Thursday, June 9, 2016

How To Keep Deer Out of Your Garden - Part 1

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This article has been researched out of necessity. This is a problem that we continue to battle with daily. Already this year, they have wrecked havoc in my garden in just a matter of two days.

We were keeping our dog outside near the garden at night, as he was doing a wonderful job at keeping them at bay. But one morning when I went out to let the dog off his runner, I realized that the dog had tore the board that the runner was attached to off the house. So in just those two days before my son was able to put up another runner the deer had eaten 8 tomato plants, 4 cabbage, 4 green peppers and 4 broccoli plants.

If that wasn't enough damage, my chickens ate some flowers I had started in a pot.

Anyhow, getting back to the deer here are a few things I ran across that might be helpful.

How To Keep Deer Out of Your Garden


Deer-Repelling Plants
Deer tend to avoid plants with strong smells and irritating textures. So here is a list of perennials that you can plant near your garden to keep them out
Columbine, Campanula, Coreopsis, Dianthus, Digfalls, Echinacea. Lavender, Lupone, Monarda, Poppy, Sage and Yarrow.
Marigolds are not perennials, but they're easy to grow and save from year to year. After they finish blooms allow the flower heads to dry on the plants and you know have next years seeds and they are located in the dried flower heads.

Smell
Deer can sniff out danger (or dinner) from a mile away, so you can either repel or attract deer with the right smell.
It is said that smells that repel them are highly scented deodorant soaps, rotten eggs, ammonia, garlic, clumps of human hair, perfumes and aftershave.
A friend of mine told me that she knows someone who pees in a jar and then leaves  the pee around the garden. She store the pee in milk jugs and even has enough to fill a 5 gallon bucket. I guess you-got-to-do what you-got-to-do! She says it works for her and she has a beautiful garden. I think I'll pass on that one. But if you think it might work for you, Go for it! Actually, I may reconsider. LOL
Getting back to the soaps, hair clumps and the other items listed above stick them in panty hose or pieces of cheese cloth and hang them from tree branches, fence post or close to the plants you want them to stay away from. Keep in mind that rain with washes  away their potency so you will have to replenish regularly.
This is a dirty little trick, but you can "bait" an electric fence with some aluminum foil smeared with peanut butter which will give the a bit of a shock when they go to lick the PB off the foil.

We use Premier electric fencing for our chickens, but I just now learned that they now have a 3-D anti-deer fence and has scent caps that can be attached to the fence. The caps are made of twist-off metal pop bottle caps stuffed with cotton balls. A strand of soft wire attaches them to the fence. Add a few drop soft apple juice concentrate to it and after a few zaps, they finally get the message to stay away.

They is also many other commercial deer repellents that target the deer's sense of smell, a few are listed below.

Liquid Fence style=This repellent is said to trigger an instinctive deer fear because it smells like rotting flesh. One quart will protect 500 square feet.

Shake Away: Their formula has granulated coyote urine in it, it works by taking advantage of the inborn instinctive fear. A 20 oz canister will cover a 600-square foot area.

Other repellents may use bobcat or fox urine to repel.

Deer Off,  Garlic Barrier AG+, Plantskydd, Plot Saver, and Deer Stopper.

Image courtesy of MrWildLife at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Attribution: This post is a summary of an article I read in the Fall 2014 issue of Capper's Farmer pg 60-61 written by George D. + my personal inputs and experiences
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