Recipe for Deer Repellents for Protecting Flowers

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Certain deer repellents are great for keeping unwanted visitors away from your garden. Learn the recipe for deer repellents for protecting flowers with help from a certified horticulturist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Garden Tips
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Video Transcript

This is Donna Emery from Glover Nursery in West Jordan, Utah. We're going to be talking about recipes for deer repellent. There are all kinds of concoctions out there useful to repel deer. You can buy a commercial product, like this Repels-All, which is a granular product. You can also buy mechanical devices, such as this ScareCrow, which are motion-activated, and they emit a strong stream of water and make a lot of noise, and scare the deer away. Also works on cats and dogs. Then we have things like Milorganite fertilizer, down below here, which produces a scent that the deer don't like. Most deer repellents are in one of two categories: they're either scent-based or taste-based, and both of those will work... and some are a combination of both. There's lots of home ingredients here that you can use to make your own. You can use vinegar and ammonia - not bleach and ammonia, bleach is used in something else. Never combine bleach and ammonia. But vinegar, ammonia, hot peppers, garlic, cayenne pepper... all worked together in a blender or a mixer, strained, and put in a spray bottle to spray over the plants has both a scent and a taste deterrent. There are also recipes that use eggs, milk, as well as garlic, mineral oil or Murphy's oil soap that you blend together, put in a gallon jug, and leave in the sun for a few days to get really stinky and then strain it and use it either in a spray bottle or pour it on the ground. There are other methods that I like to use to keep the scent from dissipating too quickly. When you're watering frequently, or if you live in a rainy climate, these things will wash away. So we've come up with some methods of keeping the bait dry, or the repellent dry, and having it last longer in your garden. You can just take paper cups, paper plates, poke a hole in the end of the paper cup or in the center of the paper plate... I just used a screwdriver and poked a hole in it, and then I got florist foam here. This foam absorbs water and other liquid and stays wet for a very long time. Cut a chunk of the right size. You can wrap it in nylon net, or bird netting. You can also use a piece of porous shavecloth or weed barrier, like this. Soak this in the smelly, stinky, yucky liquid until it is completely saturated. Leave it in there for at least 15 minutes. And then you can create a little sling for it, like I did with this, with the black mesh. I've painting my paper cup black so it doesn't show up as much in my garden. And then using this twist tie, you can just twist it into the three, the shrub, or the perennial that you want the deer to avoid. And from time to time you are going to have to re-wet this floral foam. Just slide it out, dunk it in, put it back out in the yard. This should last for two or three weeks between dunkings, because you're protecting it from the rain and the sprinklers. You can also use more pleasantly-scented materials, like dryer... fabric softener sheets. Cut them into strips, tie them onto the plant, or do the same thing with the paper cup. Insert them into the paper cup. One really easy one is to use the little hotel bars of soap. Drill a hole through with a screwdriver or an awl, suspend it in your plants. These will eventually dissipate as well, but not if you put it in the upside-down cup and suspend it that way. You can also try sprinkling cayenne pepper, garlic salt, and black pepper around your vulnerable plants. Whichever method you use, you need to repeat it fairly frequently and mix it up. If you've been using a garlic and pepper based one, switch to an ammonia and vinegar based scent deterrent, and the deer will stay away. They can get used to just about anything, so if you change them around you'll have better success. This is Donna Emery from Glover Nursery in West Jordan, Utah, and we've been learning about deer repellent.


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