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How do you keep deer out of your garden without a fence? Answered

I just planted a small victory garden in my backyard. The yard is mostly a steep hill, and the patch shown is just about the largest, flattest part. I planted cabbage, cauliflower, lettuce, artichokes, and spinach. A few days later, everything but the artichokes has been munched, and there are hoof-prints all over.

So, knowing I don't want to build a huge fence for a small hobby-level garden, how should I keep deer out?

I live in a fairly urban Oakland, CA neighborhood, so despite what one might think -- and what I might enjoy --, hunting the deer is out. I read that human hair works as a repellent, but I don't need a hair cut anytime soon. Among other ideas, Country Wisdom and Know How suggests that I put a 4-foot barrier of chicken wire on the ground around the garden. Apparently, deer don't like to walk on chicken wire. Has anyone tried putting chicken wire on the ground?

They also suggest tying a dog up in the yard near the garden, but I'm more inclined to the chicken wire idea.



Best Answer 9 years ago

When our gardener did the first round of planting, he put up a motion sensor sprinkler head that hooked up to a garden hose. It looked pretty much just like this picture. I imagine is has some small battery inside it. I don't think they cost all that much, maybe around $50.


I just got a Scrarecrow, which I will install shortly. If there are no hoof prints and no munched plants for a week, I'll select this as the best answer.


It's been more than a month, and since I installed this thing, the deer haven't eaten my plants! I also look for hoof prints, and so far have found only three, which I presume are deer running through while being sprayed. Previously, there were hoof prints all over and even deer droppings.

Scarecrows are very effective but they are also very expensive!

Wow, very nice! Did you make it or buy it because it looks very professional.


10 months ago

Most people build a cage around the tree. Something about 5ft wide and
the same for height. I've never seen deer do damage above 5ft. So after
the tree gets a canopy above that height and the trunk can stand antler
rubs, a cage probably won't be necessary.

Ofcourse you can use an

Enviro Pro 1006 from here


www.DealingWithDeer.com is a great resource for learning how to get rid of deer!

urine human will work okay but wolf will work better. i think you can buy wolf urine in bulk online

Or put the deer in your freezer and raise a wolf dog on deer meat.

It’s a cage developed by a farmer that keeps deer and wild
animals out of your garden. It’s not expensive, stacks and stores
easily. It expands for large traditional garden rows, and fits a raised
garden bed. Best of all, it’s not expensive. Here’s a link to his
website if you are interested: www.gardencommander.com


I use malathion insect spray. Deer will not come near it. I spray some of my plants trees, and bushes around my garden areas. It will last for weeks.This is the best yet. Remember deer have a good nose for smelling. This is the only way I have found that's works. So get yours today. Happy gardening!

Human hair helps. Got a bag from the hair salon. Distribute around perimeter. Also a product called Deer Away. You can spray that around perimeter as well.

are you allowed a fence? Consider a monofilament fence, with a single strand of electric wire (solar powered is nice). Very cheap and efficient! Slightly high up keep (I take a daily walk around, pissing everywhere), again very inexpensive repairs.

A hair cut isent needed. Next time you clean out your hair brush use that hair! I've heard if you peepee around your garden that chases them away

Personally, I've always used a deer repellent to keep animals like deer, squirrels and rabbits out of my garden. I found it to be the easiest way because it's not harmful to me, my plants, or the animal. They just don't like the taste of it, so then they never come back. The kind of repellent I use is Deer Off.
It's a natural deer repellent.

What scares deer?

1.) Predators. Go to the zoo and ask the keepers to give you a couple of big buckets of "Lion", "Tiger", "Jaguar", "Leopard", "Cougar" or even "Bob Cat" brand fertilizer and spread it around the edge of the garden. 

2.) Being where they can't smell a predator. Plant Mints and Marrigolds (French Marrigolds are good companion plants for tomatoes) and Nestersiums (companion plants to squash, pumpkins and cucumbers)  or other plants with a strong odour.

3.) Human scent. Put hair from the barber shop in an old nylon stocking and hang it in the garden. Also try strongly scented soaps in the same stocking. 

4.) Sudden flashes of light and noise. You could trigger an LED strobe with say an interupted laser beam bounced off a "Cats Eye" bycicle reflector. All electronics would be in one place. (When the photo cell doesn't see the laser beam bouncing off the reflector the device "fires".)

Addition to #2.) Plant some Garlic. Mints include Mint, Peppermint, Spearmint, CatMint (Cat Nip). 

Least expensive method! Go to your nearest dollar store (everything is a dollar) and purchase four (4) bars of Irish Spring soap. Punch some hole into the boxes and place at all four corners of your garden. The smell will keep the deer away. They can't stand it! They are very sensory creatures , relying on sight, smell and hearing to survive! Works for me. Works day and night too. Old CD's suspended around your garden on strings , positioned so they spin in the sun, work well for daytime too. Even keeps birds, woodchucks, bunnies out of my patch! Enjoy! No worries mate!

For several years, I thought it was the groundhog that was nipping just the leaves from the virulent weed that multiplies when pulled or nipped (what one would do to make a welcome plant bushier, for ex.) Finally last year I got rid of most of it.... same year the dear started on the hostas on opposite side of yard... took a while to figure this one out... DUH... why did the deer not munch hostas before then? Have tried smells, bells, lights and all-night radio talk shows. No go. Our deer are very civilized. The sprinkler sounds like the thing.

Deer are just like humans...they have a great deal of preference for certain foods over others. Since you removed their favored food, they much on the second favorite.  Never ever plant hostas or tulips in deer country.  Its going to be eatten.

I saw something like a Deer Repellent back in my school books. This was proven to work but no one could explain why?

Make a sign somewhat 1,15 meter tall with a large WHITE HEART sign on it. It has to be clear visible from the long range. Plant that sign near your garden so that Deer could see it.

It has been proven that it works, and costs almost nothing.

Why do deers void this could be probably mistake thinking that there is an other, bigger deer already in.

put deer blued in your garden

After looking at the Scarecrow and the Sprayaway, one could build a multi head unit. A trip to the local Lowes, HomeDepot, etc and get some sprinkler heads, a valve and several motion detectors. Setup the sprinklers to spray outward from the garden, connect the heads on one waterline, run the sprinkler head water line to the output side of the water valve, connect the motion detectors (security type they have relay contacts as an output) to the valve coil and battery. Let the deer wash begin!

1) Buy a smallish island farther from the nearest shore than a deer can swim. 2) Carefully inspect all portions of the island, removing any existing deer. 3) Now you can safely plant your deer-delicious garden.

I had a similar problem where I planted some taters, unknowingly in the middle of a game trail. So I would urinate into a jar and pour it around the perimeter whenever possible. It seemed to work.

I suggest you use the CD method. Just hang from fishing line between some type of posts around the perimeter of your garden. Ours are hung about 10' high, lower will work but don't hang yourself on the fishing line! Neighbors thought we were nuts, but it's been working for years. Good luck.

Um..... lasers? Or you could just grow artichokes. Yeah. But seriously, could you just border your whole backyard with chickenwire, that way it would only be visible when you are near the edges.

Get a couple deer licks and put them away from the garden maybe.

Well we used to have a dog who would patrol the boundaries when let out and piddle on every fence post (the fence wasn't high enough to stop deer jumping in) and we never had any problems- you could borrow a (male) dog and let him do his stuff on a regular basis- OR you could try this- it's supposed to stop foxes, mice, dogs etc so might work for deer. Get some hairy garden twine and some creosote, wear your oldest clothes and several pairs of gloves (unless you like the smell of phenol- personally it makes me feel sick!) Soak the twine in the creosote and run a length around the garden- for small animals just peg it down to the ground but for deer you should probably put it up a bit higher- say hang it on some poles. Creosote is water soluble and toxic to plants (and just about everything else) so make sure you don't hang it over anything precious or edible. You will need to renew the string every so often- ie when it stops stinking. Put it as far away from where you will be working as possible so you don't have to put up with the smell. You might find that if you can find a way that stops deer coming in that they will take the hint and not try for a while- ie they'll look for easier pickings- see if you can persuade your neighbours to grow deer friendly crops so they go there instead ;-) Now does anyone know how gto keep the Australian Possum out of your garden?

Gah, the Australian possum. In Canberra they sit outside your bedroom window & fight each other. They make this horrid growl that scared me cold the first time I heard it, not knowing what it was.

Well, the Australian possum kinda munches all out plants, knocks over all the plastic pots and causes general havoc (stepping on flowers ect.).

We had one climb into our back shed, we closed & locked the door but it just chewed its way out through the wooden door, it just goes to show they'll chew their way through anything.

compicated solution. I have got a book called "electronic projects for the evil genius" and one of the projects in there is a thing called a "pain gun". it produces a ultrasonic sound wave that makes animals run away. if you rig up a sort of laser "trip wire" to set if off automaticaly, then the deer would go away, and its an interesting project to try out at the week end.


9 years ago

Well I live in a farming community, and all the really old farmers swear by this method, and I have heard it works. You put some sticks that stick up about waist high into the ground on all four corners of your garden, ( not near the plants, but back out away from them ), and then you soak some rags in deisel fuel, and then ring them out real good, and tie the rags onto the tops of the sticks. Supposedly they hate the smell and will not come near it.

Mo' better than diesel. Just pee on the rags every two or three days, Works like a charm. Mike

this works really well and has for a loooong time. ok, go to your local barbor or salon. get them to sweep up asmuch hair as possible. a garbage bag if you can. put the hair on the ground around your garden area. dear are very sensitive to smell and will leave the area for a while. the more often you do this the longer they will stay away. do it every couple of weeks.

Hair! Hasn't got the smell of lion do do, if you leav out just one lump of lion stuff, deer will smell it from half a mile away as will the local wildlife as well as pets and cats, you wont see a cat for miles and dogs will suddenly be terrified of going out. Having seen the power of lion poo in action, seeing a huge rotti whimpering like a baby, that was choice.

In my opinion, blackberry bushes make a good perimeter bush and will provide you with blackberry goodness too. Trestle them properly and you won't have to let them get so wide that you can not reach the center of the bramble. This could also allow you to have small sections of fence or a "gate" somewhere around your garden. Aside from an Asimo wearing old work clothes, not much will deter a dedicated animal, including deer, from getting to the tasty greens. Another method I found useful was leaving something out for them, depending on you climate, tomatoes are hardy and delicious as well as certain varieties of leafy greens. In any case, I recommend researching your local tips and tricks while you develop your garden. Have a wonderful day in the garden.

One thing I have learnt with black berries is they will definitely not deter goats. 'When living on a farm we had a complete top paddock filled with blackberry, the goats escaped one day and ate half of it while I was at school.

Never had any experience with goats, though I once met a man who had a pygmy goat wearing a blue and green polo shirt that rode along with him in his truck :)

Hehe, lol. Nope I can honestly say I have never seen a pygmy goat, or a goat wearing a blue & green polo shirt, let alone a pygmy goat wearing a blue & green polo shirt riding in the back of a truck. I did once see some one who gave their dog too much leash on the back of their ute, it was horrible, they were driving through town with the dog hanging by the collar over the edge of the back of the truck. It was probably dead before the driver even knew.

You dont have to cut your own hair to get some hair for your garden. Go to a barber shop, or beauty salon and get it there. Also, If you are NOT a vegan, you can urinate at the edges of your yard (NOT close to the garden!) to keep the deer away. Needs to be carnivore pee though, that is why it cant be vegan pee.