Deer are beautiful and graceful animals, but they can also be a major nuisance for gardeners and homeowners. In winter, when food is scarce, deer will often browse on evergreen plants, shrubs, and tree buds, causing damage and reducing the spring bloom. If you want to protect your yard from deer this winter, here are some tips and strategies you can use.
1. Plant deer-resistant plants
One of the best ways to deter deer from your yard is to choose plants that they don’t like to eat. Deer tend to avoid plants that have fuzzy, leathery, prickly, or fragrant leaves, such as lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme, spirea, boxwood, barberry, and juniper. You can also plant bulbs that deer dislike, such as daffodils, alliums, hyacinths, and fritillaries. By incorporating more deer-resistant plants in your landscape, you can make your yard less appealing and more diverse.
2. Use deer repellents
Another option to keep deer away from your plants is to use repellents that emit unpleasant odors or tastes. There are many commercial products available that contain ingredients such as dried blood, putrescent egg solids, garlic, and coyote urine. You can also make your own repellents using household items such as soap, hair, hot pepper, or eggs.
However, repellents need to be applied frequently and consistently as directed by the package, especially after rain or snow, and they may not work for all deer or all plants. Repellents are best used as a supplement to other methods, not as a sole solution.
3. Install deer fencing
The most effective way to prevent deer from entering your yard is to install a fence that is high enough and sturdy enough to keep them out. Deer can jump up to eight feet high, so you need a fence that is at least that tall, or angled outward to create an illusion of height. You can use various materials for fencing, such as wood, wire, mesh, or plastic netting. You can also create individual cages or barriers around specific plants or beds that are vulnerable to deer damage. Fencing can be expensive and labor-intensive, but it can also provide long-term protection and peace of mind.
Deer can be a serious problem for your yard in the winter, but you don’t have to let them ruin your plants and your hard work. By following these tips and strategies, you can deer proof your yard and enjoy a beautiful and healthy landscape all year round.