Now don’t get me wrong, I love deer. I just don’t want them eating my rhubarb.
A couple years back when I first moved into this rental house the one thing I fell in love with was that it had a big back yard. It is a crappy, patchy, grassed yard, but it has lots of room for Dyna to run. The big bonus here is a rhubarb patch and I love rhubarb!
Realizing this town has an abundance of wild life that includes a large population of deer. I set out to find a way to keep the deer out of the rhubarb patch. Even though deer are not supposed to like rhubarb, I do know deer will eat anything. I googled DIY deer repellents and found quite a few people swore by the Irish Spring soap remedy. Hey it was cheap! I decided to try my own version of it and it worked.
Not only did I get a huge harvest from the patch but the leaves were enormous and I was able to get a concrete casting from one of the leaves for a fantastic garden sculpture.
Absolutely no deer went near the rhubarb patch the whole summer!
The next year I decided to try an experiment and went with no soap around the patch. Damned if it was a nightmare. Those deer demolished that crop. No leaves, spindly stalks and only one small harvest. The year before I had three harvests. In the photo below is proof that deer will eat rhubarb. Just look at that mouthful of rhubarb leaf this one has.
So back to the Irish Spring Soap. Some people like to shred a crap load of it and sprinkle it around the garden on top of the soil. I was kinda skeptical of this as I just didn’t want soap on the ground for Dyna or any other critter to ingest and get sick on. So this is what I did the first year and have set it up again this year.
Buy a batch of Irish spring soap. Cut it up into 6 chunks per bar. Buy some cheap panty hose from where ever you can find it the cheapest. Cut the legs of them into four inch lengths (that is an approximate, I didn’t really measure them). Tie one end, drop in a chunk of soap, then tie the other end to close it up.
I bought some garden stakes from the hardware store and attached the soap to it with some wire and just stuck them in the ground in a circle around the rhubarb patch. If you want a more rustic look you could just use some wooden stakes or even hang some cute garden ornaments off them to disguise the soap. But this patch grows pretty big and the soap all but disappears in the leaves. I do have to make the circle bigger and add more soap stakes as the season goes on.
This year I am going to add some additional soap chunks to the back fence to see if it will keep them out of the yard completely. The deer like to stand on their hind legs and eat all the bird food out of the feeders I have hanging in the cedar tree. I am probably pushing it on that one but it is worth a try as I hate all the deer poop around the yard when they are munching on my birdseed.
I will leave you with an image I caught of one deer that gets me laughing every time I look at it. I never thought I would see a deer wink at me. Personally I think he must have been eating some mushrooms!
By the way if you have any deer repellent remedies that you would like to add please comment below I would love to hear about them so I can try them out also.