Dear deer: the free lunch is over.
You can’t blame them, really. You plant rows of leafy greens, delectable petals and tender shoots. You fertilize them, keep them watered, line them up in a free buffet, right out in full view with easy access.
But your beautiful flowers and plants are there to delight your customers, visitors, tenants and employees — not a bunch of rude, uninvited deer.
How to protect your plants from deer? It starts right here, right now, with a look at the best deer damage prevention and control methods.
It's time to close down the salad bar.
Deer Prevention Starts With Planting
If you know there are deer browsing your property, hungry for your landscaping, the best line of defense is to plant things they don’t like.
No plant is deer proof, unless it’s poisonous, and we don’t advocate that. During a tough, cold winter, deer will nibble on just about anything edible.
But there’s a decent list of plants they really don’t like.
Plants That Repel Deer
You’ll find a bit of everything on this list, from colorful perennial flowers to graceful, arching ferns to fragrant herbs and ground covers.
Some are spring bloomers, others offer color and beauty from summer through fall.
- Black-eyed Susan
- Bleeding Heart
- Christmas Fern
- Common Dill
- Flowering Tobacco
- Foam Flower
- Lady Fern
- Ostrich Fern
- Purple Coneflower
- Royal Fern
- Threadleaf Coreopsis
- Wood Fern
You’ll notice we limited our list to flowers and plants.
Most of the shrubs in our area are pretty resilient and will bounce back in the spring even if they get nibbled during the winter.
A Fence Won't Keep Deer Away
Sure, we can construct a fence if you really want one. But we can’t promise it will keep the deer out. Deer can jump 10 feet in the air — especially when they're motivated by a free meal. So installing a fence isn't the best solution.
Deer are especially pesky at HOA's that are situated in suburban areas and back up to forests or nature preserves.
Deer aren’t big on respecting boundaries. If you hear muffled laughter out back, it’s the deer, guffawing at your fence.
Use Plant Netting to Prevent Deer Damage
One solution for delicious flower beds is to cover them with a deer netting system. Sturdy black netting is held in place over your beds with metal hoops.
Deer can’t get to your plants, but there are drawbacks.
For one thing, you see the netting, so it does take away from the beauty of your landscaping.
The netting also catches lots of leaves and debris, so you’ll notice more of that in your flower beds.
Use A Deer Repellent Product: Deer Scram
We’ve had great success with a product called Deer Scram. This all-natural mixture of garlic, onion, potent herbs and dried blood gives off an odor that deters deer. You won’t smell it, but the deer get a whiff and stay away.
The smell is activated by water, so we either apply it just before a rainfall or we bring over a water rake to water the substance in.
Note this isn’t a one-time deal. It has to be applied once a month or as often as once a week, depending on the severity of your deer problem.
But, when applied properly, it works well.
Don't Feed The Deer
You have a big investment in your property’s plants and flowers. Nothing feels worse than walking up to your property and seeing all the pretty flower blooms nipped right off the stems. It’s maddening, really. And the pesky creatures don’t just bite the flowers off. As they forage around your beds they often uproot entire plants, leaving them to dry out and die.
We can't stand out there with a broomstick or a shotgun to keep the deer away. (No, really, we won’t do that.)
But we can help you protect your investment with the best deer damage prevention and control methods, so your place looks great all year long. Take that, deer.
Let Level Green Help Prevent Deer Damage To Your Property
At Level Green, we're proud of the high quality plants and flowers we install on your property. When deer munch them, it gets on our nerves.
We know it bugs you, too. You don't invest all that money in flowers just to put on a buffet.
We can help — by installing deer resistant plants and flowers in the first place, then, when necessary, following up with tried and true methods to keep the critters away.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers. Our focus is on commercial properties like offices, mixed-use sites, HOAs, municipalities and institutions in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us at 202-544-0968. You can also request a free consultation online to meet with us one-on-one.
We’d love to hear from you.
Image sources: black-eyed susan