Deer can reduce your garden to mere sticks in a single evening, but if you use repellents, you'll likely want them to be organic. The dainty creatures are heavy eaters, and they've been known to return to the same spot over and over when they're hungry. You may be resistant to add heavy chemicals to your yard, however, particularly if you're interested in gardening organically. There are many completely organic choices available to help you rid your yard of deer. You may need to experiment with different choices, and rotate through options to keep the deer off guard and away from your plants. Deer may become accustomed to one form of repellant, rendering it worthless in your yard. By switching your approach periodically, you'll provide more complete protection.
The best way to keep deer out of your yard is to provide and maintain adequate fencing. Deer-resistant fencing should be 10 feet high, to ensure that the deer can't jump over. Lower fences will only work if they are canted outward at a 45 degree angle. Cover your flowerbeds and gardens with deer-resistant netting. You can reinforce your perimeter by adding motion-sensing sprinklers. The Scarecrow, made by Contech Electronics, releases a 2- to 3-cup burst of water when it detects movement or body heat. Most deer are simply startled by this sudden movement and will avoid the sprinklers at all costs.
You may have deer repellent materials already in your home. Sprinkle cayenne pepper around your flowerbeds, and reapply after each rainfall. Some deer are repelled at the thought of human contact. Place small sachets made of human hair around your yard, and refresh periodically. Heavily scented soaps, hung from your plants, may also scare away your deer, although other deer may find the soap simply too tasty to pass by. You may scare off deer with sachets of garlic, but again, some deer may also find this to be a treat.
To protect plants you cannot screen in, make your own deer repellent spray. Mix blended jalapeño or cayenne peppers with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a squirt of Elmer's glue and a dash of dishwashing soap and add to 10 parts water. Shake well and apply to your plants with a sprayer. Reapply after a heavy rain.
Your feed store may sell vials of wolf, coyote or mountain lion urine you can sprinkle along the border of your garden. Since these animals prey on deer, the deer may think a threat is nearby and may flee from your yard. If you find this idea distasteful, ask your gardening store to direct you to Plantskydd. This product, available in both spray and granule formats, has been listed organic by the Organic Materials Review Institute, so it should be safe to use in organic gardens. The product contains a mixture of hemoglobin and vegetable oil, and emits a scent deer find extremely unpleasant.
If all else fails, consider replacing your plants with more deer-resistant varieties. Marigolds, lilac, forsythia, foxglove and yarrow are all considered unpleasant to deer, meaning they may be likely to last in your garden for more than one day.