How To Keep Deer Out of the Corn: A Garden Folk Remedy

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The other day, an old family friend called to see if we could use any fresh corn. Of course, I never turn down anything, so I thanked him so much for his generosity. I shared with him that the deer have completely demolished our corn crop this year. We haven’t gotten a single ear!

Upon hearing this, the elderly gentleman said to me, “My mama used to say that if you sprayed purple jello on yer corn and yer melons, it would keep the deer away.”

I was intrigued, “Purple jello? Really! Do you make it into jello first, or how do you do it?”

He explained, “Pour a box of jello into a 1 gallon hand sprayer or something, and fill it with water. Then just spray it on your plants.” “I don’t know if it works, I’ve never tried it, but my mama used to always say that.”

That’s so great! I wonder if it works? I love hearing folk gardening remedies. He also suggested that I tie orange caution tape around the corn patch. He said this really helps scare the deer away.

Very interesting.

Have you heard any good gardening tips lately? Remember any from your grandparent’s time? It’s always fun to hear unconventional tips!

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About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. This is the first year I’ve had deer trouble, and I need help. I did try the Jello and they put orange rape around it and that worked a little……. Maybe I didn’t use the Jello right.?

  2. Try the garden commander! It’s a cage developed by a farmer that keeps deer and wild animals out of your garden. It’s not expensive, stacks and stores easily. It expands for large traditional garden rows, and fits a raised garden bed. Best of all, it’s not expensive. Here’s a link to his website if you are interested:

  3. What works really well is if you put a bar of Ivory Soap in a mesh baggie or bit of cheesecloth and hang it out there, the deer will stay away. That’s because apparently Ivory soap is the quintessential smell of humans and when it rains the soap drips down and the deer don’t like it.

  4. Be careful with the Jello, it’s a good way here in TX to attract feral hogs. They seem to prefer strawberry, but grape or whatever might lure them in all the same. Just a heads-up!

  5. I’ve tried the hair with no success–both human and dog hair. Our neighbors use a foil pie plate tied to a pole, with minimal success. We tried fishing line one year, but the deer just jumped over it (it was about waist high). I’ll have to think about the jello. Wouldn’t it attract more bees???

  6. Foil scares away all kinds of critters including deer. The shine and sound of foil scares them. We’ve used it for years and have never had any problems with animals. We recycle old foil pie pans.

  7. At our house, the deer go for the peas first…then corn (which they share with the raccoons) and watermelons. I have heard (but never tried) you can grate a bar of soap around your garden…also heard the hair works. We actually put up a solar electric fence this year…worked wonders. The only night they got in was the one and only night we forgot to turn it on.

  8. My grandma used hair from the hairbrush and clippings from trimming the dog’s hair. That worked great until her next door neighbors started feeding the deer. They think the deer are “cute.” Sure, cute enough for the husband to sit on his back deck during deer season and shoot one. Anyway, she ended up getting a 10 foot tall chain link fence this year because the deer just jumped over or knocked down anything else she put up to keep them out last year.

  9. We were having problems with them this spring and we were told the urine idea too, it worked!! With 4 males I had to try it and see. We also got empty soda cans from my dh work recycle bin and tied two together with heavy metal wire then went arount the fence, when the wind blows they make a bit of noise. Its worked really well for the most part.

    I wonder what it is in the purple jello that does it, I don’t buy jello but might try it just to see.

  10. I’ve never had a problem with deer in my garden because we’ve always had a good dog out there. But I’ve read that if you empty your vacuum cleaner bags around the area they don’t like that. And if you strew what you clean out of your hairbrush, they don’t like that either.

  11. The urine of a carnivore (your husband and son should have fun with this) keeps deer and rabbits out of the garden. Of course, it has to be replied frequently because it dissipates, but it does work. A cousin who is older than my parents and a master gardener taught me this.

  12. Dog hair and people hair spread throughout the garden should deter some animals.

    I have read an article that involves deer, aluminum foil, peanut butter, and an electric fence…

  13. Never heard of using jello, we use fishing line around our perimeter and have not had a problem. We have deer in our yard all the time but they’ve never gotten into the garden.

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