20 EASY Tips to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

Are you interested in keeping deer out of your garden, but are tired of reading the same ideas?

Do you want tips that are EASY and CHEAP?

After countless hours of research, trial and error, and product reviews I have created 20 EASY Tips to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden.

The list below contains FREE techniques, DIY, PROVEN Products, and so much more.

This list is organized from CHEAPEST to MOST EXPENSIVE and meets the needs of ALL Gardeners!

How do you know when deer visit your garden?

This may seem like a simple question.

But it is critical to understand whether a deer or another animal visited your garden. And believe it or not, more times it is an animal other than a deer.

You know a deer has been in your yard or garden when the following has occurred:

  • Hoof Prints are in your yard or garden.
deer track
  • Deer droppings are on your property
deer droppings
  • Your plants have been severely trampled
  • Torn leaves are around your plants
  • Bark is missing from your tree
deer rubbings

If you notice one or more of these items then there is a high likelihood that deer have visited your garden and yard.

But even after all of this, you still may not know for sure.

If that is the case then I highly recommend easing your mind and purchasing:

Campark Trail Game Camera

This game camera is the best in the industry. And it will tell you exactly what is in your yard at all times.

The game camera comes with 1080 video & picture resolution. In addition it has a .3 second trigger speed. It also has a waterproof casing. And best of all is that it has excellent sensitivity and night vision.

Why do Deer come to your garden?

Before I talk about 20 EASY & CHEAP ways to keep deer out of your garden you first need to know why deer come to it.

Deer come to your yard and garden for two things; shelter & food.

There is a higher chance deer will visit and stay in your yard if you have thick grass or densely populated plants. There is even a higher chance if you have food that deer ear.

20 WAYS to Deter Deer from your Garden (cheapest to most expensive)

1. Eliminate Plants Deer Eat

The cheapest and easiest way to deter deer from your garden is to eliminate plants they like.

Deer are most attracted to the following plants/food:

  • Lettuce, peas, sweet corn, tomatoes, pumpkins, green beans, carrots, and broccoli.
  • Pecans and hickory nuts
  • English Ivy, Hostas, and Daylilies
  • Apples, Blueberries, and Blackberries

These type of plants are high in nutrition and protein. This is what deer look for when they have a fawn. And they desperately seek this food as they prepare for winter.

The more of these plants/foods you have in your yard the higher likelihood that deer will come and stay.

If you still want to use these plants then make sure to harvest them as soon as they ripen. In addition, Tip #10 will be most useful.

2. Keep Plants Close to Your Home

plants near house

If you are like me you are stubborn. You are not going to stop planting what you like because of deer.

If that is the case your best option is to keep plants closer to your home.

Deer are very reluctant to go near humans. And if you keep your plants towards your house there is a high likelihood they will be deterred from coming near it to feed.

3. Maintain Your Yard

Tip #3 is both easy and free.

All you need to do to deter deer from coming into your yard is maintaing it.

This means you mow the grass in a timely manner, reduce highly dense areas, and keep brush at a minimum. This will deter deer from seeking shelter and habitat in your yard.

4. Let Your Dog Play in You Yard

dog in yard

For tip number 4 you are going to need a dog. But what better excuse to get a dog than to help deter deer from your yard.

Letting your dog play in your yard helps to deter deer in several ways.

Dogs mark their territory which will help prevent deer. Dogs will bark and scare deer away. And they can also potentially chase off deer, helping to keep them away from days at a time.

And not only will dogs keep deer away, but they will keep those pesky squirrels away.

And if you want to keep squirrels away from your bird feeders then I recommend reading: 7 Effective Ways to Keep Squirrels Off Your Bird Feeders (2019)

5. Pee by Your Garden

I’m going to be honest. You may think this tip is crazy. But it works. It is free. And it is incredibly easy.

Deer have a keen sense of smell. And one item that does not smell nicely is pee. So if you pee near your garden it has been scientifically proven that deer will be deterred from going near it.

6. Spread Irish Spring Soap Across Your Garden

Irish Spring Soap is amazing! It smells good and keeps me clean. So don’t ask me why deer don’t like it.

Buy on Amazon

If you want to help deter deer from your garden take the soap and cut it up into about 12 pieces and spread it across the garden. The scent will help keep deer away from your garden. Repeat this process several times throughout summer.

7. String Up Fishing Line Around your Garden

I’m going to be honest, this is my favorite tip.

And it has been past down three generations to me with 100% success.

The key to success is that you already should have a fence posts around your garden. The fence post should be at least 4 feet in height. 8 feet fence post would be ideal.

Once your garden is fenced in you will want to place the fishing line around it. Depending on the height of your fence posts you will want to do 3-5 loops around your garden.

By doing this it will naturally confuse the deer and its depth perception. Since the deer don’t know if it will be able to make it in and then out of the garden it will look for easier areas to feed.

When using fish line make sure it is a sturdy, can outlast the elements, and last years. For this, I recommend Power Pro Fishing Line

If you are a visual learner I recommend watching the below video:

8. Apply Plant Nets

Sometimes keeping plants near your house, spreading soap across your garden, or using a fishing line just doesn’t work.

If that is the case then my recommendation is to apply deer nets around your plants. This won’t deter deer. It will stop them.

Deer typically won’t try to feed on your plants with netting on. They fear they will get caught in it. And if they try their mouths and teeth will only get netting and they’ll quickly look for easier food.

Simply unwrap your netting and place it over your plants. Make sure to secure the ends into the ground with rocks, bricks, and stakes. It is literally that easy!

If you are looking for the best deer netting out there then I recommend Easy Gardener Deer Netting.

9. Use Deer Wrapping to Protect Trees

Did you know that in the fall it is as likely for your trees to get destroyed by deer as your garden plants?

In the autumn bucks love rubbing their antlers on trees. And by the time you notice it your young trees are dead. Not only is this frustrating, but it can cost you hundreds of dollars in trees.

Because of this I recommend Dimex EasyFlex Tree Trunk Protector.

What I love about this product is how cheap, effective, and simple it is to use. It should only take you three minutes from the time you take it out of the package to wrapping it around your tree.

10. Use Wind Chimes Around Your Garden

As we have already talked about deer do not like sudden noise and movement. In fact, if it happens to them while they are trying to feed they are most likely to leave your yard for several days or weeks.

So how do you produce sudden movement in and cheap and easy way?

By using Wind Chimes of course!

Buy on Amazon

If you have trees you want to protect from deer then hang wind chimes from them. If you have plants or a garden that is not near trees then place a pole next to them. And then place your wind chimes on it.

11. Apply Proven Deer Sprays

By now you should have 10 PROVEN ways to deter deer from the yard. The best part is this should cost you well under $50.

If you need additional ways to deter deer from your garden then I highly recommend applying proven deer sprays on your plants and near your garden.

Research has shown that by using PROVEN deer sprays you have a 50-75% chance of deer staying away from your garden and plants.

The most effective use of such deer application is to apply it from early spring to late fall. You will then want to re-apply it every 90 days. Make sure to apply at least 24 hours before rain or watering.

I personally use and recommend two deer sprays:

Liquid Fence Deer Repellent

Deer Out Deer Repellent

These are the best products on the market. They are easy to use (literally you just spray). They are made with all natural ingredients (non-toxic). And they have money-back guarantees. You can’t beat it!

12. Use Texture-Based Plants

You’ll often hear that a hungry deer will literally eat anything. Well, that statement isn’t entirely true.

Even if a deer is starving it will not eat poisonous plants. It will also be highly unlikely to eat plants that have texture.

Below, are beautiful plants that you can have without worrying about deer destroying:

13. Use Plants that have odors deer hate

This is another great tip that can make gardening more enjoyable.

Even though it is not as effective as texture-based plants, I would recommend using plants that have smells that deer hate.

Be warned though that if a deer is truly starving they may eat these plants. This will most likely occur in early spring or late fall.

Remember, if you harvest these plants right away you should have no issue.

14. Add Deer Deterring Decor

Deer are a lot like birds. They are incredibly smart. They do not scare easily. And they quickly adapt to their settings.

If you want to change things up and scare deer away then I recommend adding certain decor to your yard.

Specifically, I would purchase one or more of the following items.

Balloons

Ribbon

Scarecrow

Shiny, moving, and humanlike items have been known to deter deer from getting too close to your garden.

Simply hang balloons along your fence or on pole.

Repeat the process with Shiny Ribbon.

And place several scarecrows in your garden.

After that, you should be able to rest easy that deer will at least temporarily be deterred.

Note that anything that spins, whistles, or wiggles is a plus.

If you are interested in learning how to attract and deter birds from your garden then I highly recommend reading an article I wrote for birdwatchinghq:

Birds in the Garden: 10 PROVEN Tips to Attract and Deter

15. Add Levels

Add Levels? What does that mean?

Adding levels very simply means changing your landscape in your yard from being completely level to having steps or “levels”.

This is one of the most effective ways to deter deer from entering your yard. The reason for this is because deer do not climb up or down very well.

Best of all is that you can be very creative with how you do this.

You can do it near raised garden beds. Or near your house. You can use slabs of concrete. You can use stacked wood. Or you can use bricks. You can even put about 3 feet worth of rocks wide around your garden.

16. Add Hedges Around Your Property Line

Deer are curious creatures. But they are also cautious creatures.

Deer typically won’t go into an area where they can’t see what is on the other side.

Because of this, I recommend adding hedges around your property line.

Or at the very least adding hedges around your gardening area to prevent deer from venturing into it.

17. Setup Deer Repellent Stations in Your Yard

This is one of the more expensive tips for keeping deer out of your yard and garden. But it is also one of the most effective methods.

Deer Repellent Stations are the latest and greatest technology in deterring deer and wildlife from your garden.

Electronic Deer Repellent sends harmless static shocks to deer who come across them. It creates a psychological barrier and it should cover your entire garden.

If you want the best product out there and the only one that I feel is worth the money then I recommend purchasing:

Havahart 5250 Electronic Deer Repellent

Havahart is the leader in the industry of deer repellent. The product comes with 3 posts and covers 1200 square feet. Best of all you just need a few AA batteries and you are all set.

18. Install a Fence

When you hear the tip fence in your garden don’t panic. This isn’t a hard as you think and it will not be as costly either.

One of the most effective ways to protect your garden is to fence it in. You can do the same with plants around your house.

Typically, I recommend a fence anywhere between 4 to 8 feet hide. 8 Feet is optimal when it comes to deterring deer.

Keep it simple and purchase a fence like YardGard Fence.

YardGard produces durable, long-lasting fence. It is UV protective, is easy to use, and comes at a fair price.

19. Install Motion Sensor Sprinklers

Sometimes no matter what you try nothing deters deer.

Well lucky for you thegardeningdad has a found a reliable solution.

If you want to consistently keep deer from destroying your yard and garden then install a motion sensor sprinkler like Orbit Motion Activated Sprinkler.

The Orbit sprinkler comes with night and day detection. It has a 120-degree arc sensor that has a 35 foot impact sprinkler.

In addition, it uses water and battery conservation technology. And it is made with heavy-duty construction helping it last a lifetime.

20. Install an Electric Fence

If all else fails then I recommend the most expensive, but most effective way to deter deer.

If you have a consistent problem with deer then I would install an electric fence around your garden.

Electric fences work like deer repellent stations but are more effective. They send a nonharmful electric shock through the deer. After one charge from this deer will stay away, even if they are starving.

Conclusion

While it is difficult to keep deer out of your garden, it is not impossible.

Remember, it is critical to ensure you are doing everything you can to not promote habitat and safe haven for deer in your yard.

If you want to keep deer out of your garden then I recommend the following:

  • Eliminate plants that deer eat
  • Keep plants closer to your house
  • Maintain your yard
  • Let your dog play in your yard
  • Pee by your garden
  • Use Irish Spring Soap
  • Use fishing line
  • Apply plant nets
  • Use deer wrapping to protect trees
  • use wind chimes around your garden
  • Apply proven deer spray
  • Use texture-based plants
  • Use plants that have odors that deer hate
  • Apply deer deterring decor
  • Add levels
  • Add hedges around your property
  • Setup deer repellant stations
  • Setup a fence
  • Install a motion sensor sprayer
  • Install an electric fence

What is your favorite deer deterring tip?

Check out some of my other articles:

50 Useful Plants that Attract Bees to Your Garden

How to Prune Fig Trees (10 Most EFFECTIVE Tips)

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