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Preventing Deer Damage to Your Cut Flowers

If you are growing a garden, you know all about the struggle of keeping deer and rabbits from ravaging your plants. Sure we like seeing lots of deer in the wood in November, during Missouri's hunting season, but not in June on my flower farm.



A deer in the Missouri woods

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Deer can cause a lot of damage to crops, gardens, and vehicles, too! It can be hard to deter them, but here are a few options that may work for you.


1) Deterrents: Scent

Some folks suggest Irish Spring Body Soap shavings or hair clipping from the barber shop as a method of deterring deer. The theory is they don't like the scent of these things and will avoid the area. I haven't tried this method, but I have read a lot of people have tried it with mixed success.


2) Deterrents: Taste

Applying a bad tasting liquid or powder to the plants also works to keep the deer from munching the leaves. Some have suggested cayenne powder, but there is also a product called "Liquid Fence" that you can find online. The downside to this is you would have to reapply after each rainfall event - though that might not be so hard considering this drought we are in currently! This would also be hard to do if you have a big area, though you could pinpoint the plants that are most susceptible to deer damage - peas, beans, sunflowers, etc.

deer repellent - liquid fence

3) Guard Dog

Okay, this one is a little bit of loose interpretation on our farm. LOL! Our dog Rocky, he's kind of a ding dong, but he is good at running unwanted guests from the yard. Of course, he also annoys the cats and chews on EVERYTHING, but you gotta take the good with the bad, I suppose.


4) Fence

Ultimately, physically blocking deer/rabbits from getting to your flowers and plants is the most effective way to protect your plants. There are all kinds of fencing and each can be used in different circumstances. In my raised beds, I typically wrap some old chicken wire around them when my tulips pop up - deer love tulips! Once I harvest the tulips, I take the fencing down and plant other flowers - mainly because I don't like looking at the fence. However, if I notice deer becoming an issue, I can always put it back up.


Missouri flower farm sunflowers

I'll never forget the time I transplanted about 100 baby sunflowers, only to come back the next day to 100 tiny green sticks. A rabbit - or 4 - went along and nipped every single one. And for single stem sunflowers, that means the end. Lesson Learned. Ever since then, I have been planting sunflowers in the raised beds where I...and Rocky... can keep an eye on them. I hope these methods help spare a few of your sunnies this summer! Sincerely, Megan


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