How NOT to deter deer.....

Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

Hi everyone! After reading other threads on the subject of keeping deer out of gardens, I just had to share my efforts at detering deer. It was not successful, but sure makes for a funny story......

Several years ago I rented a plot at our county community garden which is between two rivers and surrounded by wooded areas. (Major deer corridor) Hoping to fill my freezer with purple hull peas, I planted seven 50' rows of them. This is akin to opening a candy store for deer. I tried everything to keep the deer away. And I mean EVERTYTHING! I started by staking the corners and running string around the peramiters of the plot tying plastic Wal-Mart bags and plastic ribbon every 12". Even adding helium filled mylar balloons later. Nope - they just thought these were party decorations and, based on the hoof prints, several would attend the party at a time.

Next, I tried soap chips, cheap perfum, etc. Nah - this just added "ambiance" to the party. After being told the human scent in human hair would deter them, I had my hairdresser save bags and bags of the stuff he swept up off his shop floor. (that was kinda weird spreading other people's hair about my garden) Well, of course this was another failed attempt so the next advice I got was to pull out the big guns. I needed a stronger human scent......urine! My husband was required to pee into jars so I could "sprinkle" it around the garden and up and down the rows every few days. (the first pee of the morning is supposed to be the strongest - I was really getting into this) If he ever dared join me at the plot he was asked to use the "direct application" method!

Well, I'm here to report I DIDN'T GET A SINGLE SERVING OF PEAS from the combined 350 feet of peas planted!!!!!!!!!! But I did hear there was a bumper crop of deer that year...... =)

Debra "Peas leave me alone" Fuqua

Audubon, PA(Zone 6b)

debra.... hahahaaa... interesting story re: pees...or is it peas???

VERY sorry about the deer problem though.


Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

Good one! The strange thing is - this was my second garden. It was a late summer planting as opposed to my first garden which was the typical spring planting. I had about three half rows of peas that were allowed to produce. The deer would take a bite from time to time, and believe it or not I think they even bedded down in them on several occasions! But they weren't greedy. I guess 350' of tender pea plants just made them crazy!

Audubon, PA(Zone 6b)

Deb.... NO wonder!!! Cain't blame th' deer.... 350 feet of fresh peas would make anyone crazy!!!
I Luv'em too.....


Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

I assume since you're reading this forum that you're a vegetable gardener. What do you grow?

Audubon, PA(Zone 6b)

Deb.... mostly tomatoes, beans (pole & bush) , Mustard / Beet/ swiss chards for greens, Chinese cabbages (bok choi), lettuces, squash (yellow & Zuc), & have dedicated, naturalized plots of Lambsquarter / Poke & Dandelion for wild greens.


Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

I'm so jealous! I haven't had a real garden since the "year of the peas" which was about 6 years ago. My husband doesn't encourage it because I was a little obsessive that year.... We have grown some tomatos, peppers, basil, rosemary and parsley, but nothing to brag about.

We built this house 3 years ago on about 12 acres and I hope to have a garden next year. Besides concentrating on landscaping the past 3 years, I just haven't found a good spot to have a veg garden. Any spot with enough sun is also prime for deer, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, etc. We think we've found a good spot for a raised garden - not too big. Guess we will just have to take our chances with the critters.

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

I'm using poly deer fence to keep my chickens contained this year. It's 7-8 ft tall, and I've only heard good things about it as far as keeping deer out is concerned.

west Houston, TX(Zone 9a)

Debra--you tell a great story. It's a lost art!

Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

Thanks Zeppy! Great information and I really like all the links to other garden sites.

Debbie - you just can't imagine all the stories that one garden generated. Most are laughable now, but weren't so funny at the time. Such as....the bumble bee in my pants that stung me 8 times! Before driving home to treat the area, I had to know the bee was no longer in my pants. The only person around to help was this nice retired gentleman with a neighboring garden. I was a little embarrassed to ask Pete if he would "look in my pants" to be sure the bee was gone. But, I guess he liked what he saw - he gave me a cantaloupe!

Once home, I discovered one of the bee's barbed legs was still caught in my underwear. I glued it onto a page of my garden journal as proof of my story! Still have it today! The moral of that story was - if you think there is something in your pants, DO NOT pull your waistband out and allow it to drop down even further. That bee was NOT HAPPY about being caught in my underwear!!!!


none of ur business, OK(Zone 5b)

I think i have an all great solution for you, i hope. LLAMA POOP yep LLAMA POOP
I get Llama poop an there are several things that are great about Llama poop.
1. No smell
2. No bugs
3. Can use it fresh , it doesn't have to age.
why you ask? i don't know , this is one mama that aint no llama LOL
Seriously i don't know, coyotes too don't like llama ,
Llama are actually considered a predator , they use them as guard animals for herds of cattle.
If you google Llama beans or Llama manure you can get all kinds of info,
I m lucky though i have a Llama farm down the street from me, you can buy it though .over the internet on some Llama sites.
Hope it helps

Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

Well Sue, that's one I've never heard. Where were you six years ago?

I'm considering making a garden here at home on top of our pond levy for next spring. It gets full sun and water can be pumped from the pond. The problem is - we have a deer feeder there right now. Do you think if we move the feeder and start spreading llama poop now we could convince the deer to stay away?

Actually, I'm sort of ambivelant about it. We placed the feeder there (and another on the far side of the pond) so we can watch the deer from our bedroom window. Every morning we can open our eyes and not even lift our heads off our pillows to watch deer, turkey, wood ducks, etc. We've had twin fawns the past two years and it is such a joy to watch them frolic at the pond's edge. So you see, I'm having a hard time getting very serious about this....


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

Oh, just plant some purple hull peas for them!


Spencer, TN

I invite a few hunters in and they keep the population down. but my ultimate deer deterant that I havn't built yet is a laser beam set up to beam around the garden and a break beam detecter on it. when something crosses the beam it turns on all the crazy noise makers and lights i can hook up to it. running them for a preset amount of time after being triggered. I'll probably have to make it befor i get too far along on growing stuff.

Ferndale, AR(Zone 7b)

D - You may be on to something. Growing peas for them would be cheaper than the deer feed we buy.

Rueben - You can probably tell, we consider our deer "pets" not "targets". We hunt elsewhere and love venison, just not from animals we have fed, named, watched raise their young, etc. That laser beam thing kinda scares me....... You've spent a lot of time thinking on that haven't you? (smiling)


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