I have decided to try putting a little urine in a watering can to give a nitrogen boost to my plants. Deer are a big problem around here, and this is the first year I've used urine as a fertilizer. Just wondering--will it keep deer away, given that I am watering the roots and not the leaves? Will I still need to take other precautions, or is the scent likely to last for a while?
Lived in a urban treed setting for years and had deer like most farms have rats, tried this along fence lines where breaking through with no luck. Unsure of rural setting, but would think no. Or try eating aspargus prior to "watering"... lol.
Experiment, invent, build, grow, share....lead by example people!!!
while it is not a statistical model, we live in the sticks...and I pee around the garden several times a week, and have never had deer damage...but then, we also have a fiercely protective Jack Russel too. Although she sleeps inside..
In a word...NO. Neither will dog pee or predator pee or any other kind of excrement or other waste product from humans or animals. Deer get used to these things after awhile and no longer really fear it...it only takes one time for them to lose their fear and totally wreck your garden and everything you've planted. A more certain deterrent is one low wire(about knee high) of electric fencing around the garden.
The deer will feed within 10 yds of my outside dog and all his various scattered peeings....they have learned he is on a boundary that he cannot breach and therefore do not fear the "predator". We pee all over outside and the deer will walk right over those well-peed spaces without a second's thought. Stinky things? They wear out and the deer get used to them as well. We have had some success with moth balls around the rose bushes that will keep them from actually gnoshing down the roses but they will walk right past this smell deterrent without any fear response. We wouldn't place the moth balls anywhere near our food garden, so the electric is the sure thing for us.
After trying all kinds of temporary measures for years that only worked briefly we have a nine foot fence. Eight foot (six foot out of the ground) steel fence posts, six foot welded wire olus three foot extensions made from old bed frames...with four strands of plain wire to extend it to nine feet. The top didnt need to be as strong, just a visable barrier. The bottom two feet of the fence is overlapped with chicken wire to keep the bunnies out. Looking back, I think the fence would have quickly paid for itself in reliable crops and time we spent trying all of the ideas that are out there.
edited to add...this is a fifty foot by fifty foot garden area where we grow things we know the deer love. Another area...an unfenced kitchen garden is a polyculture of herbs, fruittrees and other things the deer never or rarely eat. Most of our fruit trees have rings of four foot hog wire out far enough the deer cant reach the tree but close enough the wont jump in the circle of fence.
"We're all just walking each other home." -Ram Dass
"Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder."-Rumi
I had pretty good luck in GA. with spraying dilute urine on my sweet potatoes, which were a favorite of the deer. But the area I was in was quite rural, with plenty of hunters (not all of whom obeyed seasons or regulations), so I'd guess they had a lot of respect for any evidence of human presence. This urine spray also worked pretty good for armadillos, which, being insectivores, are very difficult critters to repel or trap. Here in CA the deer are a lot bolder, especially in the dry summer when our irrigated plantings become more irresistible. One time a deer crept up to much a rosebush about 30 feet from our sleeping dog. My fall back answer for them and other problem critters of any sort is baited electric fence.....hang a single wire at nose height of the pest in question, and put tags of aluminum foil every ten feet or so on the wire. Daub these with peanut butter or something else yummy. Critter gives it a lick, gets a really good shock, and stays away for months. This will work to keep goats inside an area, too. The problem with that technique here is the six-month intense fire danger season, prohibiting the use of live wires. I'm looking into the motion-sensitive sprinklers...so far they seem promising....
Keeping deer away: I had a terrible deer problem at a clients house here in Santa Fe NM; 53 Rose bushes & the Mule Deer loved them. I got the idea to put dog hair around the area where the deer would come up the property to eat my Roses. That fix the problem! Deer don't like to smell of dogs (predators). But the client didn't like dog hair flying around in the breeze so I stuffed the hair in legs of panty hose & fixed both the deer & the client problem. Don't use clean dog hair like from a groomer, just pull it out of the brush after you brush your dog or your friends dog.
I was deer hunting this weekend and just about peed directly on two small bucks as a test after reading this thread, they showed absolutely no change in behavior. I even waited till they were down wind.
Deer in different places with different habitats and food behave differently. The low fence would never work here. They jump over. Why does the mountain lion pee work? Perhaps because the neighbors have apples.
Human urine doesn't seem to bother the deer here, the best deterrent i have found is wormwood, they avoid it. I have a row of it planted along one side of the garden blocking the most popular deer approach and it seems to help. When I planted some new fruit trees I did an experiment and planted wormwood around one and not another. At first the deer damaged the "not" one, but the planted one didn't thrive, i suspect because wormwood is allelopathic. Then my father in law was helping and he mowed over both and the experiment was over.
The wormwood experiment is worth repeating at different distances. Wouldn't hurt to try the human pee, but I'd be inclined to try full strength near the plants.
Our problem adds to the deer. Have found bear scat in orchard...😲 Bear sightings common running the draw next to garden.😟
Keeping bees and having a garden (fenced 5 feet high chicken wire) to keep out small critters. The apiary has 6 feet tall chicken wire with solar powered electric wire every foot starting at 6 inches. Orchard and grapes are open.
Will collect urine and let set for a week. And ring around apiary and garden. Am willing to sacrifice orchard and grapes (mainly a wild turkey feedlot). So fart, soooo....good.😎😎😎
Human Urine: Many swear by this. Perhaps it IS diet related or species of deer or presence or lack of humans that explains why it works for some and not others. Note: application would likely need to be "regular" and for sure after a rain.
Dog Hair: Many swear by this. Again, could be species type (of deer) or type of dog, or the issue of fur collected that is "too" clean that explains the successes vs the failures.
Cougar/Predator Urine: as a deterrent this does have mixed results, my guess, if it is an area without cougar, the deer would not "know" to fear it.
For me, this is a "no go" as I have to question the ethics regarding predator urine collection. Are the predators kept "caged and catheterized" to collect from live animals? Frankly I cannot see enough of these animals hunted and their urine collected by hunters and "sold" to the sellers; so just HOW is this substance collected? Plus it is pricey, and must be reapplied regularly.
Mothballs: my concern here is toxicity to livestock, pets, wildlife, and unsuspecting children. For me this is a "no go" due to safety concerns.
Commercial Deterrent Sprays: the issue here is two fold, expensive and effectiveness. I have tried pretty much all the sprays for detering raccoons (placed Fruit Loop cereal in Tupperware, heavily sprayed, allowed to dry, sprayed again) zero success - container opened, Fruit Loops gone.
Most of these commercial sprays "claim" multiple species, including deer, but based on my raccoon trials, I doubt their efficacy; plus they are pricey and must be reapplied regularly.
Electric Fencing: Can be effective, assuming it is placed appropriately; it will only "shock" them if their nose or tongue hits a live wire. I suspect in many cases it is the "visual barrier the fencing creates that is more often the actual deterrent.
Barrier: Basically it is not the strength of the fencing but it's visual presence. Bird netting on bamboo or junk poles is highly effective as are "flagged" strands of fishing line. The key is an absolute minimum of 8 feet; 10 or more if you have heavy snow load, a slope or extra large deer.
If the minimum 8 ft height is not an option you need to widen the "fence" or slope the fence. Two six foot fences placed 4-6 ft apart or three 4 ft fences, 2 ft apart, OR two fences with trellis or board or flagged line to a width they cannot jump - MUST be visible! A great solution is to use the space between the two fences as a poultry, duck or dog run.
Flagging: this could be actual flagging tape, mylar strips, foil strips, old cD's or computer discs, yarn, cloth strips...the key is that they flutter/move in the breeze; the movement unnerves the deer; flashing from reflective items works best, long (8-12 inch) and colorful, second best. Suspended bars of "Irish Spring soap or dog hair are also said to work. This also makes a low visibility barrier such as fishing line visible.
Junk Pole Fencing: this can be time consuming, but VERY cost effective (search the permies site for how to instructions). Essentially you use saplings or other "junk" to create a palisade type fence with two horizontal poles attached to verticals, lay in the junk poles upright and hold in place with two more horizontal poles, rope, mesh etc. This will NOT keep out climbers or diggers, only deer.
Deer proofing can initially be time consuming and/or expensive; but always factor in the cost of doing it "right and doing it once" before opting for a cheap or easy solution that fails.
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