Keeping Deer Out of the Garden

Chattanooga, TN – Landowners face many problems when growing a garden, but none can be more frustrating than dealing with nuisance deer. In a single night, a few deer can devour a small garden that took a lot of hard work to prepare, plant and maintain.

Deer are most active after dark. This makes it very difficult for landowners to catch them in the act of damaging a garden. However, methods are available to discourage deer from visiting and damaging gardens.

Deer try to avoid humans whenever possible. Hunters know that a deer’s nose is its number one way of avoiding predators. The use of cologne or heavily scented soaps can fool a deer into thinking a human is nearby. Colognes can be sprayed onto old clothes and placed on wooden stakes throughout a garden. Bars of soap can be placed in hosiery and hung along the edge of the garden. These scents will have to be freshened up on occasion and over time, the fragrance also may have to be changed. This tactic has limited effectiveness at reducing deer damage, especially in areas where deer are accustomed to the sights, sounds and scents associated with living near humans…

A much more effective method of keeping deer out of a garden is to use electric fencing. The shock from touching an electric fence is a much stronger deterrent than an unusual or unpleasant smell. To make the fence even more effective, small strips of aluminum foil can be placed on the electric fence at 18- to 24-inch intervals. Apply a mixture of peanut oil and peanut butter to the strips of aluminum foil. As deer approach and lick the peanut paste, they will receive a mild electric shock and will be less likely to enter the area in the future.

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