Although no plan is foolproof, there are a few things that can be done to deter the deer and other wildlife from feasting on your landscape.
1. Plant deer resistant flowers and shrubs.
Your local landscape association or nursery should be able to make several recommendations that will do well in your zone. For example in our zone, a few things to stay away from are azalea, hosta, daylily, and tulips. Better choices include chokeberry, barberries, boxwood, dogwood, or cotoneaster.
2. Spray your plant material with products that deer do not like.
There are several commercial sprays available that will keep wildlife away. Also, homemade remedies can be made. However, if you take this route beware; sometimes the strong odors will also prevent you from enjoying you garden! Most deer stay away from scents like rotten eggs, soapy water, human hair, coyote urine, and hot pepper spray. Remember irrigation and rainwater will wash away these scents, so they may need to be reapplied often for best results.
3. Install a fence.
In some yards or gardens, fencing can be effective. If installing a fence is best for your situation, keep a few things in mind. First, be sure to install one tall enough that deer cannot or will not jump over. Second, keep the gaps small to ensure deer cannot crawl through or under the fence. Lastly, partially burying the fence underground will also keep other rodents or animals from tunneling underground and getting to your vegetable garden.
4. Utilize noise deterrents or motion sensors.
For example, there are motion-sensing sprinklers that can be strategically placed throughout your yard. These devices run on battery power and a constant water supply. Motion-sensing sprinklers are effective because they make a little noise when activated and deer do not like to get directly sprayed with water.
It is likely that these methods may only work temporarily. Therefore, do not be afraid to mix it up over time. If it becomes too much work for the deer, they will stay away and move on to the next easiest meal. Finally, you can enjoy your lawn and landscape that you have worked hard for!