Add deer-resistant shrubs to your garden
Deer are creatures of habit. Once they find a route with lots of tasty treats, they follow it. Your objective is to either block that path or give them reasons to move to another area. Fencing helps, but is expensive and not always possible. Sprays that smell or taste bad to deer often work, but need to be reapplied frequently to be effective. One of the best ways to avoid feeding them is to set a table with their least-favorite foods.
Bottom line — much will depend on the other food options in the area, the competition for food and the eating habits of the deer. No plant is 100 percent resistant to a hungry animal. Once it’s finished off its favorites, the critter will move on to the next least-offensive-tasting plant. The key is to create a garden that contains few of their favorites. So with that said, here are six shrubs that deer will pass by in their search for a tasty meal.
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Rutgers University maintains an online list of landscape plants graded according to their resistance to deer. The list was compiled with input from nursery and landscape professionals, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station (NJAES) Cooperative Extension personnel and Rutgers Master Gardeners in northern New Jersey.