Deer and gardens don't mix, and knowing how to keep the deer away with homemade repellent recipes is a sure way to keep your crops safe. There are several different types of repellents, including commercial products, but there are a few that are easy to make right in your own home.
Deer are known to have a keen sense of smell, so it makes sense that the recipes used to keep them away include some very stinky ingredients. The folks in the government offices of Rutherford County, Tennessee, suggest taking 6 eggs, 4 hot peppers, 6 to 12 cloves of garlic and 5 cups of warm water and blending it all together until is is liquefied. This mixture, according to the website, should be left out in the sun for a couple of days until it begins to stink. If you want to spray it around specific areas with a spray jug, then strain it well. It can also be poured directly around and on plants to help keep the deer away.
Dairy Does It
"Backyard Magazine" may not be looking to stink the deer right out of your yard, but they have developed a homemade recipe that will help keep the deer away from your plants and vegetables. Take 1 egg, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and 1 tablespoon of dish soap and add them to 1 gallon of water. Shake it vigorously until all the ingredients are well mixed. This could be assisted by the use of a blender before adding it to the water. It should be sprayed or spattered on plants every two weeks or immediately after heavy rains.
Another recipe, this one from Motlow Creek Garden's website, bypasses the use of eggs altogether. Instead, the recipe calls for 4 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, 1 cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of peeled garlic, 1 cup of clear ammonia, 1 cup of Murphy's oil soap and 1 bar of Ivory hand soap. The recipe then calls for the cayenne, which should be ground pepper, and the vinegar to be boiled together for one minute and then strained carefully through a coffee filter. In a blender, puree the garlic with 2 cups of water and then strain it through another coffee filter. The strained liquids should then be mixed in a bucket with the ammonia and the oil soap and then add to a 3-gallon garden sprayer. Fill the remainder of the sprayer with water and then add the bar of soap and leave it. Spray the mixture over areas that you want to keep the deer away from and repeat weekly and after rainfall.
Sam Eggleston has been a journalist since 1999, working primarily with Gannett, Ogden and Morris newspaper companies. He has written for the "Escanaba Daily Press," "The Marquette Mining Journal," the "Kenai Peninsula Clarion," the "Novi News," the "Northville Record," the "Livingston County Press" and "Argus." Eggleston studied English at Northern Michigan University.