Netting works well too around some plants and bushes.
They are generally browsers and nibble here and there and move on.
Little things may deter them but when starving they will eat anything
and die with a full stomach of food that would not sustain them.
They will even climb steps to eat something on your porch.
Ok, without a doubt, a tall, sturdy fence is most effective, but if a
fence doesn't work well into a landscaping plan there are herbs that
can help deter the megamunchers.
We bought a large rural property that came with a herd of deer who bed
down in the woods directly behind the house. The first year we were
here we thought they were charming...then they ate their way through a
few hundred dollars worth of perennials & annuals I'd lovingly added
to the front yard.
Everyone's deer are different, but over time I've discovered that if I
surround most of my flowering plants with Rosemary, Lavender and
creeping Lime Thyme, the deer leave them alone. Think big - larger
herbs will exude more deer repelling scent while providing wonderful
contrast to vulnerable specimens. Exceptions are roses and tulips -
I also learned to lean heavily on annuals like marigolds and zinnias
which my deer ignore completely. Daffodils & Iris of any kind are
safe and as well as tough perennials like Shasta Daisies and Black-
About twice a year we spray a few things with PlantSkyd (which my
husband calls the bucket of blood) to deter the yearlings from
browsing the day lilies, dogwood and hostas. Works like a charm.
After 6 years, we've made our peace with the deer & frequently field
questions from longtime residents wondering how we keep our garden
flowering with all the deer.
Just my 2 cents,
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