Thursday, April 14, 2016

Gardening Season: Keep Deer from Feasting on Flowers


Photos by LakehouseLyn

Deer in the yard remind me of people in a buffet line.  All hungry and they all display different appetites.

        I will admit it is frustrating watching deer dining on your garden or flowers that you have worked so hard on.  I am a deer lover and one of the reasons we chose our lake home location is because our backyard is in the woods allowing us to have a morning and sunset "deer show" season after season.  

By late spring, we are enjoying watching the baby deer grow into teenagers.  As cherished as they are, they can do damage to your yard.  There has been an increase in the white-tailed population and a decrease of their natural habitat.  There are a couple of ways to discourage deer from dining on your flowers and garden. These tips from Better Homes and Garden will help you choose what plants, flowers and shrubs will thrive in your region that are not on the deer meal plan:  

1.  Deer resistant plants.  If they are hungry enough and food is scarce, your deer will eat almost anything.  But there are several choices deer will not find particularly palatable.

2.  Fencing. Physically restricting deer by enclosing your entire yard or garden in fencing that is at least 6 feet tall.  Cost is a drawback to this option.

3.  Predators.  A large, noisy dog should be a good deer deterrent. (That being said, our Labrador feels the need to bark at our deer every morning and they look up from eating our grass for a moment and continue on.) I get the feeling our dog would like the opportunity to run and romp with the neighborhood deer.  If that doesn't work, hang shiny tape or place inflated balls, whirlygigs, or other moving objects in the yard to startle deer.  Rotate them frequently, or the deer will begin to realize they are not in danger from these objects.

4.  Lastly, Repellents.  Homemade or commercial repellents are comon methods to discourage deer.  They have a bitter taste or foul odor.  You will need to reapply if snow or rain is in your forecast.  Once again, if food sources are scarce, your deer may simply ignore the repellents, despite the odor or taste.

Lake House Lyn

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