Monday, July 22, 2013

Deer Annoy Me and What To Do About It

Deer Annoy Me! 

Mostly deer in the garden are a nuisance.

We typically try to distract them with delectable things they can eat in great abundance and get them trained to walk away from the garden crops they would eat. I planted some really nice alfalfa and vetch in one of the main routes to the river to get water. I also have four 500 foot rows of very prickly raspberries between the woods and one of our prime growing areas, this forms a natural fence, if you will (or at least it will when it is all filled in). 

The times the deer have been frustrating are:
  • Eating one bite out of the center of 100 heads of lettuce the week before they were ready for market. They could have eaten several heads and I would have not cared, but no, they had ruin them all. That was the point at which we switched to growing baby cut lettuce. Of course they pretty much leave these alone during the main part of the season and I often use electric fence towards the end of the season.
  • They often eat the tips off the green beans and edamame. I can handle this as they typically don’t eat enough to prevent blooming and beans. Maybe this actually concentrates the crop a little, by eliminating the last few stragglers.
  • Deer like sweet corn just like we do. I can share a few ears. But last year they ate all my popcorn. I don’t know what the big attraction was.
  • The last few years the deer have been especially aggressive with eating our late fall carrots. I think at this point of the season they are craving carbohydrates and just go wild after the carrots. I couldn’t deter them with an electric fence so we just had to harvest the crop. Maybe Cody the dog could help out here. He doesn’t much like carrots, but he does like chasing deer.
  • I’ve tried the stinky deer repellent sprays and I think the only thing they repel is me.
  • If they aren't too aggressive, blood meal can discourage the deer from munching on your favorite plants. But has to be reapplied after each rain. I sometimes use it as a spot treatment when I seen problems develop. It is also a great high nitrogen fertilizer for your early spring pansies.

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