Q: I’m having trouble with deer sneaking into my yard overnight and chewing up the lower branches of my trees and eating other plants in my garden. How can I get rid of them, other than sitting up all night so I can scare them off? – Renee in Columbus, Ga.
A: Here are a few ways to discourage deer from making your yard their salad bar:
–Move gardens away from shady or wooded areas. Deer tend to stay out of sight using shaded, tree-laden areas for cover. They’ll lurk near vegetable gardens that are close to such areas.
–Reduce or move plants that deer love to eat, like leafy shrubs and tender green plants. Try mixing in plants they don’t like, such as snapdragons, begonia or holly with your vegetables or flowers to make the area less palatable.
–Consider fencing. If all else fails, barrier fencing can keep most deer off of your property. The drawbacks are the cost of installing and maintaining the fence, and no longer having an unrestricted view beyond your property. Deer can leap as high as 9 feet, meaning fencing needs to be at least as high.
–Try a homemade solution. Many homeowners hang bars of soap from tree branches or fenceposts around the property, betting that the perfume or the soap itself will repel deer.
–Use a commercial repellent. Deer repellent sprays are available that can be applied to the edges of your property throughout the gardening season.
HOME TIP: Place bars of soap in the toes of old knee-high nylon stockings and tie the stockings to tree limbs, as a homemade deer repellent.
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