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When the winter rolls around, we see much of our landscaping die off or go dormant. Unfortunately, deer see the same thing. To them, it’s not an issue of your lawn looking nice, it’s a matter of finding food. A herd of deer can decimate a plot of carefully-planned landscaping in a few days, leaving you with quite a bit of work to do. So is there anything you can do to give your lawn and garden a better chance of surviving?
We’ve discussed ways to deter deer in a previous post, but there are other methods alongside those. One that we didn’t mention is to use urine spray of predators, which is mildly effective at keeping the deer at bay. Much of it depends on the climate and the deer, not to mention that the urine may wash away after a few weeks.
Mix In Flora that Doesn’t Appeal
A great way to keep deer away from your landscaping is to plant landscaping that deer will shy away from. While no plant is deer-proof, as deer will eat anything in a pinch, these will be last resorts for the deer. They are also hardier, so if the deer do decide to munch away on them, they’ll survive and come back again in the spring. As always, we give preference to native plants, so double check to make sure which of these are native to your region.
- Pinion pine
- Paper birch
- Colorado blue spruce
- Bottlebrush buckeye
- Allegheny serviceberry
Shrubs that are taller are naturally better at coping with herds of deer coming through – if the foliage is out of reach, the deer just can’t get to it. Picking shrubs and crawlers that get up high will create a natural deterrent. If they start off short, you can protect them with fencing until they get tall enough.
- Virginia creeper
- Creeping wintergreen
- Purple coneflower
- Globe thistle
- Butterfly weed
- Wild ginger
Adding one or more of these plants to your garden will help you make sure you have at least some plants coming back again and again, regardless of the deer activity in your area. If you plant enough of them, particularly around the perimeter of your property, you may be able to encourage the deer to move on. After all, if the first thing they come to is undesirable, they’ll possibly think that there’s nothing worth exploring further in.
So good luck fighting the deer population – and remember that it is a long term battle. Even if you don’t see deer this year, they may just be at better pastures and could stop back in the future. They also could be wandering through and you just don’t see them. So improve your lawn’s deer resistance as soon as possible.