How to Keep Deer From Damaging a Vegetable Garden


According to the University of Missouri Extension service, deer populations have steadily increased throughout the United States because of favorable habitat conditions. This increase in deer population leads to negative and sometimes hazardous brushes with human populations. Gardeners who have trouble keeping deer out of their vegetable crops find the animals to be a constant source of frustration. Strategies to block deer from the garden can range from scent and flavor deterrents to physical barriers.

Step 1

Fence your garden plot to keep deer away by driving fence posts into the ground and attaching welded wire to the posts with fence fasteners and pliers. The only 100 percent proven method to keep deer out of an area is an 8-foot high fence. According to the University of Missouri, shorter fences will still deter deer because the animals show an aversion to entering enclosed spaces.

Step 2

Cover your vegetables with taste repellants that will reduce the amount of grazing that deer will do on vegetables. Good examples of taste repellants include hot sauce or chili powder. Taste repellants must be reapplied after each rain.

Step 3

Spread scent repellents over your garden to drive deer away with the scent. Mesh bags filled with putrefied meat, unwashed human hair swept from the floor of a barber's shop or pulled from a hairbrush as well as scented soap will cause deer to flee.

Step 4

Mix a solution of 1 egg white and 1 cup water and place in a spray bottle. Apply the solution around your vegetable garden. This solution smells and tastes like rotten eggs to deer. According to the University of Missouri, the solution works between 88 and 100 percent of the time that it is used. Reapply the solution four times a season.

Step 5

Arrange scare devices such as sirens, strobe lights or gas exploders set to detonate at regular intervals. Change the interval at which these devices go off regularly so that deer do not become accustomed to the pattern. Scare devices typically work for about two weeks before deer become accustomed to them.

Things You'll Need

  • Fence posts
  • Fence post drivers
  • Welded wire
  • Fence fasteners
  • Pliers
  • Hot sauce
  • Chili powder
  • Mesh bags
  • Rotten meat chunks
  • Soap
  • Unwashed hair
  • Spray bottle
  • Raw egg
  • Siren
  • Strobe light
  • Gas exploder


  • University of Missouri Extension: Controlling Deer Damage in Missouri
  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Deer, Voles And Rabbits Are Disruptive Garden Pests
  • Vegetables - Problems

Who Can Help

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension Service: Control of Mammals and Birds in the Vegetable Garden
Keywords: deer repellant, pest control, vegetable garden

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."