Deer are common pests to gardeners who just want to see their plants thriving. They can be attracted to plants, flowers, crops, shrubs, and trees, so you need to be prepared to keep them away from your garden. We have all of the tips you need to learn how.
Below, learn how to keep deer out of your garden with a fishing line by stringing it between fence posts. You will also learn about which plants attract and repel deer along with other methods to keep deer away from your plants.
How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden With Fishing Line
Deer fencing can be expensive, especially because you need at least an 8-foot tall fence all the way around your garden for it to be effective. To help you keep deer out of your garden for a lower cost, try making your own deer fence with a fishing line.
What Equipment You Will Need to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden
You will need to use at least 30 lb clear monofilament fishing line. If you use a stronger line, it will be too thick that the deer will see it and know exactly how high they need to jump to get over your fence. If you use a fishing line that is too weak, it may break when a deer runs into it.
You also need to get fence posts, T-posts, or another type of stake to string your line on. Plan to have enough posts to stick each post several inches into the ground and still stick 4 feet high to keep the deer out. We recommend using stakes of at least 48 inches long for each fence post.
You will need enough stakes to have the posts 15 or 20 feet from each other and surrounding the garden. You will also need a PVC pipe that is 4 to 6 inches in diameter and 12 to 18 inches in length to serve as the base of the gate post.
Finally, you need an O-ring or some other sort of latch mechanism to secure your gate. It should be able to fit over two of your posts to hold them together and in place.
How To Construct Your Fishing Line Fence
The first step is to place your fence posts every 15 feet around the border of your garden. Bury each post several inches into the ground for stability, leaving 4 feet or more of height above ground.
Take your fishing line and tie it about 12 inches above the ground around one of your fence posts. Walk the line to your next fence post and wrap the line around your post three or four times. The line between the posts should be fairly tight but with some give.
Continue wrapping the line around all of your fence posts and tie the line around the final post. Then repeat this wrapping process another 12 inches above the first line on each of your posts until you reach the top of your fence.
To make your gate, dig a hole the same diameter as your PVC pipe about two inches from your first fence post. Stick the pipe into the hole, leaving an inch or two above ground. Dig the dirt out of the pipe to the same depth your fence posts are dug in. Stick the last pipe in the PVC ring.
Secure your gate with the O-ring or a latch to keep the posts in place. When you want to open your gate to enter the garden, unlatch or remove the O-ring and lift the last fence post out of the PVC ring to draw it aside.
Which Plants Attract Deer to Your Garden
For each flower, write a 3-4 sentence paragraph of the main ways to keep deer from eating the said flower. Underneath go into more detail about the different methods to stop them from eating plants.
Deer are attracted to many flowers, trees, shrubs, and crops that might be in or around your garden. If you have some of these plants in your garden, you can blame the deer problem on them. Consider implementing some of the deer-deterring tips found later in this article. Using a variety helps.
One strategy used by gardeners with a deer problem is to plant some deer-attracting plants far away from the garden to give the deer another target to latch on to. These gardeners swear that planting these plants for the deer actually helps the problem and does not draw more deer to your garden.
Geraniums are a perennial that grow at the perfect height for deer to munch on easily. These plants grow in sun or partial shade and might be why you see deer near your garden. Deer eat these plants and their dark pink blooms.
Candy lily is another hardy perennial that is often nibbled on by deer. It grows in dry, shallow, rocky soil, so you can find it in gardens across the U.S. Deer will eat its orange, purple, and pink blooms.
Sea holly is a perennial that truly stands through some hard weather conditions. The plant grows in dry soil and likes full sun. Deer will eat the plant and any berries it produces.
Snowberries grow to be around 6 feet tall, making them an excellent choice for full-grown deer to nibble on. These shrubs grow in full sun or partial shade. Their tubular flower blooms mark the coming arrival of white berries that deer like to eat.
Serviceberries have blueberry-like berries that attract deer and can even be eaten by humans.
Elderberries can reach a tremendous height of 20 feet in the right environment. These shrubs have flower blooms that precede the arrival of shiny blackberries. Deer like to feast on these berries.
Petunias are a common plant made even more attractive by their affordable price. While deer may be attracted to your petunias, you can replace them for a small cost. When you do, make sure to house them in netting or use some other deterrents to keep the deer from eating them.
Sunflowers are a treat to deer, who can make more than one meal out of a single flower. It might be a good idea to plant these at the edge of your garden or in a separate location altogether. Give the deer their treats while preserving the rest of your plants.
Clematis is a perennial vine that comes back every year. Deer will climb the trellis or lean on the arch you planted it against in order to get to the clematis. Your plant may be damaged if the deer eat too much of it, so you may need to replace the vine occasionally.
Impatiens are decorative flowers that come in several different colors to add some interest to your garden. These are low plants, so they will be eaten easily by the deer that come to visit. You can protect these flowers by placing them high up in planters at the edge of your garden.
Deer are highly attracted to hydrangea bushes, which have flowers that can be blue or pink depending on the pH of the soil. Plant these near the edge of your garden, so if deer come to eat them, they will not destroy your garden in an attempt to access these.
Deer like to eat the fruits produced by cherry trees, which may draw them in toward your garden. These trees are usually 15 to 20 feet tall.
Deer are drawn to the plums that grow on plum trees. They can access low-hanging fruits or those that drop on the ground below this tree that grows from 12 to 15 feet tall.
Persimmon trees are known to drop hordes of persimmons to the ground, which attract deer. These tall trees can reach the height of 60 when they are mature. To keep deer away, pick up persimmons as they fall and use them or dispose of them in a tightly closed trash can.
Wheat is an annual crop that can help feed deer during the winter months. If you grow wheat and don’t want to allow deer access to it, put up a physical barrier out of fencing or netting.
Alfalfa is a perennial crop that has blue blooms. Deer will forage for this plant. You can use this plant as a deer attraction, planted far away from your garden to keep your other plants from being eaten.
Deer likes three varieties of clover: red clover, white ladino clover, and alsike clover. These are all perennials that grow in sunny areas. Deer will be attracted to clover in your yard, so make sure none is growing next to your garden to keep them at a distance.
Which Flowers Repel Deer
Deer will avoid poisonous, fragrant, fuzzy, or thorny plants. We searched for the most consistently touted plants that help deter deer. Plant some of these in your garden to help keep deer away and protect your remaining plants.
Perennial plants are a great investment in your garden because they come back year after year. Some perennial plants that are deer-resistant include:
- Bleeding hearts
- Russian sage
- Ornamental grasses
- Black-eyed Susan
- Lamb’s ear
Some poisonous plants that deer avoid include:
Deer also stay away from fragrant plants, including:
- Ornamental salvias
- Bearded irises
Plant some of these other deer-resistant plants in your garden:
- Silver Mound
- Butterfly Bush
- Lenten Rose
- Pot Marigold
- Dusty Miller
- Bachelor’s Buttons
- Spider Flower
- Autumn Crocus
- Lily of the Valley
- Wood Fern
- Purple Coneflower
- Crown Imperial, Fritilia
- Baby’s Breath
- American Holly
- Sweet Alyssum
- Lemon Balm
- Common Lilac
Certain vegetables and herb plants put off scents that deer do not like. You can incorporate these in your garden to help keep deer away. Here are some herbs and vegetables that you can plant to help deer-proof your garden:
- Wild Ginger
What Are Other Ways To Keep Deer Out Of Your Garden
You can keep deer out of your garden by putting up netting, using scent sprays, hanging reflective materials, and making use of sounds to scare the deer away. Using more than one method can help you to keep deer away for a longer period of time.
A logical solution to keep out deer and other outdoor creatures is to put up a fence around your garden. To keep out deer, you need to install a fence at least 8 feet above ground: they can jump over 6 feet. You should also bury the fence several inches underground for stability.
Your fence needs to surround your garden completely, or the deer will go around it and find their way in. Make sure your fence does not have gaps larger than six inches, or deer will be able to get past the barrier and access your plants.
Black Deer Netting
You can use netting to make a fence around your plants. Black deer netting is meant to be subtle, so you won’t have to sacrifice the views of your garden when you use it. Secure the netting with metal stakes.
Ideally, you want to make the barrier 8 feet tall, but if you don’t want an 8-foot fence in your yard, you could use two lower fences instead. Place one layer of fencing around your plants, then place another layer a few feet away. This should prevent the deer from jumping into your garden.
Deer Sprays and Scent Deterrents
Deer do not like a lot of smells. Some solutions include hanging bars of deodorant soap from trees and fences around your garden. You can also place other smelly but organic items, including mothballs, blood meal, decaying fish heads, or garlic, around your garden.
You could also make a deer deterrent spray with water and rotten egg, soap, or hot pepper. You can buy a number of sprays from home improvement stores but stick to ones with natural ingredients. Spray this on your plants and around your garden to keep deer away.
You can also sprinkle human hair around your garden. This holds the smell of humans, which will scare deer away.
Even mild noises can scare deer. You can place a wind chime next to or in your garden for a pleasant addition that will spook the deer away.
Other noises you could use include whistles, electric wires, radios, and flags. To incorporate electric wires, you could hang a string of lights up around your garden or stick solar lights in the ground around the edge of your garden.
Deer may also be kept at bay by other physical obstacles and sensory objects around your garden, including thorny branches, reflective surfaces, floodlights, and sprinklers. You can hang silver streamers in your fencing or pie tins.
To keep deer out of your garden, you can construct a fence using 30-lb. clear fishing line and fence posts. Planting deer-resistant plants and using other scents and physical deterrents can help to keep deer away.