A Place for Your Grill

Three Ways To Keep Deer Away When You Can't Afford A Professionally Installed Fence

Do you have deer eating your garden plants? While one solution would be to fence in your whole yard with a tall vinyl or wooden fence, this can get expensive, especially if you have a large yard. Thankfully, there are other ways to repel deer from your garden or exclude them from entering your yard completely. Here are three strategies to try.

Put up a DIY snow fence.

Rolls of plastic snow fencing can be purchased at home and garden stores quite affordably. While one row of snow fencing will do little to keep deer out, since they can just jump over it, there is a way to install two rows of snow fencing to keep deer out. This strategy works well if you want to keep deer out of a large space and don't mind the appearance of brightly colored snow fencing. Once it is up, there is little to no maintenance involved -- and you can easily take it down at a later date if needed.

Begin by pounding metal fence stakes (the type that's typically used for electric fencing) into the ground. You'll want to form two rows of fence stakes, with about 4 feet between the two rows. Leave 8 - 10 feet between the fence posts within a row. You do not have to measure exactly unless you really care about the fence's appearance. The space between the two rows of fencing will prevent the deer from jumping in -- they won't be able to clear the width of both fences, even though they can jump higher than the snow fence.

Once the stakes are all in place, have a friend help you unroll the snow fencing along the rows of stakes. Use plastic zip ties or pieces of wire to hold the snow fencing against the stakes. 

Hang soap near plants you want deer to leave alone.

If you do not mind deer entering your yard, but want them to stay away from certain plants, a good way to protect those plants without having to fence in your whole yard is to hang bars of soap near them. Studies have demonstrated that deer will stay away from soap -- they appear to be repelled by the tallow that most soaps contain. Since tallow is an animal by-product, steer clear of any vegan or vegetarian soaps, as these are less likely to repel deer.

You can pound a simple stake into the ground near each plant or set of plants. Then, tie a thick piece of string around a bar of soap. Tie the opposite end of the string around the top of the stake, so the soap dangles down. If the string keeps slipping down the stake, secure it by pounding a nail into the stake underneath it. Make sure you check on the soap bars from time to time. As they are washed away in the rain, you'll need to tie the strings around them more tightly and eventually replace them.

Spray your yard with predatory urine repellents.

Deer are prey animals. If they smell the urine of an animal such as a cougar or wolf, they will stay away. If you're not worried about your yard having a slight urine scent, this can be a very effective means of keeping the deer away. Predatory urine sprays are often sold at outdoor stores. Just follow the instructions on the package to spray the product around the border of your property. You can add some extra spray near particular plants and gardens that you want left alone. Just don't get the spray on any plants you plan on eating, and remember to reapply it after heavy rainstorms.

Keeping deer away from your plants can be an ongoing challenge. You may find that you need to combine a few of the above strategies in order to keep them away completely. If you need a more permanent or hardy solution, go to this website for more information.