Does anyone else have deer?

lavender_lass(4b)September 21, 2011

This is year two of my 'big splurge' on old fashioned roses. I haven't had any problems with disease, bugs or weather...except a few plants freezing over the winter...but most came through very well. Thanks to all of your help and advice, I'd say 90% of the roses were ideal for my cold winters. My only real challenge, has been hiding them from the deer :)

My deer (that's what I call them) are pretty polite. They stay on the grass paths, only eating what sticks up above the lavender and other flowers, they don't care for. This means the smaller roses are usually fine, but the larger roses take a little more work. Last year, I weeded the front bed (where the larger roses are close to the house) and the deer ate back the tops of the roses. This year, I'm leaving some of the taller daisy weeds (which look beautiful in July/August) and that's been keeping the deer away.

My question...does anyone else have deer and do you have any problems with your roses? Do they pay less attention to the canes as they get larger (especially the climbers)? The deer also stay away, where I have butterfly bushes, lilacs or salvias. Good thing I love purple! LOL

I should also mention, my deer are not very hungry and I only have about five (two moms and three babies) that wander through. We live on a farm, and the deer only eat out of the gardens, when the fields/pastures turn golden-brown...which is right about now. Thanks in advance.

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jacqueline9CA

We also have "not very hungry" deer - they show up at night, and occasionally sleep in the wild part of the garden during the day. They only eat things that are at their (short - our mule deer are smaller than most) head height. So, what I do is spray any newly planted or otherwise vulnerable roses with Liquid Fence. That way they only nibble at the big roses, but only what they can reach easily from the path!

I plant a lot of climbers, surrounding them with cages until they get taller than the deer's favorite browsing height.

Jackie

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:14PM
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cath41(6a)

I first used hot pepper wax for deer. Then in trying to get the less expensive concentrate I accidentally got the hot pepper wax for insects. Both work to deter deer. The wax lasts, oh maybe a month or so, because rain does not wash it off. The only drawback is I DO have to app;y it.

Cath

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 3:42PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Hoo Boy! My deer have no manners at all. We have a tall deer fence from late fall through early spring all the way around the garden. In late spring we take down the side fence and set up three 'Scarecrows', which are motion detector water sprayers, connected to garden hoses. They really work well until the weather gets too cold for the hoses. Before that I had times when the deer ate almost all my roses.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 5:32PM
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rosefolly

Yes, I have deer, an entire herd of 20-30 deer, and they love roses. Fortunately I also have an eight foot fence.

Rosefolly

    Bookmark   September 21, 2011 at 8:37PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

I have deer! and have tracked the roses deer eat. Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, the newer Shrubs are deer candy. They have never touched Rugosas, Gallicas, Mosses, Chinas, or Musk roses. Most Polyanthas and Noisettes are also immune. They nibble on Hybrid Musks, Buck roses, some Austins, some Teas and most anything with Wichurana in it. Mostly they eat new growth, but HTs can get well-chomped. The newer the class and the newer the rose in the class, the more it appeals to the deer. I think we have bred deer resistance out of roses. Since deer have preferred paths, I now plant accordingly. The deer will cross the yard to eat something scrumptious, however. I tried to hide a heavenly scented star-gazer lily from them and they found it anyway.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 7:44AM
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roseberri, z6(6)

We have deer also,but this year they only showed up in spring which is unusual.We have 6 acres in a rural area that is getting more and more inhabited by people.
My husband has been putting up an electric fence for the vegetables for ten years. I have flowers and roses around our house, and two years ago he built me a new garden for roses surrounded by a picket fence. So far the deer dont seem comfortable jumping it but I got too many roses to fit inside, there are about 11 on the outside of the fence.
They sampled Dainty Bess, Altissimo,and The Generous Gardener so far.
Lavender Lass I used your idea and planted lavender and heliotrope and patchouli around the outside roses. Not sure if that worked, or they just weren't here. Didnt see signs in the back field of them having been here after springtime.
roseberri

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 8:43AM
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SpiderLily7(8B)

Well, even though my dear significant other saw no deer tracks, something ate 2 of my 3 flourishing R. palustris down to nubs in the ground. And I was interested to see they didn't touch the third one, which was much more closely surrounded by weeds/grass. So I'm going to try circling them with huge/tall rings of mulch (water hyacinths harvested from a pond) and see if that deters them. Good thing swamp roses are so vigorous! But I'm concerned about the other beds. Maybe the fact there are so many Chinas and Noisettes will help protect the other classes that are interplanted with them. I did see some experimental nibbles on a huge Westerland I have, but those giant bloodletting prickles must have deterrred further munching. And since I've got Westerland, Rosenstadt Zweibrucken, and Autumn Sunset on the perimeter of that particular bed, I'll hope they have a chilling effect on hooved visitors!

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:38AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

Half measures will not work here. We've put up a tall fence around the entire three acres of garden. We shut the gates to the compound at night in the summer.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 10:53AM
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olga_6b

I have deer too. They are not so selective as Catsrose's deer. They eat rugosas as well as mosses, albas, gallicas and other OGRS. They eat moderns too. Whatever is more conviniently located. I use liquid fence to stop them from completely destroing my frons yard roses. My backyard is fenced (thanks god).
olga

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 12:34PM
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lavender_lass(4b)

Thank you for all the responses. It's interesting to read how deer behave, in different parts of the country. I don't know if it the deer themselves, or how much they have to eat...but there are definitely differences!

So far, the lavender and other herbs/flowers have protected the roses pretty well, so I tried doing that in the vegetable garden, too. I planted marigolds, cosmos and zinnias around the broccoli, cauliflower and dill. The deer walked through the garden (I see them in early morning, walking on the paths LOL) but they never touched the dill and only ate the broccoli and cauliflower leaves, after the first frost killed off the flowers. Very interesting!

So, where deer are hungry and numerous...this may not work, but I'm going to keep experimenting and see if I can hide more veggies next year. If only I could find something tall enough to hide corn, but I think I'll need a fence to grow that :)

    Bookmark   September 22, 2011 at 1:14PM
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catsrose(VA 6)

My deer may be more selective because they have a larger variety of foods. My property borders a wooded area (where the deer live) and I let the seasonal creek bed grow whatever it wants, so my garden is not their only source of food. I also plant cheap tulips and the thinnings from daylilies and hostas. The deer can munch those. In very severe winters, I have seen the deer eat yew, which is very toxic. Hunger knows no limits. But, by and large, the bipartisan politics in my garden is more successful than that in DC.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:08AM
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meredith_e Z7b, Piedmont of NC, 1000' elevation

I do have deer. And rabbits. I'm going to have to start doing something about them as they have gotten worse.

They keep getting hit by cars on my road, too. I hope they get the message and start staying in all of the acres and acres of woods here like they used to.

Not the rabbits. I can handle them :) I did miss my first blooms from Cl Maman Cochet, though, and they are gonna regret that!

***Deer or rabbits do like Natchitoches Noisette. I wish I could say which the culprit is, but it could be either. They wait till the buds get a certain fatness and then eat them all over night.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 12:05AM
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floridarosez9

We have tons of deer, but much to the chagrin of my citrus grower neighbor, they prefer the new leaves on citrus trees to my roses. He recently planted five acres right next to me of very small, young trees. Boy, are the deer having a picnic.

Right now, he has small bars of soap and cd's hanging from the branches and human hair from his barber all around the bottom of each tree. I haven't seen him to ask if any of these techniques have worked. He had put up a very tall fence all around it, except for my side. So they're now jumping my back fence, crossing to the side fence between my property and his and then jumping that to get to his trees. Any day, I expect him to ask if he can increase the height of the fence between us to stop them.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 11:47AM
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jardineratx

We have deer in our neighborhood and they are a real problem since we are not allowed to fence our front yards/gardens. They are quite comfortable walking up the driveways and sidewalks munching on whatever goodies they like. The deer repellents are too costly in my case since I have over 80 roses, but my home-made concoction of raw egg, garlic powder and hot sauce has worked for years. I don't even measure, just mix the 3 ingredients in a sprinkling can and walk around giving each rose a "blessing" every week or so. So far, so good. I know that this may not be a solution for others who have either more deer, hungrier deer, or more aggressive deer. I'm just glad it works for me.
Molly

    Bookmark   September 24, 2011 at 2:59PM
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