, suburban landscape that’s backed up to a forested area. That makes deer an inevitability in my yard.

Except that I don’t actually have a deer problem these days. I see deer all the time, walking along the boundaries of my property on their way to eat from the veritable smorgasbord that’s available in my neighbors’ yards.

Why do they avoid my property? It’s because when I moved here, I took the time to figure out what keeps deer away. The most important aspect of that is a deer fence, but I’ve added other deterrents as well.

Many types of fencing are out there, but if you’re serious about keeping out wildlife like deer, then you have to find fencing that is specific to that purpose. After doing some research, I chose a poly material that not only keeps deer out of my yard but also looks great.

This particular fencing is available in a wide variety of heights. I chose the version that’s seven feet high because deer have an exceptionally high vertical leap. Seven feet typically is more than they can jump over.

Although this fence is tall enough to be pretty imposing, it has a surprising ability to blend into the background. I can look out of any window and just enjoy the view without having it being spoiled by a seven-foot-tall barrier.

Despite looking great, I’ve found this fencing to be incredibly effective. Deer just can’t get through or over it, which means that my yard is protected.

I’ve taken other precautions to protect my yard from deer. These tips may help you if you have sections of your yard where fencing isn’t appropriate.

Each tree in my small orchard is protected around the trunk with a deer-proof barrier. Additionally, I harvest any fruit as soon as possible to keep it from attracting wildlife to the yard.

My garden also is filled with trees and shrubs that deer just don’t like. An abundance of catmint and lavender tend to keep deer at bay as do my plantings of chives and garlic. Some deer are wary of thorns, so rosebushes may make sense for you.

Unfortunately, deer may develop a taste for a certain tree or plant that most members of the species don’t like. This may mean that you have to do some experimenting to find plants that the deer in your area don’t eat.

If you do have plants that attract deer, then I suggest planting them pretty close to the house. Deer are less likely to wander into places where people frequently are found. Keep a produce garden close to the house, and the deer just might avoid it.

I’ve also known people to have success with a motion-activated sprinkler system. Having an underground sprinkler system installed isn’t quite as time- and cost-effective as installing a deer fence, but if you want to add some irrigation to your garden anyway, this might be the ideal solution.

Many of these systems use infrared technology to sense movement in the yard, then blast a spray of water in the appropriate direction. These deter not only deer but also other pesky critters that might wreak havoc in your yard.

If you have a dog, consider letting him have the run of your yard. Deer will probably be startled by the sight of the dog, and if he barks, the deer will probably scatter. Eventually, they’ll get the message that eating from your garden is a bad idea.

In all my years of fighting to keep deer in the forest where they belong, I’ve learned not to underestimate them. They are definitely smarter than I realized at first, but I’ve learned that I can outsmart them.

It all started with a deer-proof fence for me. How will you keep deer out of your garden?