Watching deer graze in a field or rabbits bouncing through the grass can be a peaceful experience. Watching them graze in your garden, not so much. While these charming creatures mean no harm, they can leave your veggies and plants nibbled and damaged.
Try checking your leaves. Bugs will leave jagged edges and half-eaten leaves. Rabbits and deer will leave a clean cut or eat the entire foliage. You can keep your plants and veggies safe from the friendly herbivores without expensive chemicals or dangerous traps by using something you may already have on hand: Irish Spring Soap!
The soap only works on pests like mice, rabbits, and deer (you'll have to address insect problems another way). While it isn't going to completely eliminate your problem, this simple remedy should keep most visitors at bay.
1. First, slice up Irish Spring soap into 1/2-inch cubes. (The amount of soap and number of wooden stakes you need for this project will depend on the size of your garden.)
2. Next, place two pieces of the soap into a drawstring pouch, and knot it closed. Alternatively, you can wrap it in some cheesecloth.
3. Secure your soap bag to a wooden stake via a staple or hot glue gun, and drive the stake into the ground about 5 to 10 feet apart, around your garden.
If you don't want to nail stakes into the ground, you can lay the pouches under vegetation.
Deer, in particular, are put off by the scent of animal fats in the soap. If you can't get Irish Spring, try any scented soap made with tallow, which is derived from animal fat. Additional research by the University of Vermont Extension, suggests that soaps containing coconut oil can attract deer (so check your ingredients!)