Some gardeners swear by hanging fabric softener strips and/or wrapped bars of soap from trees, both of which can confuse a deer's sense of smell. Others point to using hot pepper sprays, garlic and rotten egg mixtures, ammonia-soaked rags, and bags of hair and/or blood meal around the garden for the same reason. As with commercial repellents, the trick is to switch things up, learning by trial and error, for maximum efficiency. Check out this tutorial on deer-proofing shrubs with Roger Cook
. And experiment with deer juice,
a tried-and-true recipe shared by TOH
design director Amy Rosenfeld.