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Tips for Deer-Proofing Your Cabin Garden

Keep hungry deer at bay with repellents and deer-resistant plants
By Jennifer Baker
Published: April 2, 2014
deer garden yard repellent
Photo by Thinkstock.com
To keep deer from munching on plants in your cabin garden, you sometimes have to resort to extreme measures. Never underestimate the power of rotten eggs, and try to plant perennials that deer tend not to like.

According to a University of Nebraska study comparing commercial deer repellents,* potions crafted with rotten eggs as their active ingredient are the most effective.

You may think they keep deer away because they taste and smell so bad. But the sulfur odor actually promotes a fear response in deer and other herbivores. In the deer brain, the smell of rotting eggs is associated with predator activity. So, put a clothespin on your nose and apply a sulfur-based product (like Liquid Fence or Deer Off) every 4 weeks or so to plants targeted by your local deer herd.

* Trent, Andy; Nolte, Dale; and Wagner, Kimberly, “Comparison of Commercial Deer Repellents” (2001). USDA National Wildlife Research Center – Staff Publications. Paper 572.
Perennials that deer kinda hate
Although no plant is immune to the mouth of a really hungry deer, look to the mint or onion family if you want to plant perennials that deer will leave until last.
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Courtesy Prairie Moon Nursery, www.prairiemoon.com
Lavender Hyssop
If your garden, or a portion thereof, only gets a few hours of sun, add some lavender hyssop perennials and enjoy purple, licorice-scented blooms from June through September.
 
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