How to Keep Deer Away From Vegetables


Deer are commonly viewed as irritating landscape pests for the avid gardener, as they love to eat the same things humans do and more --- especially vegetables and certain flowers. You can deter deer from eating your vegetable garden, however, with methods such as border planting or fencing.

Step 1

Redirect deer to other parts of your property, so they won't eat the vegetables. Do this by placing salt licks at least 100 yards away from the vegetables, encouraging the deer to walk in that direction.

Step 2

Plant border plants that deer detest, including rosemary and rue, to encircle your vegetables. Not only are these border plants attractive, but they also have the added bonus of repelling deer. Rue is ideal for colder climates because it thrives in freezing temperatures, if necessary.

Step 3

Repel the deer with certain scents obtained at a local nursery. Hang bags of mothballs by the vegetables, use a commercial deer repellent or spread pet or human hair around the vegetables. Commercial sprays will not be odorous once they dry.

Step 4

Fence the vegetable garden, if all else fails. As long as it's sturdy and tall (deer can clear fences of 5 feet tall), a fence will be the best and most permanent deterrent. Build it just around your vegetable garden or your entire property. Available at local hardware and gardening stores, select a fence that works for your landscape and budget as well as a installation method. Electric fences, which provide a mild shock, are particularly effective.

Things You'll Need

  • Salt licks
  • Border plants
  • Mothballs, hair, commercial repellents
  • Fencing


  • Oregon State University: Deer Resistant Plants
  • Carolina Country: Keeping Deer Out of Gardens
  • USA Gardener: Deer Control
Keywords: deterring deers, repelling deers, protecting vegetable gardens

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.