Monday, May 11, 2009

Deer Damage Prevention

Deer seem to be the number one problem for gardeners these days. Here's some links and information I hope you find helpful. Your goal is to make your garden less appealing than someone else's. In the long run I believe that with the elimination of our natural large predators, it is up to humans to control the deer population. They not only eat gardens but in some areas they are decimating the natural vegetation. This destruction of natural areas increases with each season.  Wild plants already have extreme pressure on their populations. What's the longer term answer? Increased hunting and hunting season. Open season on does and the use of birth control for the deer. So if you really care about this issue lobby your legislatures for longer hunting seasons, longer bow seasons on doe as well as bucks. On another note I hate guns and dislike hunting so this pains me to encourage all the above. But we are at our limits. Traffic accidents, airplanes and our need for food is starting to outweight other ethical considerations.

On a lighter note here's some things to try. Garden's Alive hosts an archive of gardening articles, with an excellent source for ideas to control deer. So try this link.

 We now have an electric fence in the winter on our field in Zionville. Deer here at the house and nursery are fairly new but a much greater problem that at the farm where our neighbors hunt. But the deer population is increasing at such a rate we are slowly working on a very long double electric fence at 'The Peak'.

 Of course it is hard to hunt around houses. And as you know deer have figured that one out.  But we have had some success with high test monofiliment line, blood meal and 8-track tape. The 8-track tape is hard to find these days but I use it short term to scarce the deer, plus it make a great low frequency hum when the wind blows. I like to think the deer dislike it.

For planting I'd suggest inter-planting things they don't like: yarrow, mints, monkshood, foxglove, salvias. I've also had good luck with hardy geraniums, especially 'Biokovo'.  For some reason the rabbits are eating my 'Claridge Druce' but that's another story.

There is also a motion detector sprinkler I'd use it we had enough water pressure called Scare Crow mentioned here: 

Let me know your solutions and I'll post them.