Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 4:36 pm
Location: New Jersey

Do loose rocks help keep deer out of the garden?

Hi folks

I live in NJ near a wildlife preserve which is great for hiking and views but it also means I have a substantial deer population to eat my plants & vegetables. I fenced my vegetable garden in with a 6ft tall fence and I keep my herbs on the deck where the deer don't like to go. My only remaining issue is the flower gardens.

I'm focusing on deer resistant perennials for next year, but have some nice lilies and other plants I want to keep but the deer eat. I heard that if you have a border of loose rocks on the outside of the garden the deer won't step on them.

Can anybody validate this before I spend 3 weekends and a lot of money expanding my gardens and putting down about 18" of rocks?


Senior Member
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:40 pm
Location: NJ

I don't see why loose gravel would keep them away. Actually, of all the tricks I've heard to keep deer out, this is not one of them. I have rock walls the deer climb up in order to eat something appealing. :) NJ deer are not easily deterred!

I'm in NJ in an area that has a lot of the old stone wall/barricades/old property lines and several cross my property. The deer hop over and around like it's nothing. In the winter they will climb the rock wall in the back and jump the fence into the sheep pen where they know there is hay and unfrozen water.

Good luck! :D

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3233
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 8:15 am
Location: Oregon

I have gravel drive ways, paths and a road; the deer walk on them all the time. Deer also adapt and what worked last week will not work this week. The only way I get a vegi garden is with deer fence. Deer do not care for most herbs so they most likely will not eat them so try planting them any place and put flowers on your deck. I have herbs all over the place and none have been eaten.

Green Thumb
Posts: 588
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Pacific NW

Deer, by the way are technically goats, if that gives you a better idea of what you are up against. In many parts of the country, the counties uses to even pay for fences to be put up around big garden areas, that is how hard they are to keep out.

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