Tj Jefferson wrote:Heiden,
Welcome to permies!
Deer can be excluded (electric or really tall fence) tolerated (non-palatable plants, or maybe Sepp Holzers Bone Sauce (noxious). Other than that there are lots of threads using the search function that show all the things people have tried. Success stories are included below...
Tyler Ludens wrote:In my experience, deer-resistant plants surrounding deer-vulnerable plants do not prevent the deer-vulnerable plants from being destroyed by deer. My Spineless Prickly Pears were surrounded by Rosemary, which is entirely deer-resistant. The deer ate the Prickly Pears wherever they could reach them over or around the Rosemary.
So far nothing has worked but fencing, so I am putting a double fence around the entire homestead (approximately 1 acre).
Lindsey Jane wrote:Hi there! And welcome...
We have lot's of deer, too. I have found that the only foolproof* way to keep them out of our gardens and orchards is with fencing.
BUT - I have noticed no break-ins since we have ringed our main gardens on the outside of the fence with all sorts of fragrants - including lavender.
We currently have Lavender (full grown at 3 feet by 3 feet) of all varieties in beds that ring our gardens next to beds of chives and egyptian walking onions, multiplier onions and other alliums. We have planted rosemary (now full grown at 4 feet by 4 feet and pruned every year) and things like Clary sage. We have also planted lot's of thyme, sage, lemon balm, and different flowers like daffodils and calendula. I have planted lavender next to all my fruit trees in a guild with other plants, such as comfrey, strawberry and garlic. In the hopes that the deer will leave them be.
We take the "more is more" approach to gardening and just try to add heft and weight in terms of sheer volume to attack predation on all fronts. Plus, in the summer when the herbs have been baking all day in the heat, it's a slice of heaven to walk out in the main staple gardens and just breathe it all in....
If you do plant, maybe go for width instead of height? Like, put rosemary in a row, then stagger plant lavender in front of that, then some strategically placed barberry, then some low lying herbs like sage, thyme and intersperse with chives?
I would say go for it - or maybe just plant a bunch of herbs and fragrants and enjoy those! Because the deer don't bother with them. And they are pretty. Also blood meal works really well, but MY, it is nasty smelling and has to be reapplied after heavy rainfall.
*until they break down the fence, that is...
Heiden Lentz wrote:Hi, My family moved to a new house about one and a half years ago now, and it came with lots of nice plants. Come summer last year, we realized that there are LOTS of deer around here that will eat almost anything. We had a heck of a time trying to keep them away from our plants (they even eat lilac?). I recently heard that they tend to stay away from lavender, is it possible that it could be used as a fence to keep the deer away from certain plants? And if so, how tall would the lavender have to be compared to the plant it would guard? Thanks!