3 tips to keep deer away from your plants and out of your yard
One of the worst things in the world is to wake up in the morning and realize your flowers or your garden have been vandalized, destroyed or eaten. Deer are a real nuisance in certain parts of Macon, Ga., and other areas around the country.
It’s disheartening when people design their landscapes around deer tolerant plants because they can end up with a boring landscape. However, I have a few solutions to keep the deer at bay.
1. Repellant spray
The first thing that I use on a regular basis is a spray called Deer Out. It has done a wonderful job of protecting the 60 flats of violas I plant at my home and even our winter garden that is full of lettuce, cabbage and other deer desserts.
This spray is all natural, does not wash off and has a pleasant peppermint smell. I usually spray every two weeks to a month during the winter and once a month on my roses in summer.
Although I love Deer Out, you have to remember to spray, which is a bit of a drawback. If you go a couple months without spraying, your hydrangeas, hosta and roses are at risk.
2. Rain scarecrow
Another useful item is a Rain Scarecrow. This is a stake sprinkler that runs off of a garden hose and has a motion sensor that will spray a few burst of water to deter deer. The sudden action of an impact style sprinkler is enough to keep the deer away from your garden.
The downside is that with a Rain Scarecrow, a garden hose is left pressurized all of the time. It may also look bad to some, as it is essentially a two-foot tall sprinkler in front of their plants. It also requires a nine-volt battery.
3. Sprinkler system with motion sensor
The last deer deterrent is my favorite. I have tied my existing sprinkler system into a motion sensor. This sensor has a photocell built in to it so you don't have to worry about it running during the day. The sensor is powered by a 120-volt line from the house, so there are no batteries to worry about.
It is then fed to an irrigation valve that will open when the sensor is triggered. You can have one sprinkler on the zone or an entire zone of existing sprinklers. You don't have to look at an ugly sprinkler in the middle of your landscape, since these are pop-up sprinklers.
The impact style pop-up head moves very fast and the ratcheting sound is enough to make anybody or anything jump out of the way when it pops up suddenly. The motion sensor I am using has a 70-foot target range and a span of 180 degrees.
The wonderful thing about this system is you don't have to worry about a faucet dripping, a hose exploding or forgetting to spray. Simply plant your flowers and blooming shrubs and forget about it.