We’ve all been there, and it’s so frustrating. You plant a tree or a shrub outside of the farmhouse, only to have it nibbled on, hurting or even killing it before it has a chance to thrive. One of the realities of living in a rural area—and these days, even in a suburban area—is that the deer are hungry and munching. And they don’t care if that hurts your feelings.
This Old House shares a number of ways you can attempt to grow trees and shrubs with deer around:
- First, you can try planting deer-resistant plants. This is great in theory, but doesn’t always work out the way you hoped.
- Scatter human hair. The scent given off by your hair should deter the deer from getting too close. However, in areas where deer are accustomed to humans, this might not be effective.
- Create a barrier. You can drop netting over the shrubbery or encase young trees with fencing to deter deer from feeding. This is somewhat effective, but not foolproof.
- Sprinkler head on a motion detector. These contraptions send out a spray as the deer walk by, startling them and scaring them off. However, who’s to say it won’t get you, too?
- Chemical deer repellents. Not always effective, and not our first choice for the sake of birds and beneficial insects.
Our Favorite Must-Try Deer Repellent
You’ve been waiting for it: Irish Spring soap. According to TOH, simply hang Irish Spring soap or your favorite fragrant soap on tree or shrub branches and the deer will steer clear. This may take a lot of soap in my case, because I have several young fruit trees I’m trying to establish, but if it’s effective, could be completely worth it.
Have you found a foolproof deer repellent you’d recommend to others? Would you try the Irish Spring soap method?