Plantskydd powder application
After reading about harvestman's experience with the Plantskydd powder for deer deterrance I decided to give it a try. I was using the Plantskydd pre-mix but it would start to really stink and go bad fast. The powder is not stinking. As harvestman pointed out it has a tendency to clump but if you let it sit it will eventually go into solution. I find if I keep stirring for 5 minutes or so it will nearly all be in solution.
The main point of this post is how you apply the stuff. I tried spraying but found it would sometimes kill the tender young shoots (exactly what I needed to protect the most) since they would get too hot in our summer boiler here with a dark coating. I had similar problems when painting on with a brush, the painted areas would sometimes die. My latest technique which has been working very well is to mix it up quite concentrated (I am not measuring but it is more concentrated than the pre-mix), load up a paint brush, and gently flick it onto the leaves. This produces spots of the stuff. The spots are thicker than the painted or sprayed on version so stay on through more rains. I am getting a bit of spotted dieback but it is not as much of a problem overall since the bulk of the leaf is uncovered and doing fine. The deer really dislike surprises and they seem to completely stay away from any leaves that are spotted because they don't want the unpleasant surprise. So you don't need to worry about them munching around it, as long as you get the very tip. The downside of this method is it takes some experience to get the flicking technique down, I got quite a bit on my clothes and arms the first couple of times. There may be some better applicator than the small paintbrush I am using. One other upside is you don't need a lot of Plantskydd, about a pint covers my whole orchard which is 1/4 acre. Application time is similar to spraying on the Deer Out.
I am finding some signs of deer in my orchard most nights, but have managed to keep things largely munch-free with just Plantskydd for the past month or so. The Deer Out also was working but the spots of Plantskydd seem to stay on longer. It is also a good idea to mix up the deterrents to keep the deer guessing, an idea I got from Glenn.