After using a commercial deer repellent, I decided to make my own. This concoction keeps deer from feeding on my gardens better than anything else I’ve tried and is less expensive than commercial brands. The ingredients are:
4 tablespoons ground cayenne pepper
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup peeled garlic
1 cup clear ammonia
1 cup Murphy’s oil soap
1 bar Ivory hand soap (optional)
Boil the cayenne in the vinegar for one minute, then strain it through a coffee filter. In a blender, purée the garlic in two cups of water, then strain that mixture through another filter.
Combine the two filtered liquids with the ammonia and oil soap in a 3-gallon garden sprayer. Fill the sprayer to the maximum level with water, and spray this concoction around all of the areas you want to protect. For extra stickiness, float a bar of Ivory soap in the sprayer and let it slowly dissolve over several fillings.
For maximum effectiveness, I reapply weekly, as well as immediately after every rainstorm. More frequent spraying may be warranted if deer browsing is intense.