How to Keep Deer Out of the Garden: My Trick


Summer is rapidly approaching and it is time to plant our garden.  I have lived in this house for years and recently for the first time, I had a problem with deer attacking my garden beds. 

This year I expect them to be more of a problem.  With the drought, many of their food sources are not available and they are getting desperate.  Hungry deer are more willing to invade a neighborhood to find something to eat.

I live in a semi rural area and there is a stream and a large blackberry patch directly across the street from my house.  Last year they ate all the flowers and buds of my wife’s roses.  Fortunately, I saw them before they got to the garden and ran them out off the backyard.  

We then fixed our fences and were able to keep them out of the garden.  Our back yard is surrounded by a six-foot tall fence (they really should be 8 feet).  So far, the deer have hesitated to jump this fence, a lot of it is solid and they can’t see what is on the other side.  I think that this discourages them.

I have one 12-foot gate that is only about 5 feet tall; I will have to raise it to keep the deer from jumping it. My wife’s rose garden is still a problem. The deer love them and since they are in the front yard it is a bit of a problem to fence them. 

We’ve thought of trying deer netting or fishing line fence alternatives, but we’re not huge fans of that. Deer resistant plants are also an option, but that definitely limits what we can grow and where.

Deterring deer with some sort of deer repellent seems to be the way we want to go with our flower beds and vegetable gardens. We would rather use taste deterrents over something extreme like electric fencing or wire.

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I see deer repellent for sale at the nursery and on the internet, but it is can be quite expensive, some costing well over $100 for a gallon of concentrate.  We have tried different homemade deer repellents that friends have suggested.

The following recipe seems to work as one of many ways to keep deer away, but you have to spray it on at no longer than two-week intervals.

  • A bar of Fels Naptha soap (or Irish spring soap)
  • 2 bunches of scallions, chopped up
  • 2 heads of garlic, separate the cloves
  • 4 eggs. Even rotten eggs are ok
  • Lots of chili or habanero powder
  1. Fill a five gallon bucket half full with water
  2. Shave soap into small pieces and dissolve in the water
  3. Place the scallions, garlic, eggs and chili powder in a large piece of doubled cheesecloth. Tie up the ends and break the eggs.  Place the pouch in the bucket of water.
  4. Put a tight fitting lid on the bucket and set it in the shade for about a week.
  5. Spray the mixture around your garden. It needs to be redone about every two weeks or after a rain.

The problem with the above recipe is that you have to do it quite often and you won’t want to do it on plants that you intent to eat.  You might get a surprise when you bite a piece of lettuce covered in habanero powder. 

My personal favorite option is to eat the deer, unfortunately that is not one that we can pursue.

I am sure that some of you will face the same problem.  Do you have any other ideas how to deter deer that you can share?

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8 thoughts on “How to Keep Deer Out of the Garden: My Trick”

  1. My mother uses collected dog hair to deter the deer at her house. I shave my dog every year about this time and give her a gallon bag of clippings. She says she no longer has any problems with the deer.

  2. To make an 8′ fence out of the 6′ fence, extend it upwards with anything to make it higher but not necessarily sturdier. Thin boards can be attached to she short fence to make it higher. The top two feet don’t have to be sturdy, just visible to deer who don’t know about building materials. Wire or twine can create the top of the “fence” and to attach the top of the fake fence to the real fence.

    I have also heard that two fences about six feet apart will keep them from jumping the first because they need space to jump the second fence.

  3. Try inter planting Strong smelling herbs through out your garden this works very well for me, basil with tomatoes spicy oregano around squash any kind of thyme .I plant the herbs I like to use in for cooking that way you get 2 uses ,I also plant creeping thyme around my hostas and other flowers this works very well I have a large herd of deer that come through the yard every 3 days the only thing they bother is top of my pole beans this year hanging baskets of mint are going up in my pole beans. I wish you luck deer can be very challenging

  4. i like, simple ,easy & effective ; refer to previous post, thanx howard, keep up your good work.( don’t forget to contact me about the water method.)

  5. Go to a hair salon or barber shop & pick up their cut hair. Lots of human scent on it, the deer will stay clear

  6. Get some T post’s put them about three foot in front of your standing fence get some fishing line tie it to the t post’s around to make a double fence the deer cant see the fishing line when they bump it they will step back , if there are really hard headed buy a small solar fence charger using the T post’s insulators run the wire and take some foil make J shape (with the power off) place on the wire fence and place peanut butter on the foil. The deer will lick it and get a bit of a charge and go for a not so shocking dinner somewhere else, this worked for me.advice from our game warden.

  7. If you Already have a tpost fence installed and just want it taller to keep the deer away I bought some height extenders they have 2 ft and 3 ft available,you now can raise you existing t post it in less than 30 seconds they can be shipped nationwide.
    the best thing is I had 6ft t post now I have 9 ft t post and NO deer in my garden!!!!!

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