Originally posted August 18, 2014.
I’m trying to protect my garden from becoming deer appetizers! A seasoned gardener in deer country, I’ve used many commercial preparations, including Deer Out and Liquid Fence and Deer Scram Repellent. I’ve found that all are effective, all take persistence in remembering to take the time to re-apply during the season, all are kinda hard on the pocketbook plus I always had to make sure I had some on hand!
Because it just always seems that when my intuition was tingling and telling me it was time to re-apply, I just never had enough on hand to protect my whole garden. And I couldn’t seem to find time to run to get more of the stuff!
And yes, I said, intuition. I have somehow gotten on the energy circuit of my yard deer. I just feel it when they’re about to come back and sample my (their?) garden and find that the gosh darn stuff has worn off! And they just say yum yum, chomp chomp!
Now we all know that deer dislike plants with strong aromatic smells and tastes, like sage, peppermint and lavender.
And I’m smack in the middle of a Clinical Aromatherapy Certification Class at Liz Fulcher’s Aromatic Wisdom Institute in Pennsylvania.
I started wondering if I could make my own homemade deer repellent using highly aromatic essential oils!
I asked Mr. Google and found that some people had already had that bright idea! Hannah at the Whole Kitchen has an essential oil and egg recipe here.
Most of the recipes asked for essential oils and eggs.
I thought, well, the deer won’t touch my peppermint and lavender. Why do we need eggs too?
Now, from my Clinical Aromatherapy training, I know that the oil from Vitacost is not suitable for therapeutic purposes for use with people. I’m not dissing the company here, it’s just that, in order to use the oils with people properly, I need to be able to read the batch-specific GC/MS molecular report to know the oil’s therapeutic properties. Never use an essential oil for therapeutic use unless you have the batch specific GC/MS report. It’s the only way to know if the oil has not been adulterated.
BUT these oil are suitable for use in my deer repellant mix!
So here’s the recipe I used!
1 oz of peppermint oil
1 oz of lavender oil
4 ounces of jojoba oil (not organic – I figure I need to save the organic oils for myself and my clients!)
Fill the rest of the 40 ounce bottle with water!
Shake the bottle and spray!
I re-used an empty spray bottle from another natural product.
I sprayed my whole ornamental garden with this mixture last week before the heavy rains here in New Jersey (not the vegetable-edible plants).
The next day, I walked around the garden and noticed that the leaves had an oily residue on them, but they weren’t looking burned or unhealthy. So that was encouraging.
And now, a week later, even after that heavy downpour we had here, so far, the deer have stayed away!
But I’m getting that nagging intuition, it’s time to spray again!
I’ll let you know ! Stay tuned!
UPDATE: About then days after application, plus a heavy downpour, the plants that were sprayed weren’t touched! BUT, as my intuition told me, they came by and munched on the Mexican Sage (not yet in bloom – they bloom in September – October!) plants next to the black eyes susans! But in general they don’t like the Mexican Sage plants so there was just a small munching episode!
2018 UPDATE: Alas, I have found that, as I have many fragrance allergies, that I am reacting to the spray when used on my garden and I cannot have the strong scent around me! So I’m not able to use this solution to keeping the deer away! I’ve resorted to using Liquid Fence which seems to work the most reliably! Good luck! I’ve tried everything!! I also like Scram. But it’s harder to use as you are supposed to create a kind of barrier with the granules all around your garden area.