DefiningYourHome
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Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:35 pm
Location: Chapel Hill

Deer Resistant Garden

Hi, I'm a newbie.

My garden is fairly new, but I live among a large herd of deer so it gets lots of traffic. I update my blog all the time to give a status on deer damage to "deer resistant" plants that I have in my garden. I like to share as I know how frustrating it can be to lose plants to deer.

My husband and I are both retired and thoroughly enjoy our garden on a daily basis.

Our garden is a certified Monarch Waystation and NWF Backyard Habitat.

I'm just learning this new forum, so I'll have to find out how to post photos.

Thanks,
Cameron[/img]
https://definingyourhome.blogspot.com
Defining Your Home Garden
Daily Gardening News and My Garden Blog

Snippy
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Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2008 2:23 pm
Location: Grimsby, Canada

Deer in Garden

As I have posted on Chapel Hill's Defining Your Home blog, I will say the same. A few years ago, I read in a magazine that a gardener wanted to keep the deer away from his garden which included Hostas. He purchased many bars of the soap "Irish Spring". He placed them in the center of the Hostas, and when the rain washed them away, he replaced the bars. This gardener purchased over 100 bars; I can't say how many. It impressed me enough to remember this tip. :idea:

Curran
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Location: Columbus, OH

Depending on the surrounding area, and the amount of land accessable, tapping into local archery hunters is a sure fire way of reducing deer damage to your garden. Whitetail deer are extremely adaptable to the changing surroundings, and actually thrive in areas where the suburbs meet the country side. The reason being is that edge habitat is formed from development, hunting pressures lessen with newly developed suburbs, and home owners enhance the deer's habitat with landscaping, and gardens. The combination of these occurances creates a thriving population of deer.

Here's a few other fun facts about the whitetail deer:

Just 2 deer without predation can produce a herd of up to 35 deer in just 7 years.

Deer can live up to 11 years in the wild.

Under optimal conditions without regulating factors like predators or hunting, deer populations can double in size annually.

In areas of overpopulation, deer cause an over browsing affect called a "browse line". In areas with a browse line, most plant species below the browse line are stripped bare damaging the habitat for many species. These brows lines can be from four to six feet high.

A recent survey of U.S. farm leaders revealed that as many as 56% believed they had suffered crop damage by wildlife and the Whitetail deer was named as the primary culprit.

Each year, deer kill ten times more people that sharks, bears, cougars, and alligators combined. Additionally, deer-auto accidents kill more people annually than all commercial airline, train, and bus accidents combined.

Hunting saves trees and plants from overbrowsing by deer which in turn is a benefit to small game, song birds, and other wildlife

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rainbowgardener
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deer hunting

I was with you til the very end when you got to hunting. I agree we have a deer population problem, because they don't have natural predators (like coyotes and wolves) any more. However hunting works the opposite of natural selection. Natural predators get the elderly, weak, sick, runty members of the herd. Hunters go for the magnificant 4 point buck. By picking off the strongest, healthiest members of the population while they are in their prime, they weaken the species... We need other ways of controlling the population or strict limits on the size of the deer you can kill.

Curran
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Re: deer hunting

rainbowgardener wrote:I was with you til the very end when you got to hunting. I agree we have a deer population problem, because they don't have natural predators (like coyotes and wolves) any more. However hunting works the opposite of natural selection. Natural predators get the elderly, weak, sick, runty members of the herd. Hunters go for the magnificant 4 point buck. By picking off the strongest, healthiest members of the population while they are in their prime, they weaken the species... We need other ways of controlling the population or strict limits on the size of the deer you can kill.
Some slightly valid points with regard to predators taking the old and sick animals from the herd, but also some very invalid points that are most likely brought about from not knowing any hunters I'm guessing? :?:

That's okay. :) Alot of people that I come in contact with are unfamiliar with hunting, and the overall benefits that it provides to wildlife. What is unfortunate is that today's hunters are portraied as nothing more than trophy hunters who are out for, as you mentioned above, the magnificant 4 point buck. This is simply very far from the truth.

Here in Ohio, as with many states across the continental U.S., the whitetail deer population is exploding. In fact, there are more deer today in the U.S., than there were when the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. So what's the solution? In my experience...... education. The individual states manage the game within their borders through their respective Division of Wildlife Offices. Frankly, we need more education about our wild resources, and wildlife management practices, so that topics like hunting are better understood.

I can only really speak for Ohio, since that's where I live, but our DOW regulations for deer are quite liberal when it comes to reducing the herd size. You can't do that by only pursueing those magnificant 4 point bucks :D , instead antlerless deer limits are expanded. For instance, in the 2008 - 2009 hunting season, a hunter could only kill one Buck, but had the opportunities to kill up to 6 antlerless deer. The proposed antlerless limit is being expanded even further for the 2009 -2010 regulations, especially in the Urban zones (these are designated units in and around Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Youngstown where human deer conlicts continue to rise), however hunters will still only be able to kill one Buck.

The point being, that public awareness and education are key to understanding these ever increasing wildlife issues we all face. Is hunting the end all answer to the deer damage dilema? Nope, but it certainly plays a big role.

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack the thread!! :oops:

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webmaster
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While I appreciate that hunters have a right to go into the woods and enjoy a national pasttime, and I take note that you qualified your statement by saying "depending on your area," we're likely not discussing a garden in a forest. Shooting off guns in a residential neighborhood... probably not a good idea. ;)

So let's focus on more viable solutions.

Thanks,

:)

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tomf
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I am trying out plants that are listed as deer resistant and so far most do not get eaten.
Another thing that works is to mix eggs with pepper and water then spray it on plants.
Place plants the deer do not like near the ones they do, herbs work well as the smell strong. Bird netting helps and for my vegetable garden I have a deer fence around it.

Peterjay
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Location: Connecticut

I asked our veterinarian a few years back if he had any deer-control ideas and he suggested grinding up some hot peppers and spraying the juice on the plants. Trouble was, the deer had already eaten all our hot pepper plants, leaves, fruit (!) and all. We've tried just about everything short of hiring an illicit sharpshooter, but it looks like it's a choice between a sturdy 8-foot fence or learning to live with it. Could be worse I suppose; at least we don't have woodchucks or moose. (knock on wood)

Peterjay
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Oops! I forgot to mention that there's a product out there called the Electronic Scarecrow that will keep deer out of your garden for the most part. It's a motion-activated sprinkler that scares the daylights out of anything that strolls into the coverage area. (Including me when I forget to turn off the water) The only downsides are that you may need more than one to cover a good-sized vegetable garden, and they can't be used when the temperature falls below freezing. We have too much area to cover completely, but I put two of them around the tomatoes, ground cherries, etc. last year and we had no deer losses. The crops that weren't protected were slammed pretty hard by the deer herd that we have out back. I bought two more this year and put one near the bluebird house to scare off predators. So far so good. In a perfect world, I'd put out a dozen or so, but they aren't cheap (about $60 or so at Amazon) and I'd probably need a quarter-mile of hose to cover our 5 1/2 acres. Highly recommended, especially for small-to-medium gardens.

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tomf
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Would the Electronic Scarecrow keep bears off of fruit trees? If so I may give it a try.

Peterjay
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Tom, I don't know if it'll work on bears or not, but the worst-case scenario is that you'll have a much cleaner bear on your hands after he gets soaked a few times.

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tomf
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LOL :lol:

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