Plantskydd powder application

Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)August 7, 2012

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.

Scott

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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Hi Scott-

Glad to hear that you are having some success in keeping the deer away.

I tend to use the PlantSkyDD more between harvest time and spring time as I'd rather have some peppermint flavor around my fruit than rotten cow blood, even with my fruit bagging. Also, I can mix Deer Out into my regualar insectide/fungicide sprays which I can't do with PlantSkyDD.

I usually paint the PlantSkyDD to the bark of the tree, but usually don't bother with the leaves. As I understand it, PlantSkyDD is really more about a fear response than a taste response. Thus, I figured the fear would be there, even if it wasn't on the leaves, etc. It seems that plantSkyDD does a better job of keeping them out of the general area, where as something like Deer Out just keeps them off the plant you've sprayed. Unfortunately, it sounds like the deer are very familiar with your orchard at the moment and their visiting is a habit. The goal here with PlantSkyDD is to keep them out of the entire area, and eventually train them to forget about your orchard. But, of course, this takes a while to do.

Agreed. you want to mix and apply right away, and not let the stuff stick around. yuck!

Good luck in your quest!
-Glenn

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:32AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

Doh! Not sure why it posted twice. Sorry about that.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Glenn, I did try the trunk painting last year but that didn't work, they just ate the leaves right above the blood. There is a larger deterrent if the smell is right on what they are sniffing to see if they want to bite it. I am getting the occasional blotch of blood on a fruit and thats annoying. But its in the noise compared with the munching problems I have had.

Scott

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 12:56PM
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