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Deer force slight retreat :)

Posted by lavender_lass WA zone 4 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 21, 11 at 22:02

Do any of you have to admit that some areas of the garden are just not going to work, for your roses? My best laid plans, to have beautiful roses in the corners of my kitchen garden...are not going to happen. Instead, I've decided to consolidate my roses around the house (front bed and fairy garden) and the little garden under the Italian plum trees.

I can protect these areas more, either with the house on one side...or several butterfly bushes and lilacs along the back (almost deer proof) and lots of herbs and flowers they do not like, around the roses and in the front. The Hidcote lavender works really well!

We are planning to put a fence around the kitchen garden, but since it is our best view, it's just a small fence...not enough to keep out the deer. Instead, I plan to put lilacs in the corners and maybe some apple trees. We have some apples that grow wild down on the other end of the property and if the deer don't eat them there...I'm hoping they won't eat them in the garden :)

Do you have any areas that make it difficult to grow roses? Too hot, too many pests, etc? Thanks for sharing!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

I have a Cornelia that started out in half sun, but now I'm afraid it's no sun. In fact, I have 3 tea roses on that side that may be suffering from lack of sun as two trees get taller and wider. We'll see.

Can you put lavender and the other 'deer nasties' around your kitchen garden?


Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Cornelia is such a pretty rose, but not quite hardy enough for our area :)

The kitchen garden has grown into a bit of a monster LOL. I decided to add the arbor and it's gotten a little bigger, than I had originally planned. It's turned into a combination viewing area/entertainment space...and a place to grow fruit, herbs, veggies and lots of flowers.

I tried putting lavender around the roses, but the deer can come at them from all sides, so I think the roses will have a much better chance in the smaller beds, with more protection.

For a while, I considered putting in two 4' fences, with maybe roses in the middle, but then how would I weed and get to the roses? Then I thought about using a couple of wires on the outside, but these deer are very smart. We have a seven wire electric fence for the horses...and the deer climb right through it, all the time. You have to admire that...even though they can be a bit of a pain, at times :)

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Have you tried baiting your electric fence to keep the deer out? I keep them out of my garden with a 4' high single-strand baited electric fence. If you lure the deer to the fence with something that attracts them (I buy apple-scented lure but I hear peanut butter will also work, but for me the squirrels run off with the baits when I've tried PB), put the lure on aluminum pops filled with cotton, then their nose gets shocked when they come to investigate and it trains them to be afraid of the fence instead of jumping over it.

Good luck!

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Let me count the ways that my garden is challenged:

1. No deer, they'd starve to death in the summer and die of thirst the greater part of the year. Instead, substitute roof rats, bunnies, squirrels, giant grasshoppers and other "bad" bugs too numerous to count, aphids chief among them.
2. Horrendously huge weeds, especially in a wet year like this. In the summer they turn into horrendously huge dead weeds. A large number of them have vicious thorns.
3. Hot, dry hillside garden areas that necessitate constant watering. It's one of the reasons I garden mainly around the house instead of the rest of the property. You guessed it, the rest is weeds.

I'm sure I could think of more if I tried, but I'd rather not try. Gardening IS supposed to be enjoyable.


RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Do I ever !!!! The entire south boundary of my property, where I had once envisioned a wall of climbing roses, is shared with a field that is inhabited by 3 big male goats and a llama. So much for anything growing on that fence....or even very near it. When the goats stand on their hind legs, they are probably 8' tall; and they reach their lips through the fencing, grab whatever they can and drag it through the fence....A A R G H.....


RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Susan, I feel for you. Those goats are one of the chief reasons why the Sahara Desert keeps expanding further south every year. There is absolutely nothing they won't eat, and they climb trees. I wonder if tall chicken wire with small holes would at least allow something to remain on your side of the fence. How nice it would be if your neighbor were thoughtful enough to erect some kind of barrier about six feet inside his property.


RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Thanks, Ingrid. I have had the same neighbor (owner) and tenant (with the critters) for too long to think they are going to do anything to help. And I have finally given up being mad about it, which is as good an outcome as I think is possible. That's very interesting about the Sahara Desert....

You are right that adding smaller mesh wire at the higher elevations along parts of the fence line has made it harder for them to eat so many of my roses, and when I do another portion, I will go with even smaller mesh wire than what I've done so far.

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Oh, so many critters it is very frustrating. I have so much wildlife I love, but I also have so much wildlife that I have to protect nearly everything. At least I'm not afraid of snakes or spiders.

Then there are the truly horrible weeds. Poison ivy is a current, huge problem. And I have so many weed trees and poke. My land is big! The weeds are big! :D

The heat and problem of getting water to certain areas is an issue, too. I tried xeriscaping plants, but so many hate the humidity here. Grrrr.

I still love it so much, but it's wild out there! There's nothing dainty about gardening where I am, though I try to create areas that help tune out that it's the hot, humid, buggy, crittery, itchy south ;)

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Wow, you all make me think there's an upside to our five month winter! At least we have plenty of water (except July and August) when we do need to water a lot, since it's very dry here, in the summer.

For pests, between the barn kitties and the creek, we haven't had too many problems. The barn kitties run off everything, but the least around the house. The creek brings in a lot of moisture, but only at night, which seems to keep grasshoppers and other leaf eating bugs out of our area. They're really bad a few miles away though, in the fields.

No goats...seems like an electric wire or two might come in handy, but smaller wire sounds good, too...maybe both?

Aphids did show up early last summer, but I had a lot of weeds around the kitchen garden (still a work in progress) so I took a bunch of the ladybugs and put them on the more aphids :)

RE: Deer force slight retreat :)

Yes peanut butter works to bait the deer. Every year at the beginning of summer, I use a few strips of aluminum foil folded over the electric fence wire with peanut butter on them/between the folds. Works like a charm to train them (and the neighbor's dogs) to stay out of the vegetable garden.

Just the thought of those velvet lips and long pink tongues stretching to lick the aluminum foil brings a fiendish smile to my face....bad, I know, but it makes up for the roses they nibble.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Musings blog

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