Deer Proof Landscaping

February 20, 2009 by  

By Doug Leier

Deer proof landscaping

Deer proof landscaping

One of the more frequent concerns I hear about, from nonhunters and hunters alike, is wildlife-human conflicts.

Whether it’s Canada geese in crops, raccoons in gardens or deer in hay stacks, the list is endless. More often than not, those seeking a means of limiting the disturbance of wildlife on their priority issue usually follow up their concern or complaint with this qualifier: “It’s not that I don’t like the (insert species here), I just don’t’ like that many or all the problems they bring.”

Without question, North Dakota is supporting a healthy deer herd. While this is good news for people who like to hunt deer, high fish and wildlife populations sometimes have negative consequences as well. I guess you could say we have to accept the good with the bad. Without a strong deer herd the number of buck licenses would fall dramatically and fewer people would get the license they want.

Along those same lines, however, more deer also means a greater chance that during hard winters deer will congregate near livestock feed supplies, browsing on alfalfa and other food meant for cattle.

Another frustration, more urban in nature, is deer and their penchant for gardens. Whether city or country, any green thumb will relate that a deer can turn a summer’s toil in the soil to shreds in short order.

Whether it’s deer-proof hay yards for ranchers, or high plastic fences surrounding gardens, there are ways to reduce these problems. I won’t say cure, or end, however, as dealing with wildlife involves few guarantees.

In early spring as you plan your garden, take several factors into account. First, if the goal is to protect your garden at all costs, an 8-foot-high, completely enclosed, mesh or chicken wire fence is the best deterrent. A less costly alternative is dividing your garden into smaller subplots with four-strand smooth-wire fence. Deer can easily jump over such a barrier, but they’re less likely to take the leap if they’ll wind up in a small enclosure.

Deer proof landscaping takes some planning

Deer proof landscaping takes some planning

The list of homemade or commercial deer repellants is long and includes things like rotten eggs, human hair, soap-on-a-rope, blood meal and many others. Some even suggest planting desirable vegetables, such as squash, beans and peas in amongst plants deer dislike. Keep in mind, deer have plenty of time to investigate your garden, and these methods are seldom completely effective.

Deer don’t just nibble on garden fodder. They eat young trees, flowers and fruit as well. One way to deter deer from eating things around your yard, besides putting up barriers, is to plant varieties that deer do not find desirable.

Remember there’s nothing which will completely eliminate all deer from disrupting your garden but it should help.

TREES AND SHRUBS
Deer generally prefer to eat:
Deer sometimes eat:
Deer generally dislike:
Apple
Amur maple
Barberry
(Fruit trees in general)
Azalea
Buffaloberry
Basswood (Linden)
Black cherry
Currant (Gooseberry)
Birch
Boxelder
Honeysuckle
Bur oak
Bush honeysuckle
Juniper
Chokecherry
Cottonwood
Lilac
Cotoneaster
Elm
Mt. Laurel
Dogwood
Forsythia
Naking Cherry
English Ivy
Hazelnut
Nannyberry
Green Ash
Highbush Cranberry
Ponderosa Pine
Hackberry
Ironwood
Potentilla
Hydrangea
Mountain Ash
Raspberry
Larch
Oak
Russian Olive
Maple
Rose
St. John’s Wort
Rhodedendron
Scotch Pine
Spruce
Sandberry
Sumac
Wester Red Cedar
Siberian Crab
White Pine
Wormwood (Artemisia)
Viburnum
Wild Plum
Weigla
Fir
White Cedar (Arborvitae)
Willows
Yews

PERENNIALS
Deer generally prefer to eat:
Deer generally dislike
Crocus
Achillea (Yarrow)
Goldenrod
Daylily
Ajuga
Joe-Pye Weed
Hawkweed
Allium
Lamb’s Ear
Hosta
Anemone
Lavender
Hyacinth
Bittersweet
Lily-of-the-valley
Iris
Bleeding Heart
Lupine
Lily
Buttercup
Monkshood
Meadow Rue
Clematis
Pachysandra
Phlox
Columbine
Penstemon
Rose
Cinquefoil
Pennyroyal
Sedum
Coneflower
Peony
Strawberry
Coral Bell
Poppy
Tulip
Coreopsis
Primrose
Cransbill
Ribbongrass
Daffodil
Rosemary
Daisy
Sage
Ferns
Snow-on-the-Mountain
Feverfew
Speedwell
Flax
Tansy
Forget-me-not
Thistle
Gayfeather
Toadflax
Goatsbeard
Yucca

ANNUALS AND BIENNIALS
Deer generally prefer to eat:
Deer generally dislike:
Hollyhock
Alyssum
Geranium
Periwinkle
Impatiens
Begonia
Heliotrope
Polygonum
Pansy
Dahlia
Lobelia
Primula
Sunflower
Dusty Miller
Marigold
Salvia
Violet
Flax
Mint
Snapdragon
Forget-me-not
Morning Glory
Verbena
Four-o’clock
Mullein
Zinnia
Foxglove
Parsley

Comments

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!





Human Verification: In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


*