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How To Keep Deer Out of a Vegetable Garden

By Josienita Borlongan ; Updated September 21, 2017

Maintaining a vegetable garden involves patience and hard work. One of the responsibilities of a gardener is to make sure that the vegetable garden is safe from pests and animals. Animals such as deer or rabbits can invade a vegetable garden, causing damages to the property as well as loss of crops. Fortunately, you can take steps to help deter these animals.

Surround your vegetable gardens with plants that a deer finds offensive such as marigolds, astilbe, catmint or morning glory. These plants have a bad taste or strong odor that a deer would avoid. Use these plants as borders for each row of vegetables to create a "natural fence" to help deter the deer.

Use perfumed soaps or scented fabric softeners. A deer finds the strong scents coming from these items irritating and offensive. Hang scented soaps or unused scented fabric softeners on a string and tie them to the fence or several posts near your vegetable garden so that the deer will smell them right away.

Put up sturdy plastic netting or wire mesh along the perimeter of the vegetable garden. Use sturdy posts or stakes placed every 2 feet so that the wind will not blow it over. Keep it high, approximately 6 to 7 feet, to discourage the deer from jumping over it.

Spray organic odor-emitting deer repellents. Put chili powder, hot and cayenne peppers together and water in a blender. Blend for one minute and let it stand overnight. Strain the mixture using cheesecloth and pour it in a spray bottle. Spray mixture on the vegetable garden to deter a deer from getting closer. The strong smell will irritate a deer; therefore, it will avoid the areas where the odor is coming from. Reapply after heavy rains.

Mix two eggs with 1 gallon of water, and then apply them on the plants. As the egg mixture dries up, the rotten smell will ward off the deer.

Hang aluminum pie plates, empty cans and old CDs on strings and place them around the vegetable garden. The noise and reflective lights produced by these items will scare off the deer.

Build a fence made of wood, aluminum or iron around the vegetables. Keep the height at least 6 to 7 feet high.

Install an automatic sensor security light so that at night when the deer tries to enter your garden it will light up. The bright light will scare the deer away.

Get a guard dog. The barking will scare off the deer. Train the dog to chase away deer that come close to the vegetable garden.


Things You Will Need

  • Netting or wire mesh
  • Post
  • Stakes
  • Perfumed soap
  • Scented fabric softener
  • Eggs
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Hot pepper
  • Water
  • Cheesecloth
  • Sprayer bottle
  • Aluminum pie cans
  • Old cans
  • Old CDs
  • Strings
  • Wires
  • Fence
  • Security light (automatic sensor lights)
  • Guard dog


  • Other plants offensive to deer are rosemary, lavender, boxwood, forsythia and buttercup. Trees such as birch, maple, crape myrtle and spruce are effective as well. Avoid plants that a deer loves such as azaleas, rhododendrons, daylilies, hostas, roses, columbine, geranium, impatiens, pansies, redbud and tulips.


  • Make sure when using a guard dog will not attack the deer. Train the dog only to chase, but not bite.

About the Author


Josienita Borlongan is a full-time lead web systems engineer and a writer. She writes for Business.com, OnTarget.com and various other websites. She is a Microsoft-certified systems engineer and a Cisco-certified network associate. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines.