Q: I have heard that Milorganite is good for keeping deer away from gardens. We have two acres which are “salad bars” for deer. Any advice?
A: Many things are reputed to repel deer: hair, coyote urine, soap, etc. In research, products that contain sulfur (rotten eggs, blood meal, etc) seem to repel deer better than others. Inspired by anecdotal reports from gardeners, researchers from the University of Georgia and Berry College studied the repellent effect of activated sewage sludge (Milorganite) on deer. They concluded that Milorganite has potential as a deer repellent for ornamental plants. Though the repellent did not eliminate deer damage, it reduced the overall impact. Since Milorganite is also a good slow-release fertilizer, it could help your landscape in two important ways.