Anyone who ever planted a seed in Southwest Virginia has almost certainly experienced the horror of finding their pampered garden destroyed overnight by one of many of Mother Nature’s cute little garden menaces-DEER! These cloven-hoofed monsters can eat their body weight (it seems) in lettuce, snap peas, beans…you name it! They make a mockery of our fences and many times don’t even flinch if they see a human. (My neighbor recently mowed his grass 50 ft away from a deer eating the apples from our apple tree and the deer didn’t budge!)
What ever is a gardener to do???
Soap on a rope could be the answer! Last year about this time, I had had it with deer. There was barely anything left in my garden. I used a dozen different products including bloodmeal, sprinkling everything with cayenne, and a critter repellent spray..nothing worked!
I was complaining to all of my neighbors and friends. No one had any better ideas. One day I mentioned my problems to a handyman working on my house. He said a friend of his used a potent soap like Irish Spring and hung it in pantyhose around the garden. He said the scent was so overpowering that they couldn’t handle it and would stay away. I was willing to try anything so, I immediately went out and found a cheaper version of the Irish Spring at the dollar store and hung it around the perimeter of the garden. I haven’t had a deer in the garden since.
I also experimented with a little broccoli patch that I put in my landscaping. The deer/rabbits ate the broccoli down to the ground within 24 hours of planting 2 times! I placed the soap on a shepherd’s hook in the center of the broccoli patch and it hasn’t been touched in 2 months!
We all battle critters in our gardens from time to time. Methods that work for some may not work for others. In my garden, soap on a rope may just be the answer!