Bambi might be everyone’s favorite deer, but marijuana cultivators probably don’t feel the same towards her kin. You’ll see why as we explore how to keep deer out of your garden.
Find out if your cannabis plants are part of a deer’s diet and, if so, how you can protect your crop. The valuable garden management tips you’ll learn will expand your cultivation knowledge. Let’s begin!
Do deer eat marijuana?
Since we’re discussing how to keep deer from eating your plants, you’d guess by now that deer do eat cannabis. If they come across your weed garden, they’ll devour your plant’s leaves, buds, and seedlings.
The risk of deer wandering into your grow space is greater if it’s in an area with lots of trees. They’re nocturnal creatures, so you’ll likely encounter them at night. That’s when there are no people around, either, leaving them free to munch on your weed.
Signs of a deer problem
Before you consider the methods to keep deer out of your garden, you have to determine if there’s a deer problem. As the herbivores usually visit in the middle of the night, here are some signs to look out for in the morning:
- Missing buds and leaves
- Absence of entire seedlings
How to keep deer out of your garden: 4 tips to have a deer-proof garden
Maintaining a deer-proof garden is critical because deer will consume most of your plant and cause serious damage. You have to do everything in your power to save your crop from being destroyed.
There are many ways to handle a deer problem. We suggest you experiment with different methods and tweak them until you find a way to effectively keep deer out of your garden. Be flexible in your approach.
Let’s explore some of the common techniques cultivators use to safeguard their marijuana plants from these creatures.
Deer repellent for plants
Using deer repellent for plants is popular among growers because these animals have a strong sense of smell. The problem is that there are so many products on the market. Which do you choose?
Experts advise that it’s not the type of deer repellent you apply but the regularity and consistency. If you want to see great results, you need to spray your cannabis plants consistently.
You can’t use deer repellent spray once and forget about it. It’s best to set a schedule and stick to it without fail.
Natural deer repellents
Due to their sensitivity to scents, you can keep deer away with many inexpensive common items you can easily obtain. Experiment with these natural options to see what’s the best deer repellent for your garden.
- Deer dislike the scent of human hair, so sprinkle them on your plants and around your grow area. You can easily get hair from your comb or brush.
- Another choice of natural deer repellents is pee. You can use human or animal urine on your plants. Remember to repeat the process after it rains.
- Mix rotten eggs with water in a 2:8 ratio and spray your plants with the solution. Studies show that egg-based products work the best.
- Crush garlic, place it in sachets and hang these around your garden. Some growers dispute the effectiveness of this deer repellent for your plants, so try it out.
- Make a hole in a bar of scented soap and hang it next to your crop.
Don’t stick to one treatment, as deer can get used to the scent. We suggest you switch methods now and then to maintain their effectiveness.
Deer proof garden fence
We’ve seen how to keep deer out of your garden using repellents. It’s even more effective to keep deer away from your marijuana plants by fencing your grow area.
If you decide to build a deer-proof garden fence, here are some points to consider.
Deer are known to be able to jump over a fence that’s eight feet in height. Make sure to build one that’s at least that tall, or it won’t serve its purpose. You should also use durable and solid materials in its construction.
Another key element of a deer-proof garden fence is its type. Deer will only jump over an obstacle if they can see what’s on the other side. Stockade fences are perfect because of this behavior.
Gaps in the fence
Your fence won’t keep deer out of your garden if there are gaps. You’ll be surprised at how agile they are. Deer can slide through those openings or crawl underneath to get to your weed plants.
You can make use of what nature offers to protect your garden from deer. We’re referring to making a border from odd-shaped rocks, like the ones you see in zoos. Deer have difficulty walking over unstable, rocky surfaces.
It must be wide enough so the deer can’t leap over it. A 6–8 ft width will deter them.
An electric border is an excellent deer-proof garden fence. When the deer come into contact with the fence, the shock they experience will deter them from trying to access your garden.
This idea may not appeal to everyone, especially if you have young children. If you choose to go with this option, make sure you take extreme precautions. Hire specialists to install this type of deer-proof garden fence to prevent any mishaps. Be sure to inspect it regularly to ensure it doesn’t malfunction.
You should also check if your local authority allows it.
A double fence works wonders to keep deer out of your garden because they don’t like being trapped in enclosed spaces. If you have a second fence within five feet of the exterior one, it’s unlikely the deer will attempt to leap over both.
Make sure the fences are of the same height. You may use a cheaper material for the interior fence to save money.
Another affordable way to set up a deer-proof garden is to enclose individual plants with deer netting to protect them from the ruminants.
Deter deer by scaring them
You can keep deer out of your garden by scaring them. There are two common methods cultivators use.
When they sense movement, these sprinklers will shoot a burst of water in the deer’s direction and send them running. You can adjust their aim to protect a specific area.
Here are tips on how to set up the system to keep deer out of your garden:
- You can choose solar-powered sprinklers, but we prefer battery-operated ones because they shoot more powerful bursts of water.
- Use those with infrared sensors so they’ll work at night too when the deer usually visit.
- Ensure you have the right number of sprinklers to keep deer out of your garden even in large areas.
One setback of this deer-proof garden setup is that the hoses will freeze during winter, rendering the system ineffective. Be sure to store the sprinklers until the season is over.
As these animals are easily scared, you can use lights to spook them and keep deer out of your garden. Motion-sensor lamps will do the trick if you strategically place them in your space.
Point the lamps away from your marijuana crop, so the light doesn’t disrupt your plant’s light cycle.
Homemade deer repellent recipe for your cannabis plants
We know what you’re thinking. Store-bought repellents are expensive, which is why we suggest homemade deer repellent. It doesn’t cost much, and you can make it using regular ingredients you have in your kitchen.
There are many recipes, but this is our favorite as it’s simple to make. These are the items you need for your DIY deer repellent:
- 1-gallon jug
- 1 gallon of warm water
- 3 eggs
- 3 tbsp yogurt or milk
- 3 cloves crushed garlic
- 3 tbsp cayenne pepper
- Large spray bottle
Now, let’s make your homemade deer repellent.
Step 1: Blend all the ingredients
Mix the eggs, milk or yogurt, crushed garlic, and cayenne pepper into the blender. Add 2–3 cups of water and puree thoroughly. Strain the mixture directly into the jug. Then pour the remaining water and seal the jug.
Step 2: Let the mixture sit
Your DIY deer repellent is ready to be used. We suggest you leave it to sit at room temperature for 24 hours so it’ll be more potent. Transfer the liquid into the spray bottle. Be warned that the solution will stink!
Step 3: Spray your plants
Here’s how to use your homemade deer repellent.
Spray the whole plant, including the leaves and buds. It won’t harm your plant. The purpose is to make it smell and be repulsive to the ruminants. When it’s dry, you won’t notice the stinky odor, but the deer will. The cayenne pepper will deter any persistent forager.
Make sure you spray DIY deer repellent when the plant is dry. Wait for any rainwater or morning dew to evaporate fully.
Prevent the sticky mixture from clogging your sprayer by pouring the remainder into the jug for storage after spraying your crop. The repellent will be more potent as the eggs and milk continue to go bad.
You should respray the homemade deer repellent every week and after it rains. Deer usually establish their eating patterns during March and April. If you make your plants unappetizing to them at this time, they’ll stay away from the start of your growing season.
Here’s where we answer questions frequently asked by growers about how to keep deer out of gardens. You’ll find the additional information useful.
Do coffee grounds keep deer away?
There’s no scientific proof that coffee grounds will deter deer from your garden. They’ll decompose if you store them in a wet bag for a week or longer, though. The stinky odor may repel the ruminants.
How do I keep deer out of my garden naturally?
If you want to keep deer out of your garden naturally, use non-commercial repellents. Human hair, urine, rotten eggs, garlic, and soap are some items you can use. You can also spray your plants with your homemade repellent.
What smells repel deer?
The best deer repellent is one that has a powerful odor and preferably stinks. You can use rotten eggs, milk that’s gone bad, and garlic to ward off foraging deer. Some people claim that deer also steer clear of the smell of human hair.
Keep deer away from your marijuana garden
If you want to enjoy a full harvest of your favorite buds, keep deer out of your garden. Unlike most herbivores, deer love the taste of cannabis.
Be vigilant, especially in the morning. Look for signs of deer intrusion and take steps to protect your crop. If the fencing cost is beyond your budget, you can apply natural deer repellents, which you can make following our recipe.
The genetics of your marijuana plant can also be a deterrent. Be sure to get high-quality seeds from Homegrown and set yourself up for success.
About the author: Parker Curtis
Parker Curtis has around a decade of cannabis-growing experience, specialising in soil-less and hydro grows. He’s mastering outdoor, greenhouse, and indoor grows.