Deer - once bloomers

vettin(z6b Northern VA)April 27, 2013

Of course they would eat the buds off climbing American beauty. Hopefully they forget about my yard and leave the roses on the other side alone.....

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ingrid_vc(Z10 SoCal)

I don't know how you stand it - I'd be in tears every time they ate the flowers off a bush. So many of you have this problem and I admire how you keep trying, with different remedies of all kinds, to grow your roses.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 8:20PM
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You have my sympathies! We now have deer for the first time and I'm finding out from personal experience what a nightmare they are.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 12:46AM
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Here, deer are widely referred to as "Hooved Slugs", recognizing their ability to do immense damage to gardens. A 10 foot fence is the only real solution.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:04AM
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nancylee2(Z10 Gaviota Coast)

I can relate to your loss. Last year the deer visited while we were out for a week. It must have been a whole family as not one bloom or bud remained on 100 or so young roses - not even the standards. They also cut the baby camellia by half and had a great time chomping the Swiss chard to one inch stubs (it did recover, much to my surprise). We are now using the dish soap and hot sauce spray with some success -- or else the deer are sated with the bumper crop of acorns. You can find the recipie on the Heirloom roses website.

Now, as to my gopher issue, it's traps and cats.

This post was edited by nancylee2 on Sun, Apr 28, 13 at 19:19

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 10:50AM
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No deer damage on roses yet, too early here, but this morning all my tulips were eaten to the ground. There will be no Queen of Night or White Triumphator in my garden this spring. Worst of all is that I blame myself for not having protected them.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:18AM
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For a smaller garden, and a definite objective like keeping the deer off the buds of once bloomers, some of my northern Virgina garden club members are reporting good success with repellents. One has been rotating use of Bobex and Liquid Fence to keep deer off of plants that have been browsed and/or eaten to the ground in previous years, and has had no damage so far. Fingers crossed. Spraying the roses with a scent deterrent may be a good choice ... though it's a difficult compromise between stinky roses and no roses at all..

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 7:42AM
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I share the experience that Connie's garden club friends report having with Liquid Fence. I've used the product for almost 10 years. I couldn't garden without it. Being creatures of habit, deer follow a browsing circuit -- a sort of continuous loop. If deer are a problem, your goal as a gardener must be to "blow the circuit", so to speak. Liquid Fence enabled me to do that.

To succeed with LF, itâÂÂs very important to follow the instructions on the container. Spray once a week for 4 or 5 weeks to get the point across that your garden is truly a place to be avoided. After that initial phase, I began spraying once a month during the growing season, and at about 6-week intervals during the winter (YMMV). The label states that LF holds up well under rainy conditions. IâÂÂve found that to be true, providing the product has dried on the plants before it rains.

I think it's important, especially when first using the product, to spray around the perimeter of your property, and to spray more than just the plants you most want to protect (including "marking" tree trunks with the stuff). If there are "secrets" to having success with LF, they are (a) a determination to consistently follow a rigid year-round spray schedule, and (b) using a fairly liberal amount each time you spray.

If you apply LF adequately, the area around your home will smell really foul for a while. When I spray late in the day (which I prefer to do), the odor has usually dissipated by the following morning. And, believe it or not, you won't be left with those "stinky roses" that worry Connie. Once thoroughly dry, there's no residual odor available to the human nose.

Having to mix and spray the stuff regularly is a pain in the neck, but I consider the alternative to be far worse -- and the pay-off worth the hassle. My final word on the subject is a word of caution: Before a serious spray session, dress for the occasion. Regardless of how still the day is, an errant breeze invariably assures blow-back.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:11AM
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