Gardeners often turn to deer-proofing their plant nurseries by growing a variety of deer-resistant plants instead of those typically found in nursery settings. Although this decision can never completely remove the threats from local deer, as they will eat almost anything during times of starvation, planting deer-resistant plants is the first step in minimizing these threats and protecting your gardens.
Trees and Shrubs
To provide some resistance from deer to their nurseries, gardeners will often plant live oak, bald cypress, American holly or various pine trees to help ward off the threats. Deer will not eat the leaves of these trees and will search other areas for edible plant parts instead. Shrubs are also used, such as rosemary, southern yew, oleander, and century plant. Sometimes butterfly bush and blue mist shrubs which shed their leaves in the fall will also do the trick.
Most ornamental grasses and annuals are seldom eaten by deer. Indian and fountain grasses, river oats, and maiden grass are highly resistant to deer grazing. Along with these, snapdragons, zinnias, marigolds, and ornamental pepper planted within the gardens will keep deer away. Keeping these plants healthy and well taken care of is the first step in growing a strong deer-resistant nursery.
Further Deer Protection
Deer can also damage trees by rubbing their antlers against the bark. This can be prevented easily by attaching wire mesh cylinders around the trees. This is especially important for younger trees that are more susceptible to fungal threats once the bark has been broken.
One of the most common ways of keeping deer and other herbivores in the area to remain clear from your nursery is to apply their predator's feces or urine to the area. Large cat and wolf wastes are often sold for this purpose and can be purchased from any large retailer within your area. Take the time to research all the necessary considerations and dangers of applying such formulas or solutions to the local ecosystem to protect the creatures that live nearby.
Starving deer are likely to enter any nursery despite the vegetation found within, especially in areas like North Carolina that often suffer from extreme overpopulation. In these areas nurseries are sometimes forced to resort to more drastic deer removal measures such as hunting and building a strong-wired fence. All local and federal laws or ordinances should be followed with extreme care to help protect the environment from too much human interference that can upset delicate ecosystems in the area.