Home gardeners love adding plants to their landscapes, and deer love eating them. Not only do deer eat plants, but they also can cause damage by stepping on vegetables or vegetation while they eat. Here are some tips and tricks for handling Bambi and his buddies.
• To help keep deer from destroying landscape plants, try planting varieties that are harder for them to swallow. Plants like hollies and junipers are less desirable to deer. Avoid plants deer like. Plants like hostas, pansies and fleshy succulents are delicious to deer. A publication with a complete list of deer tolerant ornamental plants can be found on the UGA Extension publication website at www.caes.uga.edu/publications.
• Change deer odor repellents frequently. Repellents should be applied at least once a month or after every rainfall since the water washes away the odor. Missing an application will result in plant damage from deer.
• Preventatives like garlic sticks and sprays will work longer if rotated.
• Build a fence to block deer from vegetable gardens. Home garden centers may not always sell the best type of fencing. Some deer will chew holes through thin fencing.
• Think outside the box to ward off deer. Items like motion-activated sprinklers can help keep the animals away from plants and vegetables.