Deer Oh Deer: Protecting Your Garden From Deer Damage

Deer Oh Deer: Protecting Your Garden From Deer Damage

Deer are beautiful and majestic creatures. No matter when we see them, we can’t help but be awed by their beauty, grace, and almost ethereal quality. We tend to see them only in passing either from the road or amongst nature’s many playgrounds, and this only adds to their mystique. However, if you live in an area that’s heavily populated by deer, you know that while their shy nature may prevent us from seeing very much of them, sometimes their presence can be all too noticeable.

Waking up in the morning to see a garden that’s ravaged by deer is something that every keen gardener dreads. We put a whole lot of time, effort, and capital into creating a beautiful and tranquil garden, and with spring well and truly here, we want to ensure that we can enjoy it. While we do not want to cause any harm or discomfort to these wonderful animals, we also want to protect our flowers, vegetables, and plants from their voracious appetites and trampling hooves. Fortunately, there are a great many ways in which we can keep them at bay without any risk of harming them…

Deer Oh Deer: Protecting Your Garden From Deer Damage

Getting to know you, deer

The first thing to do is ensure that your garden has indeed been damaged by a deer. In some cases, while they may differ wildly in size, deer damage may look very similar to rabbit damage but for a few subtleties. Both are likely to head straight for your vegetables and nibble away. However, as rabbits have pronounced incisors they will leave a cleaner cut while a deer’s lack of incisors will result in a jagged, tattered edge at the tip of the leaf. Deer bucks will also damage trees by “thrashing”, whipping their antlers against the bark of any trees in your garden. This will cause the bark to fall away in tatters. You will also be able to recognize a deer infiltration by their distinctive hoof prints and droppings.


Of course, the best way to keep deer out of the garden is by coming up with some appropriate fencing ideas. But it’s not enough to throw up any old fence. A fence needs to be erected to certain specifications to keep deer at bay. A deer fence should be at least 4’9” (150cm) in height to prevent agile young deer from leaping over it to get at the goodies growing in your garden. As deer are fairly strong it needs to be constructed from strong yet flexible materials while invisible enough to complement your garden.

You should also consider placing netting tubes around trees and shrubs or plastic tubing around saplings.


Some gardens try to frighten deer away with sirens, bright lights, or streamers. While these may work temporarily they are not a sustainable solution. Deer are intelligent creatures and will quickly realize that the loud noises and bright lights hold no danger for them and will eventually ignore them.

A better bet is to take steps to repel deer. Fortunately, there are plenty of deer repellent sprays on the market that is harmless to animals and plants and free of petrochemicals.

We can still keep these beautiful animals out of our gardens without risking harming them, with a bare minimum of expense and relative ease.

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  1. Not really a problem we have in our gardens, but you have to watch in the road nearby as they live on the Chase nearby.

  2. This was a big problem my friend faced last year. They put up a fence but it didn’t work. An additional fence was needed and helped the problem.

  3. I have not seen deer for 30 years (neither in zoological gardens). I would be thrilled if I could find them in my garden.

  4. I definitely love watching wildlife in the backyard but keeping them out of the garden is rough. These are some great tips!

  5. Good info! We love our deer friends, but they destroy everything we plant if we don’t use repellent.

  6. Really great tips! I have an Aunt who used to live in Connecticut surrounded by woods and it was all to common to wake up and have a deer looking back at you through the window. These tips would have come in handy for sure!

  7. I had no clue deer caused damage to gardens, I always love when I spot one out in the wild!

  8. We don’t have deer but we have plenty of rabbits! I’m sure some of these tips would be helpful. Thanks!

  9. The deer around here sure can be pesky. This is some really great advice.

  10. I love watching the deer out back. I just hate when they start trampling the plants though!

  11. Angela Ricardo Bethea

    Really interesting! I haven’t seen deer in my life. and I can’t imagine on having a deer on our backyard. LOL!!

  12. We have family deer who visit and camp in our backyard ( fun to watch them) . I have small garden close to our house but so far they don’t eat it. I guess our backyard grass is good enough for them.

  13. I have never seen a deer in real life but in the first picture, the deer would look similar to a goat.

  14. Where we live we only see deer in the zoo. I believe the local counterpart of deer in our place are the goats. Good thing we don’t see those as well in the metro.

  15. We live right next to a nature preserve so we see deer quite often. They used to love coming and eating off our apple trees. We also see them walking around the neighborhood a lot too.

  16. We don’t have deer here in our backyards, but this is so good to know for more scenic houses!!!

  17. This is really interesting, I can’t imagine having deer just wandering into your garden, the most we get is hedgehogs and foxes!

  18. So interesting! We live in the Pacific Northwest and I know many of my friends will appreciate this article given where they live!
    Thanks for the post!

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