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12 Deer Resistant Landscape Design Ideas

Watching deer gallop across a field may be peaceful but watching them trample into your garden to eat your vegetables, fruits, and plants while destroying beautifully built landscaping gives the opposite feeling.  

If you are suffering from expensive damage caused by these creatures, you need to take defensive action to repel deer from your property. First, let’s discuss some common signs of deer damage so that you can recognize it when you see it. Then, we will cover proven ideas for deer-resistant landscape design plans

Signs Of Deer Damage On Your Property

Because deer are such large creatures, they can cause more damage at an alarming rate compared to other backyard pests. Taking care of these large pests can help make your property and family safe. 

As you walk around your property, look for these signs of damage that may be caused by deer: 

  • Fruits and Vegetable Theft: One of the more obvious clues is to search for missing fruits from your trees and vegetables from your garden bed. You took the time to plant and nurture these plants, and now the reward has vanished, and your garden bed appears to have been trampled on. Deer are scavengers that will take any opportunity to eat fresh garden produce. 
  • Missing Plants: If you have some ornamental plants in your property’s landscape, be aware that they may appear as quite the treat for deer, especially when they contain buds in the late fall and winter. Once these buds or leaves are eaten, the plants may not thrive for another season.  
  • Unwanted Tree Pruning: As you inspect your yard, look to see if any of the lower branches of your trees have disappeared. Twigs and stems may have been aggressively pruned by a deer, which can cause damage to the trees and suppress future growth.  
  • Antler Rubbing: Another clue to look for in your trees is the disappearance of bark. Deer rub their antlers on the trunks of trees in the fall to help shed velvet and grow more mature antlers. This can cause permanent damage to a tree since protective bark does not grow back. 
  • Broken Fences: If deer know where they can get special foods and treats and there are no landscape designs in place to deter them, they may run around your property and cause damage to your ornamental garden fences and other small structures.  
  • Indoor Damage: Surprisingly, if deer become too comfortable with your garden, they may wander over to your home. Some homeowners have experienced damage to their glass doors and windows, as a deer may see its reflection and crash through to meet its friend.  

Keep an eye out for deer wandering onto your property. If they have caused any of the above damage, it's time to consider a landscape design that will prevent them from entering. 

Landscaping Ideas For Deer Resistance

Creating a deer-resistant yard helps deter these beautiful but destructive creatures. Here are some common ideas to help keep deer away from your yard. 

1. Keep Your Garden Close To Home 

If you have a kitchen garden full of plants that deer see as a snacking bar, you may try keeping it closer to your home so you can keep guard over it. Deer are timid creatures that scare easily by noise or movements. Keeping your garden closer to home enables you to set in place deterrents and be ready to let them know they are not welcome.   

2. Build A Tall Fence

One fool-proof way to keep deer out is to build a tall fence around your yard or garden. Deer can leap very high—about eight feet—so your fence needs to either be at least eight-feet high or built in a way that prevents deer from jumping over.  

Another barrier solution would be installing an electric fence around the areas you want to protect. An alternative idea involves installing rows of fishing line to create a defense around a special area. Deer will become confused and give up on trying to get to the area.  

3. Design Levels In Your Landscape 

As agile as deer are, they will give up if they must scale slopes, terraces, stairs, or many short walls to get to your plants. Deer are too afraid to climb levels or stairs, and they’ll most likely search other yards for food that they can reach more easily. 

Talk to your landscape design professional to see how you can incorporate levels into your property. Terraces create attractive garden beds that also provide protection. Sunken garden beds may be the way to go, as deer will not venture down steps to get to the plants. Also, any wood borders, walls, or other features may trip and confuse deer, forcing them to leave the property. 

4. Use Plant Cages

Every year you plant your new seedlings hoping to have a harvest all season long. These delicate little plants provide tender food for various pests including deer. Simple plant cages or wire baskets can protect the plants until they’ve grown to a sturdier size.  

Deer not only love your vegetable garden plants, but they also love to munch on decorative new shrubs and trees that you have just planted. Providing a simple cage or wire protection around these fragile plants helps them grow without threat.  

5. Install Trunk Protectors

As discussed earlier, a sure sign of deer damage is the disappearance of bark on your trees. A simple way to prevent this lasting damage is to install trunk protectors on the trees. Other solutions include wrapping the tree trunks in burlap or foil or providing barriers with chicken wire.  

6. Adopt A Watchdog

Deer will not approach a property if they sense that there is a predator nearby. Adopting a dog and letting it have free range in your yard helps defend against deer and other large pests. Deer can smell animals and may become too scared to enter your property. If you cannot get a pet, placing animal hair, such as cat or dog hair, around your yard or garden in bags will discourage these creatures from entering.  

7. Scare Deer With Visual Deterrents

As mentioned earlier, deer are timid creatures, and they shy away when startled. An easy solution for keeping them away from your garden without having to run out waving your arms constantly is to strategically place items around your yard that scares them. Common visual objects that enhance your garden include pinwheels, mirrors, ribbons, and flags.  

8. Disperse Deer With Sounds

Along with visual elements, you can include aural garden elements that will scare away deer. A common pleasant-sounding object is the wind chime, which can produce beautiful music. You may create your own music-making gadgets to place around the yard using cans, bottles, old China, silverware, shells, rocks, or other objects. Some property owners purchase an ultrasonic deer device to protect their gardens. Deer are smart creatures and may get used to these sounds being in the same area, so it helps to move the aural garden elements around the yard frequently. 

9. Use Deer Repellent

Deer repellent emits a bad smell that signals deer to stay away from your property. It comes in the form of a spray, a liquid, or granules. Many do not like to use this technique since most of these options smell bad to humans as well.  

10. Grow Deer-Repelling Plants

There are several trees, shrubs, groundcovers, flowers, vegetables, and herbs that are deer resistant. Incorporating these plants into your landscape design and garden helps repel deer from your property. Examples of some common trees include American holly trees, ginkgo trees, Japanese black pine trees, and magnolia trees. Other plants include bee balms, buttercups, irises, peonies, begonias, petunias, and larkspurs. Certain vegetables and herbs can deter deer including asparagus, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers, rhubarb, dill, lavender, mint, parsley, sage, and thyme. Contact a landscape professional to discuss what to plant to keep deer out of your yard. 

11. Maintain Your Lawn

Deer will shy away from a well-manicured lawn because they prefer overgrown grass that they can hide in. They will also hide behind large bushes and other debris. If they can make a way into your yard while staying hidden, they may invite their family to come feast on your garden with them. Keep up the yard work by hiring a lawn care provider.  

12. Install Sprinklers

Lastly, to keep deer off your property and keep your lawn looking great, you can install automatic sprinklers or motion-activated sprinklers. Sprinklers can startle deer better than motion-activated lights, sending them off your property and away from your garden.  

Heroes Lawncare Provides Responsible Landscaping Solutions

The professionals at Heroes Lawncare can help with any landscaping issue you may be experiencing. Using eco-conscious lawn care along with superb support and service, the team can help design a landscape plan that will keep deer out of your lawn. 

Contact Heroes Lawncare today to talk about the various deer-resistant landscape options.  

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