Use Irish Spring to keep out garden pests.

By: Diy maven May 11, 2007

Perennials are springing up everywhere. And the herbivores are loving it. The hostas pictured above are always the first course. Around here, the biggest culprit of garden dining are deer. Don’t believe me? I took the following picture of our back yard two years ago. Apparently, we are living in the Grand Central Station for the Bambi crowd.

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Garden stores sell various deer and rabbit deterrents, but most are topical treatments that have to be applied after each rain or even heavy dew and, generally, they’re expensive. Since many are based on smells (a popular one is coyote urine), it’s not surprising a non-appetizing, odoriferous, rainproof thing such as Irish Spring keeps the critters at bay.

Just cut a bar into cubes, wrap the cubes in scraps of cloth, and staple them onto stakes.

Drive the stakes in among the tantalizing vegetation. I also cut smaller bits to scatter along the ground.

Yes, the yard smells ‘refreshing’ and no, the soap doesn’t suds up during a rain. Last year, I did the stake trick at the beginning of the year, but replenished my scattered pieces once a month or so. Together, they seemed to do the trick; the deer left my plants alone.

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We are having a terrible problem with wild hogs rooting up our fields. It's just natural growth fields, nothing planted, put the rooted up earth makes it very difficult to run a tractor to bush hog the weed growth. Any ideas?

We used one of the sprays with success and then it stopped working. A neighbor told us to mix 1/4 c. Milk and 3/4 cup water and to spray it on anything they were eating while it was sunny. Haven't eaten a thing since! (Now that I've written this they will mow them down tonight!)

apparetly doesnt work on married pests  LOL

@MHobart - OK - maybe it Irish Spring isn't 'organic' but the only micro-organisms that are going to die are the ones on the stake, because when it rains any soap that dissolves will melt into the post and any soap that makes it down the post will disturb the soil a couple inches around the post - the garden will be fine.  Having said that, I find that red pepper flakes deter the smaller mammals.

If you have skunks they are going after grubs...do a grub treatment an the skunks will move on.

Before you consider doing this, understand that this is not an organic solution to the problem. Irish spring contains chemical compounds and anti-bacterial chemicals that will harm the fragile microbial environment in your soil. A healthy garden is dependent on the living bacteria and fungi that transport water and nutrients. There are better solutions.

I'm going to try the Irish Spring trick but, I've seen this tip on many forums and no one has mentioned the chemicals in the soap. Do I really want my tomatoes soaking up the residue after a rain? Does anyone have input on this?

What about armadillos?

What about squirrells? they love our purple pansies. 

does this help deter squirrels in the vegetable garden as well?

@Michelle--That's a HUGE garden!! I put our stakes about 2 feet apart, but the area was tiny in comparison. If you're looking to keep deer out specifically, I've had good results with stringing that thin 'caution' tape around the veg garden. (You can find it at your local big box store.) At every few feet, I tied 1' stringers of the tape to let it flutter in the wind. It worked great as the deer were scared (I guess?) of the fluttering. 

how far apart do you stake the irish spring apart? my garden 50 x 50 how much do i need?
This does NOT work! I put it all around my tulips...needless to say, I have no tulips...they have been eaten to the ground!

I always heard egg shell is great calcium for the earth..now on to my real question, can this be done for a regular garden?  without the tomatoes and other fruits and vegs tasting like irish spring? 

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Will try, have tried everything else !
What about ground hogs?
We've been using Irish Spring for the last 3 years with good results. This year we were lazy and just out bars on the ground in the gardens. They kept disappearing. This morning we caught the culprit...a fox! Guess we will stake them up from now on.
How about dogs? Every year my sister brings her unruly dog to my house and he eats all my tomatoes, were talking whole plants ruined! The rest of the wild life in my yard stays away on their own.
Thanks for the irish spring trick, for mine is cats wanting to dig.. used to be able to buy a plant that smelled like skunk that would keep them out but i havn't been able to find it in the past cple of years.
Yes , i do kno the egg shell trick works for slugs and worms!my sister has done it for years.
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