pikafan
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How to Protect Flowers from Deer?

I want to plant a pretty garden with lots of flowers (this will be my first garden ever of my own). So, there is a family of deer (about 8-9) that hang out in the yard all night long. Where I plan on planting the garden is where I'm going to plant a tree. Where I want to plant is the perfect spot with pretty much all day sunlight on that spot. Problem is this area is near where the deer sleep during the day.

Firstly, do deer eat flowers? If they do, what will make them not want them or trample them?

Thank you.

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rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Flowers and Deer

Oh yes! Deer eat many different kinds of flowers (and fruits and veggies) AND they eat the bark and young branches off of trees, especially tender young trees, which often kills the tree.

There are a lot of different kinds of deer repellents on the market, but most people don't report a lot of success with them. You could try. What will keep deer from eating your plants is a fence that is at least six feet high. Deer can still easily jump that, but they usually won't, if the area the fence encloses is fairly small. They don't like to be in small enclosures like that.

There are lists of plants that are more "deer resistant," meaning they are not high on the deer favorites list. But if the deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost anything, regardless of what the list says.

They are very beautiful animals, but many areas of the US have a huge over-population of them (due to having done away with the large predators) and they are a major pest of gardens.
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Peter1142
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Location: SE NY ZONE 6B

Re: Flowers and Deer

I can't plant anything that isn't deer "safe". Fortunately, there are a lot of options still. For me, they don't eat roses (they will occasionally eat the flowers), lilacs, daffodils, bleeding hearts, alliums, or ferns, when these things are growing in season. They will eat hostas but only a) when they are sprouting and b) in the late Fall. I don't really care about B, and prevent A using deer repellent spray. Same with tiger lilies.

They will eat baby trees especially in the winter. You will need to provide protection.

They are lazy and in the summer when there is plenty of food they are easily deterred, I have a 6 foot fence for my garden but my neighbor only has a 4 foot fence and they are too lazy to deal with even that during vegetable gardening season. It is when things are first sprouting, and in the winter when they are worst. They will eat just about anything in the winter, and there are very few evergreen shrubs that can survive. My boxwoods are usually OK, but they strip my Xmas hollies, if you can believe it.

The deer repellent spray works OK, but you can't rely on that as a permanent solution, only for temporary measures i.e. to protect newly emerging tender shoots.
Zone 6b SE NY
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jal_ut
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Re: Flowers and Deer

Call your DWR and tell them to remove the deer, or you will.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

nltaff
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Location: Central NY (rural) Zone 5

Re: Flowers and Deer

Wow, jal_ut, I don't know what a DWR is, (assuming some sort of gov't conservation/eco org), but if you folks in Utah get help with pest critters, you truly are lucky. Winter-Spring '14-'15 here in New York was particularly hard on the deer. We had near-daily snowfall and nearly nightly sub-zero temps that only occasionally rose into the low 20s during the days. I put up deer net that year and they blew right through it. Now, I have 6' snow fence around the house yard. That year, the deer ate anything and everything. My cedar arch, chamaecypress, blueberries, and rhododendrons. They even ate junipers and boxwoods. They left no green uneaten. This one was 10 ft away from an open window with a radio blaring out of it.
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This one knocked down the lower rail to get to the blueberry bushes.
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They all tried to find relatively warm spots to rest during the day and conserve energy.
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This one scared the bejeezers out of me as it's rump was right outside my kitchen window one morning. I threw open the window and yelled at it, but it just turned around and stared at me, as if to say, "Whuuuut?"
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But one particular deer was in the habit of sleeping next to our foundation every night. Each morning, I'd go out and chase it away, but the rhodo there was completely defoliated. Then one morning...nononononononono!!!!!!! It didn't move!
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I called everywhere-state DEC, county co-operative extension, all I heard from them was NO! Finally, I contacted our trash hauler who told me that our landfill will take small animals. Luckily, this one fit in a contractor bag, and for $10, they came and picked it up. Later that spring I found out our neighbor had one die near his house. In the dead of night, he dragged his out near the road. (I was told during my many phone calls that THAT would be illegal). Wouldn't you think that if the deer populations get so large that they are suffering (along with us), they'd change the hunting quotas accordingly?

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Flowers and Deer

"Wow, jal_ut, I don't know what a DWR is,"

Division of Wildlife Resources

In Utah the wild critters belong to the state. The folks in the DWR are game wardens etc. They look after the wild critters and police poachers etc.

I don't know what they are called in NY, but you need to find out. Your county sheriff or local cop could tell you.

A good stout pellet gun is what is needed. It won't kill a deer but a pellet in the butt will certainly get it moving. Also you might think about some firecrackers/cherry bombs, Light one and toss it at the deer. Maybe you need a dog? Sic the dog on 'em.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Re: Flowers and Deer

"if you folks in Utah get help with pest critters, you truly are lucky."

For the most part we take care of the pests ourselves. Shotgun, 22 Lr, Pellet Gun, sometimes poison bait or traps. Depends on what the problem is. Skunks and Raccoons pestering my bees and getting in the corn patch are big concerns here. Now and then a deer will come through, but deer have not been a big problem. For sure if you want a harvest, you must control the pests. I have found that a radio tuned to the local talk show and set in the corn patch discourages critters.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

ButterflyLady29
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Location: central Ohio

Re: Flowers and Deer

Am I ever glad we don't have deer that bad around here. Hunting keeps the population down a bit.

I've heard of people that have had good results with a double fence. Electric fence works too but if you have close neighbors they probably won't appreciate that.

jaylousantiago
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Re: Flowers and Deer

Lucky for us, deer isn't much of a problem in our area anymore but there was a time wherein they were a complete menace for my backyard. Instead of going total green, we opted for making a fenced patio so that our are is more protected while there maybe less shrubs but at least our plants stand out and complement our landscpaping. Got the ideas from here - https://diyprojects.com/diy-garden-land ... -projects/ - Hope that helps in getting those creative juices flowing!

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