11 Plants to Help Keep Deer From Eating Your Tender Plants!
I think I should probably call this garden blog post, '11 Plants to Help Keep Deer From Eating Your Beets! You may relate to this story. It's our first summer in our downsized home. For the first time ever, Steve and I have a little raised bed garden. He has done such an amazing job on planting the seeds and everything was growing beautifully until...IT happened!
We came home last Thursday evening to find that someone had pulled up all our beet plants. There were a few stragglers hanging in the deer netting and some withering on the ground outside of the garden wall. My mind races to who would do such a thing. Then...I remembered where I live, and it changed to WHAT would do such a thing.
After a minute of seething, I checked the camera for earlier that day. And...'Surveillance says'...2 deer were our intruders and ate ALL the beets along the edging of our little garden 'room'.
I watched the 'little' critters stick their snouts through the deer fence netting, grab each little beet plant and then lift it out through the net. It was almost like watching a comedy routine. We had a good laugh.
Steve and I were so looking forward to roasted beets later this summer. Now, we'll be visiting our local farmers market for our beet crop.
A note for deer netting. I still believe it works, just don't plant anything within about a foot of it. The little imps can still push their snouts through...apparently.
So...here's a list of 11 plants that deer typically pass by as they're out searching for another 'beet fest'.
- Creeping Raspberry - evergreen.
- Pachysandra - evergreen.
- Dwarf Plumbago - deciduous.
- Montana Moss Juniper - evergreen.
- Lamium Dead Nettle - evergreen.
- Spicy Orange Thyme - evergreen.
- Sweet Woodruff - deciduous.
- Vinca minor - evergreen.
- Hot & Spicy Oregano - deciduous.
- Purple Wintercreeper - evergreen.
- Georgia Blue Veronica - evergreen.
For smaller growing shrubs and perennials, deer tend to pass on plants with lots of fragrance such as herb plants. Lavender, thyme, oregano, sage and other herbs with heavy fragrances are good choices. Remember to always plant mints in containers so they won't spread into your yard or garden. Other plants that are often good choices that don't generally entice deer are yucca, heuchera, nepeta, and Russian Sage.
Caught (beet) red handed!!!
Our landscape is in the beginning stage. I wanted the garden first as we haven't had one before. Nearer the house are low growing shrubs, yucca and lots of herbs and perennials. It's their first year in the ground, so they are small. But, that's part of the joy of gardening - watching plants grow and thrive.
We're working to establish ground coverage in the outer areas (like you can see in the pic above) around the back of our little garden. I'll report more on that this fall and over winter as to the success of that project.
As we add to our little landscape, we'll be adding more and more plants that deer just don't find so tasty. As for our little enclosed garden, we'll be adding a short piece of chicken wire or screen along the lower 24 inches or so to the deer netting.
Plus, I will add a couple rows of heuchera, yucca and herbs along the back and side walls to make it even more difficult for the deer.
I want beets in my garden next year!