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You know that memo you sent out about wanting to keep your yard deer free? Well, the deer didn’t get it.

And now your landscape has taken on this all-you-can-eat buffet look you were never really going for. At Neave Landscaping, our clients ask us all the time about deer — moreover, how to get rid of them and keep them away.

So let’s talk deer proofing. From deer resistant plants to deer repellent methods, there are ways to keep the deer away. But first, let’s look at the reasons they love your yard so much in the first place.

What Attracts Deer To Your Yard?

Three things usually attract deer to your yard: plant material, available water source, lawn fungi.Remember the first time you saw a deer out your back window? It was kind of cool. Ahhh, bumping elbows with wildlife. Now when you see one (or two or three), you most likely let out a sigh and hope they stay away from the tomatoes.

So what’s attracting deer to your yard? It’s either one or all of three things: plant material, available water source, lawn fungi. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Plants Deer Love

Nine times out of 10, deer show up on your property because of the plants in your landscape.

And while deer can and will eat just about anything — starving is out of the question — they do favor plants that offer something else in addition to foliage. That can be twigs, berries, seeds, fruits or flowers.

Some examples of their perennial favorite trees and shrubs include:

  • Blackberry
  • Spicebush
  • Juniper
  • Hawthorn
  • Flowering dogwood
  • Fruit trees
  • Rhododendrons
  • Taxus

Examples of deer delectable flowering plants include:

  • Asters
  • Clover
  • Sunflowers
  • Verbena
  • Wild strawberry
  • Geraniums

Deer also enjoy targeting — aka eating —  hosta and ferns in shady spots of your yard.

Water Sources

Whether your property has a pond, trench, half-full kiddie pool or a half-empty birdbath, deer will use it as a watering hole — especially if this water source is sheltered and relatively far away from the more active areas of your home and yard.

Lawn Fungi

You may or may not know this, but mushrooms don’t do any damage to your lawn. They are actually the fruit of large fungi that live underground and feed off decaying matter in the soil.

That said, deer love them.

How To Keep Deer Out Of Your Yard

Now that you know a few reasons why the area deer consider you a friend, let’s look at a few ways to make them think otherwise.

5 Popular And Attractive Deer Resistant Plants

Virginia bluebells is just one of the many beautiful deer-resistant plants available.

Thanks to homeowner trial and error along with plenty of university research, today, landscapers and homeowners have a wide variety of plant types to choose from in order to create a deer resistant landscape.

And there’s even more good news: Deer resistant plant lists are full of beautiful, colorful plants that deer want nothing to do with.

Need proof? Check out this awesome list from Rutgers, which grades plants based on their deer resistance. Here are five of our favorite flowering deer-resistant plants for the Northeast:

  • Brunnera
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Lungwort
  • Sea Holly
  • Virginia Bluebells (above)

Here are five more flowering favorites picked by Neave — ignored by deer.

5 Pro Tips To Reduce Deer Damage

So maybe you’re not ready to overhaul your landscape with new plants. And maybe deer activity is just unavoidable on your property. If that’s the case, there are a few things you can do to try and preserve the plant material in your landscape.

  1. Growing edibles? Stay on top of the harvesting.
  2. Deer fear the unfamiliar. Wind chimes, reflective surfaces and any garden ornaments with moveable parts may do the trick.
  3. Fence your property or garden in. We can help.
  4. Prevent repellent immunity. If you decide to use deer repellents you can purchase from your local garden center, be sure to reapply after it rains, and switch up the product types from time to time.
  5. In addition to store-bought repellents, home remedies can also confuse a deer’s sense of smell. Consider mixing in soap, garlic, scented dryer sheets, rotten eggs, hair and blood meal. Sounds crazy, but some homeowners swear by it.

Ready To Design A Deer-Unfriendly Landscape? Leave It To Neave

In addition to deer-resistant plantings, fences and walls can also help ward off deer.It can be painful to helplessly watch your landscape investment turn into lunch by a ragtag gang of deer.

Luckily, Neave Landscaping can help alleviate the problem by installing deer-resistant plantings around your home. We choose plants that release aromas unnoticeable to human senses but do an amazing job at repelling wildlife.

In addition to deer-resistant plantings, fences, walls, and other hardscaping items built by our talented teams at Neave Carpentry and Neave Masonry can also help ward off deer and other types of wildlife.

If you’re not sure where to start, the best thing to do is contact us right away. We’ll send a Neave Landscaping expert to your home to help analyze your situation and create an appropriate action plan.

Contact Neave Landscaping today to rid your property of problem wildlife. Let’s start a conversation about a landscape design that will save your landscape from snacking deer.

If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800




Are you asking your landscaper the right questions?



Images: Two deer, Virginia Bluebells, Deer behind fence

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