The chess game with the Deer

deervssteve(9)April 27, 2014

I have a bank of Abelia about eight feet tall. 25 years ago I left two mache pots on the ground waiting to plant. After
a while they self planted and I have a large Russeliana that pokes out from the Abelia. It blooms once a year with hundreds of blooms.

The other is a I forgot. It blooms once a year. Last year before one of the two buds opened the deer got them. This year I used deer defense tactic #3. I stuck a ladder in front of the buds.

I cut the one bloom and will photograph it when it opens a little more.

The deer partially defeated me on tactic #2, staking the canes. I had a 42" rule where I believed that deer couldn't browse past that height. That no longer applies because they started standing on their hind legs. I lost 4 Duchess de Brabant buds that I thought were unreachable.

The cages offer the best protection, but the deer can get their tongues inside the cage. I lost one of four Buff Beauty buds. I cut the one BB that was opening. I'll add more photos later.

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charleney(8a PNW)

Good Grief ! The deer were just terrible here. I tried everything. Did not want to put up an unsightly fence around yard. Okay no deterrents! Now we have installed a hog/and field wire around whole yard, with 5' deer netting above (did not want that either). It was our only solution. Haven't lost a rose to those
**** 3ey fnwie4u*** for about 6 yr.

We were still trying to be clever and raised the bottom of the fence about 6 " so that I could weed-eat around. Oh crap! I went out one morn to find a young deer in my yard. Okay, I screamed at him and scared him good...he ran all over yard to find a place out. Then he laid down on his side, and OH YA! You guessed it. He escaped under the fence. So poor husband and sons lowered it down tight to the ground. I am now deerless for a number of years. But, after losing so many to those rotten guys..I always hold my breath. But the high fence was the only solution. I admire you Deervsteve! Your roses are beautiful!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 2:51PM
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I forgot

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:39PM
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Buff Beauty. I'll take another picture after it open.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 3:41PM
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seil zone 6b MI

You're a real trooper, Steve! I don't think I could go through all of that. I have problems with the rabbits eating my minis in the winter but so far not the buds during the season.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 6:36PM
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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I would have lost my mind already if I had deer problems like some of you face. I admire your persistence in the face of such adversity, because I would have given up long ago. I can do gophers, rabbits, roof rats and ground squirrels but the deer are in a whole other class. Best of luck to you Steve.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 7:55PM
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Buff Beauty

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:28PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

The deer have been hitting my roses pretty hard this spring. Usually they find another food source and let my roses be when it gets hotter.

Earlier this spring, they chewed down my day lily foliage so it looked like someone mowed over it. They recovered.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 6:32AM
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dmny(z7 NY)

Just a suggestion. The non-burning, relatively cheap fertilizer Milorganite seems to work at repelling deer for me. I just spread it around the garden every two weeks or so. More after a real heavy rain. Roses like it. Deer don't. A win-win.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 12:39PM
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charleney(8a PNW)

Milorganite was one that I had not tried. Sounds like a good idea. The deer usually attacked just as the sepals were beginning to drop. I would go out to find skeletons all over the place.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:39PM
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I have unsuccessfully tried, milorganite, blood meal, liquid fence, hot chili oil and mountain lion urine. I have also found that works now might not work later. I have 25 year old agapanthus. Five years ago, for the first time they clipped the flowers. This year they ate all leaves.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:13PM
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Those are beautiful roses. We have tried a urine based product to protect our flowers with great success. How the urine is applied is key.
The Deer Repellent Packs we use allow you to hang the product at the Deer's nose height and in a weather resistant pouch. They are green and barely noticeable when hung directly on your rose bushes.
You can check them out at the link on this post.
Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Deer Repellent

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 9:41AM
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Nothing works when deer are really hungry. There are just too many deer in too limited a space for them. The deer eat not only everything in people's gardens but also all the wild vegetation, causing significant environmental degradation. They also harbor parasites quite dangerous to humans and pets.

The Town of East Hampton this spring had arranged to hire snipers to kill 3,000 excess deer, but animal lovers protested and the cull was canceled.

A link on the positive effects on the ecosystem of even quite limited predation is attached.

Here is a link that might be useful: How wolves saved a famous park

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 12:44PM
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My situation is different. I have urban deer; small groups that stay in the same area. Hunger has nothing to do with my issue. There is plenty of food. Lots of grass and weeds.
I have scrub oak which is there favorite and that is fine with me. The rose buds are deer crack and they are addicted.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Well, the Hampton township is now really suburban (or a resort area) because of booming tourism and overdevelopment. I have been helping a friend garden near there for over 10 years in what was not very long ago a pine-barrens area. I think they said that the deer do stay in the same area, especially the females. They are creatures of habit. Nonetheless, 3,000 is too many and they are becoming habituated to people's garden plants. Also, it is too densely populated for hunting to be very safe or effective.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 5:32PM
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buford(7 NE GA)

I put a net around some of my rose bushes just now. The deer are really chomping on them this year.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 7:15PM
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