How familiar are you with this scenario? You spend time and money on gorgeous landscaping, and then one day, or many days, you come outside to find that a herd of deer have had a feast in your gardens! It’s a common occurrence here at Lake Martin, and as your Lake Martin real estate team, we’re here to fill you in on some deer-resistant landscaping ideas!
It’s important to note that unless you have a very tall fence, your landscaping will never be completely deer-proof. They will eat anything if they’re hungry! However, deer do have their ‘favorite’ foods, just like we do, and they will tend to go where they know they can find those favorites. The best thing you can do is to avoid growing their favorites, and to stick to plants they don’t prefer.
Here is what deer do prefer, which you should avoid planting:
-Lush foliage with high water content.
-Early spring plants, such as tulips and forsythias.
-Fruit and berry plants, and vegetable gardens (the things we eat).
Deer are less attracted to:
-Herbs and strongly smelling and flavored plants. Examples include lavender, thyme, garlic, chives, ginger, onion, mint, rosemary and others.
-Plants with fuzz or hair on the leaves, or prickly plants.
-Ferns, such as Christmas fern, holly fern, ostrich fern, wood fern and others.
-Ornamental grasses. Examples include fountain grass, giant reed, purple moor grass, zebra grass and others.
-Annuals such as poppy, snapdragon, flowering tobacco and others.
-Perennials and groundcovers such as anise hyssop, bleeding heart, catmint, coneflower, daffodil, forget-me-not, iris, lamb’s ear, yucca and more, for various reasons.
-Shrubs and trees that include barberry, birch, boxwood, butterfly bush, elderberry, holly, juniper, lilac, maple, and more.
You can look up a list of plants that are deer-resistant, with ratings, but a good rule of thumb is that anything that seems unpleasant to eat is what deer would rather not eat. This includes anything with poisonous compounds, anything with fuzzy or very aromatic leaves, or anything that is tough, spiny or bristly. What they like is lush leaves, pretty flowers and food that we grow to eat ourselves.
Some more tips to help:
1. Hang wind chimes from branches of trees, place wind spinners throughout your garden, or have motion-activated sprinklers. They don’t like sudden noise or movements.
2. Plant aromatic herbs throughout your garden to deter deer from whatever else is there.
3. Treat your spring flowers and groundcovers with a strong-smelling deer repellent or a chemical-free fertilizer, like blood meal or fish emulsion.
4. Surround vegetable gardens or berry bushes with a tall fence/barrier.
5. Plant your favorite annuals in pots to place on your patio, front porch, or in hanging baskets. Deer are less likely to come right up to your house.
Good luck keeping your landscaping deer-free at Lake Martin! When ready to achieve your Lake Martin real estate goals this fall, give us a call, the Haynie Team! We can answer all of your questions and get you started on the process as soon as you’re ready.
Becky Haynie, Associate Broker / Realtor
Lake Martin Realty