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‚ÄĒand these days, even in a suburban area‚ÄĒis 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?