Beautiful Deer -Unwelcome Visitors in The Garden

Deer are beautiful creatures and they roam freely throughout the USA and they can be challenging co-habitants of our gardens. They love to eat our greenery and fruits and generally wreak havoc in gardens and landscapes. BUT the buffet can be limited. 

FIRST THINGS FIRST-Unless you plan on building a FORTRESS of Solitude, Accept some losses and share with our fuzzy friends.

Image

Young deer- looking for food?

Now that you accepted that premise what can you do to the  limit losses?

There are 3 basics- Barriers, Repellents,  and Scare tactics.

1. One option is to use less “tasty” plants in the garden BUT since many of the deer faves are also ours we need to plant to block their lunch.  

Barriers –   A.  Plant large, sprawling deer repellent varieties such as thick hedges of boxwoods or short needle spruces around the borders of your garden.

B. Plant hairy or thorny plants on the perimeter and near crops you want to protect. Plants like fuzzy lamb’s ear, barberries, and cleome are a good place to start. One perimeter location to focus on is any entrance spot. Though roses are a favored snack- some roses are particularly thorny, built for self-defense and are an attractive fence.

Image

Jumping a Low fence

C. The obvious barrier option is to install a fence at least 6 feet high but since deer are capable jumpers a fence of 7-9 feet would be useful.

Repellents – 1. The first step is to plant strongly scented herbs—garlic, chives, mint and lavender (left)—can mask the appealing aroma of nearby snacks.  Many of these are also useful in the garden to prevent many insects. AND they are delicious and useful crops.

 2. There are some specific repellents to make and use that include

*fabric softener strips and/or wrapped bars of soap from trees

*hot pepper sprays 

*garlic and rotten egg mixtures

*ammonia soaked rags

*bags of hair ( or spread on the ground)  {call your barber/hairdresser} 

*blood meal
Most these are applied as a spray and should be covered from the ground and up the plants and around the perimeter. Most of these are water soluble and should be reapplied after rainfall. It may also be a good idea to rotate the sprays so the deer don’t develop a tolerance to the irritants.  Many of these are available in commercially packaged formulas. 

Most of these are water soluble and should be reapplied after rainfall. It may also be a good idea to rotate the sprays so the deer don’t develop a tolerance to the irritants.

Image

Still healthy without Your smorgasbord.

https://twitter.com/martyroddy

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s