Enough said? I'm really really really sick to my stomach upset. (mad)
You are not alone. It is SOOOOO out of control. It looks like I am growing sticks in my yard. Not a leaf in sight!
I just don't know what to do about it.
I've taken to wearing a special long sleeve shirt whenever I can, then at night we hang it on a shrub about head height for the deer. I get up early so the neighbors don't think I'm too crazy and take it in. We leave the arms kind of spread out and then dangling if there is a breeze. We just started doing this a few days ago. So far no more deer damage, but who knows, could be coincidence. We usually just put our hair clippings from the salon down, but that didn't work this past week.
My dad, who was an avid hunter, always said they stay away from human scent. So, therefore, the shirt. I wear it as often as reasonable to freshup the the scent. It doesn't smell like anything to me, who knows, maybe they can smell it. I don't leave it out during the day, but I think I will devise something to hang on a hidden post. Or make a garden art bunny or something to hide scented fabric in or on. Good luck.
Hmm. They sure don't stay away from my human scent. I can walk within fifteen or so feet of them before they even start to run--I mean lope--away. I think what your dad said used to be true, but now the deer have become acclimated to humans and to human scent, and are no longer afraid.
The worst thing is that they are devastating our forests, destroying all new tree saplings, and eliminating habitat for other animals. New York state really needs to take some action to reduce the herd size. It's not just our gardens that are in danger, it's the entire environment.
Oooh, ouch. I know the feeling, so perhaps I can provide some balm.
I garden in a rugged rural area surrounded by several miles of forest. In fall and winter, I fence and burlap all shrubs. No ifs, and, or buts. But during the growing season, all that is too unsightly. After trying several deterrents, I have come upon one that works for me. (I have not had great success with coyote urine, human hair, soap bars and some prepared mixes.)
Every four weeks (more or less, depending on rainfall), I spray all susceptible plants with a mixture of 4 tbsp. tobasco (use the hottest you can find), mixed with one gallon of anti-dessicant (Wilt-Pruf) and water. (The anti-dessicant helps to prevent the pepper from washing away in the rain). To this mix I add, before spraying, four to six finely ground systemic tablets (I do not know offhand their make-up, but they are organic. See link below.) I have had good success with this mixture. This year I might add rotted eggs to the mix. Tips: donÂt spray succulentsÂit might discolor them; donÂt spray human food crops.
P.S. Another great source of info is deerxlandscape.com. Good luck....and Epicurious.com has great recipes for venison.
Here is a link that might be useful: deer busters
I've pretty much given up. Up until this year, the dogs, different sprays, etc. have helped keep the deer away, but all of a sudden it is OUT OF CONTROL! We have 8 deer that are constantly on our property and eat almost EVERYTHING - it is impossible for us to fence and wrap everything on 11 acres. It is getting so bad that they come right up to the house and are usually standing at the steps of our deck in the morning when I let the dogs out. Hmmpphhh .....
I don't want to jinx myself, but for 10 days I have had no damage from anything other than the deer walking through the beds and stepping on things, and the squirrels scratching at the roots. I've seent he deer in the neighbors yards, and the groundhogs I've seen in two neighbors yards. I know as I'm saying this they are probably chomping on everything, but I am hopeful to have found a deterent.
I put out and take in the shirt, I have yet to rip it to shreds and make it less noticable (especially if I want to sleep in). I think the real 'solution' is a solution of two raw eggs beaten well, 1/4 cup franks hot sauce, and 4 cloves of garlic minced, with a dash of garlic powder and about 2 cups of water all mixed very well and left to sit for a short while (a few hours to a few days, I use it as I need it). I strain it and put it into a hand sprayer and lightly douse everything that I know the deer and rabbits and groundhogs eat. I have sprayed everything, but I make sure I get the tulips , lily buds, baptisia, azalea, hyacinth, you get the idea. The only thing about it is it makes me want buffalo chicken wings. I doesn't smell like anything but pepper and garlic to me, no rotten egg smell at all.
So far, so good. Before I started doing this it was a daily/nightly feast. I just know I jinxed my self. I am going on day #10 tomorrow, and the plants don't look like the spray bothered them. I have no idea if this spray is necessary, or the quanities or amount or how often to spray it is right. I just saw that some of the commercial sprays contain pepper and garlic, and I heard (at the hair salon) that some people just use egg and water, so I made my own concoction and tryed it. I am now thinking of adding a fertilizer to the mix, I am out there spraying anyway.. maybe save a step. I'm not sure though. Does anyone else use a spray that works or have any homemade remedies?
Absolutely I spray! I spray all the time. My entire garden smells like rotted salad dressing! It's either that or munched nubs.
I'm sure you can use either the home-made stuff or buy it--like you said it's basically the same recipe. I read somewhere on GW about a spray that is made of mint oil. I'm probably going to try that, since the smell of mint seems preferable to the smell of garlic and eggs.
I also think that changing repellents is supposed to be a good idea.
That's a good idea, changing scents, thanks. Mint certainly smells better. I bet that works too. I have a strawberry bed that the chipmunks used to raid, I used to have a pot of chocolate mint nearby, well, the mint somehow escaped and spread throughout the strawberry bed and masked the strawberries. We've never had so many strawberries to ourselves, before we were lucky to get one or two. Unfortunately mint is so invasive and looks terrible, I have to try and get rid of it. Too bad, the strawberries were good.
I actually know an avid gardener who fenced in his fifteen acres to keep the deer out...
I can only imagine the cost to build it and the cost for maintenence..
I can't afford to fence in my lonely one acre, believe me, I've checked into it. We'd do it ourselves, which is still very costly, but the rocks that you hit when you dig are impossible to get through.
No hope, the deer are so familiar with humans that in broad day light they came right up to my door to chew on a flat of baby tomato plants. Note, the door was open and I was standing in it holding my dog which was barking like cr azy. The deer literally was within an arms length and no sign of budging. After I let the dog go, the doe finally left. Obviosly they are no longer afraid of humans.
That's what I am afraid of, They are getting more and more used to us. Over the winter, they came right up to our front door and ate the azaleas. I used to have a rose garden with 40+ different varieties, needless to say, I now have about 5 left in that garden. I replace them with perennials that are deer resistant as I can. I really loved seeing all that color in June, but 8 years later, they've won.
The deer are everywhere and hungry they've munched my yuccas to nubs, all the local understory and even seem to like my primroses(primula) so far the foxglove(digitalis) is the only uneaten or tasted plant left in unfenced areas of my yard. Add in a groundhog and I rarely have anything left in the open spaces.:(
Oh no, they eat yuccas too? I didn't spray those! I'm going out first thing in the morning and spraying them.
I have 5 major planting areas (beds borders islands.etc), I thought I'd sprayed everything. I knew I hadn't sprayed my bloodroot. I didn't think they wound bother it, I was WRONG! I came home today to find all the foliage gone. I've been spraying since I started this thread about 20 days ago. Not even one nibble and we have deer, rabbits, groundhog families, squirrels and chipmunks. (Not to mention the people who walk their dogs and let them roam a few feet into your gardens). I think the spraying so far has helped. My neighbor had a lot of damage from a groundhog, so I told her what I had been using. She mixed up a batch and sprayed that day. A few days later she told me she watched the groundhog come back, and he didn't touch a thing! Just walked around. Hopefully he'll just keep walking....
One thing I've learned after three years in the Hudson Valley: Spray everything! Don't forget to spray new growth. Spray after hard rain. Spray the stuff right near the house. My trigger finger hurts, but we gotta keep those spray companies in business....
I make my own for pennies.
I fenced 3/4 acre for just under $4,000. As to how they drove those steel posts into ledge rock, I didn't ask but it got done. What a joy to see everything growing and those rats with hooves on the outside. At first I kept the gate shut all the time but now I leave it open in the day time since they've changed their route which used to go right through my garden. I figure when I tot up the cost of plants and the cost of spraying and all the aggravation, the fence will pay for itself in 5 years (this is its second year). I am now growing lilies, roses, tulips (White Triumphator in bloom now)- all the things they used to eat down to nubbins.
Oh, that sounds so good. Someday we will be able to afford it. We have a deer run that goes right through our property, and one of my gardens. The neighbors on both sides of me have fenced yards, so that increases the deer traffic through my yard. They both are split rail fences in 1/2 wine barrels, not particularly my taste, but I guess I can understand why they did it. Those rocks are awful. We have woods directly behind us. I bet you are right in how it pays for itself in the long run, and saves stress to boot. Someday. Technically I guess I could just to the 200 ft property line in the rear, but then they may get trapped in my yard if they come in from the other side. Detained is probably more accurate, I hear they can jump pretty high.
Well, JoeyGirl, I donÂt know how you fared this past year and if you still welcome news of possible deer deterents. I have found and installed something that works very well for me. (Am also in NY z5ÂCatskills) They are commonly sold and are usually pictured, in gardening catalogs, with decals that make them look like parrots or macaws. Absurd.
But without the decals they sit quietly (visually and audibly) in the garden until their sensors (operated by a simple 9v battery) detect motion. They then send out fast-spitting jets of cold water. (Mine are hooked into the spring-fed garden waterline.) Bambis and the other doe-does donÂt like it at all and they vamoose. Worked for me throughout the summer and fall. Disassemble before winter (easy), or they will freeze. Mine were given to me, but they retail for about $80 each.
From my limited experience, those standard metal fence posts drive straight into the ground nine out of ten times, even in rocky soil; they must just displace all but the biggest rocks. The deer are brazen, making me glad I put up the fence before planting anything. oldroser, can you give more details or a picture of your fence?
It was put up by Red Hook Fence and Deck. Stainless steel poles that stand 8' high after being driven into the ground/rock. The fencing is black plastic netting, 7.5' high, attached by clips. Practically invisible except for the poles and I saw the same fence where the poles had been spray-painted black and they too were almost invisible. Wood posts available but would have cost more. I have a driveway gate and two back gates - one that leads to the woods and the other one down by the corner of my house so that I have access to the creek back there.
This morning at 6 AM I let out my extremely large, out-sized German Shepherd and she made a dash for the front gate, growling and barking. At which point a car came along the road and its headlights lit up a small herd of deer crossing the road, maybe 15-20 feet from the dog. Not that it hurried up the deer. They've trodden a path outside the fence and up to the road and they probably think the fence is there to protect them from my friend.
She's seen them before when we go for walks in the wood - they don't flicker an ear when I shout at them and she will bark but they are on the other side of her invisible fence so she can't chase them. There's a bench out there where I sit and watch my dog sniffing around - the deer have scraped away weeds and moss looking for food but they left the tips of daffodils strictly alone.
Thanks for asking, I faired pretty well with my spray. There were a few times I took it for granted and didn't spray, and I payed for it. It reminds me I have to go out and do it again this month. It really worked, as long as I kept it up. I don't really have a water supply to commit to the sprinkler, although if I did, your way sounds like something I would be interested in.
I have a dog too, but mostly an indoor dog, Shiba Inu. He barks at the deer, but they ignore him. My 4 year old would run at the deer when they came in the yard...they would just stay there until he was on top of them. All the yelling and arm waving didn't deter them one bit. They eat at the edge of the property, which I can tolerate..I just hate when they devour all the goodies I plant, when there are other things for them to eat. In the winter, they usually get my vibirnum buds....I pretty much have been keeping that sprayed once a month. SO far so good. JoAnn
None of you have mentioned hunters! A good bowhunter will be happy to help out, no gamey taste as they have to be at close range and take the deer by suprise - hence no epinephrine in the bloodstream which gives the gamey flavor- it's deer tenderloin for you or give it to the homeless and NY state will pay for the butchering.
If we all encourage use of this organic meat eventually the deer population could be better controlled!
Oldroser - QUestion for you - did you have to grt a permit for the deer fence? I would like to put up a regular fence along the front of the house eventually, but I am really worried about the deer, and I figured maybe I could just do the whole thing in deer fencing and then replace the front side of it eventually with a real fence. I have to figure out where to get the gates though. I don't know how the gates work if you have an alarm and the police or firemen have to come either. Guess I have some research to do.
I am curious as to how your deer fencing holds up this winter too!
I've been putting up 5' high (at a 6' height) 2"by4" wire mesh fencing (almost invisible) around my yard. It works (to some extent), last year I had 24 deer on a regular basis, this year only 3. I've fenced off 3 of the 4 sides of the yard and am planning to fence off the street frontage if needed. Some of the yearlings will push through under the fence (to escape), but not to enter. I'll have a better idea about how effective this is by late spring/early summer.
If it works I should be able to restore the understory in wooded areas, walk around barefoot (no droppings), and even replant some of my flower beds. The deer were hungry and ate everything I had, including peonies and some soung hellebores.
Yeah, I used to be hunter when I lived down South, but can't up here in lovely suburban Lower Westchester.
We had no problem when we first moved in, but then we started removing junky old dead trees to clear up the place. Now after three years we're deer central. Can see their tracks in the snow and know we have at least five. They even bed down in our backyard every night!
So this year we're buying deer fence, poles, etc. from FarmTek and installing it ourselves. Got a quote from Brenner's of $5,000! So we'll try the DIY approach. First just on the back and sides, the directions they always come from. If necessary, we'll add to the front. This will mean adding gates, which add a level of installation complexity I'm not quite ready for. Will keep you all posted in any case.
Our neighbor is a bow hunter and hunts our property. However, there are far too many deer for him to make any significant dent in the population. I agree that bow hunting more vigorously (and wise use of the resulting food) would be a good solution to the deer overpopulation issue. People don't realize that it goes way beyond our gardens--the deer are wiping out many types of native plants and endangering other animals that depend on them for food or shelter. I worry that in twenty or thirty years, if nothing is done, there will be no trees to replace the ones dying, as the deer will have eaten every last sapling.
Hi, we just moved to the Hudson Valley area and the home we bought hadn't been cared for for some time. the deer have eaten everthing..... we are trying to figure out what to do about it. Neighbors on one side have a deer fence installed, and we are thinking of trying the same thing... we have a small dog, and he seems to be helping somewhat, I've not seen the deer much since we moved in... but I don't want them to hang around once they realize the dog weighs 19 lbs and is scared of them! I ordered some spray to try, but before we replace the dead shrubs, what do you folks recommend? Are there things they don't eat? My son asked about shooting them with a bee bee gun - just on their haunches to scare them, not to injure... but that seems a bit like lving in the wild wild west to me. What can I plant? thanks!
Hi Dee, There are things that the deer tend to leave alone here, but when there have been times where they've eaten everything. I have never seen them eat peonies, clematis, daffodils, bayberry, butterfly bush, I am sure there are a ton of things they don't eat...but equally they have favorites. I pay special attention to my garden phlox, roses, hosta, daylilies, sedum, asiatics and oriental lilies as well. I also watch my tulips in early spring...my viburnum over the winter..they eat the coming season's buds....I guess the list could go on and on...I use a spray deterent. I have to reapply it after rains, but it seems to work. It works on the groundhogs and rabbits too. So far, so good, at least. I hate to jinx myself.
We have a deer run right through our 3/4 acre....it is wooded behind us, and both neighbors have fenced in back yards and big dogs out all day. The deer come through here, but they did before the neighbors fenced their yards. We can't afford to fence the 200' back property line, and it is all rocks...too hard to put in the posts for us to DIY. So the spray is all I use. Sometimes it may burn the foliage a little, but this year I actually have tulips and it looks like a rabbit tried to nibble some foliage, but took a bite or two and left. Good Luck!
Oh yeah, we have a 19 lb dog too, a Sheba Inu....the deer laugh at him! My son will yell to scare them, you can almost run up to about two feet away before they will turn and go. In the winter we understand, we just hate when there is so much else for them to eat in the spring summer and fall that they come here and 'dine'.
Good luck with fences! I have seen deer easily jump the ten foot barbed wire fences at the Dutchess county airport. If they want to get over they will and if you live near something they need like water and hostas they will come. I have found that after nibbling on foxglove once, they never do it again.:) I am currently trying a new deterant that has been effective for weeks now. I live close to the fishkill creek so they pass through my yard to get to the water. I took a whole bunch of poles and tied fishing line between them. On the fishing line I hung white plastic shopping bags. In the night the wind catches the bags and lifts them up. They deer think they see a tail go up and instinctually scatter and get caught in the fishing line which irritates them like none other. They do not stay long enough to nibble on anything. I tried this after they came one night and chewed everything to the ground and even pulled my crocus out of the groung to eat them all the way to the corm.
I'm about ready for venison. Considering archery.
I planted a ton of hyacinths around my new peonies
(Christpher Lloyd's idea, they DO look great with emerging peonies
and then the peonies will hide the dying hyacinth foliage is the plan).
Then I stuck my tulips behind the hyacinths to fool the deer,
well, the deer fooled me! I thought they hated hyacinths.
Half of them chomped to the ground! Left most of the tulips!
We've propped up chicken wire over the lot, it seems to help.
I hope they get their trotters cut on it and break their legs!
Worse, they've debudded a Miss Kim hedge, a Magnolia and completely
destroyed a very beautiful pair of Arborvitae that they never
touched before. I am vexed! Maybe I'll try the rotten egg stuff.
They do seem to leave the Alliums and Fritillaria alone,
and things that grow around them. I also have garlic bulbs
stuck around in there, circling lilies and tulips. Works?
Or just this year?
Might as well have goats!
I have way too many deer, so I've installed 5' wire mesh fencing (2"x4") a foot above the ground, around 3/4 of my property (1 acre-rural/suburban) setting- zoning interferes with road frontage). Now, I only have 3-5 deer coming through (so far!) used to be 24+. Nothing was safe---they ate hellebores, forsythia, peonies, lillies (all types), foxglove (once/twice-not three times), monarda, daisies, jack-in-the pulpit, trillium, yucca, ferns, anything green, including houseplants ; dieffenbachia, pothos, spider plants, and philodendron; anything that wasn't protected by fencing---ferns and Boston (and English) ivy too! Commercial sprays were just salad dressing for them!
Poppies, liatris, and Echinacea, were ignored by deer (goroundhogs had a different opinion)
The yearlings (Adults are too big) still try to crawl under the fence, but don't like the feeling of being trapped---only one way out (two . . . if you include the crawling method),
Hungry deer will eat anything/everything
Wow! Maybe I can get shrubs air brushed on the front of my house instead! it seems a daunting task to keep them at bay. Thanks for all the great information though. I'd love to hear more ideas.
Yes, Dee, it IS daunting. If you don't put up a fence you must cover your plants in the winter and spray them the other three seasons. It is a pain in the rear, but there's nothing else to do. There are so many deer and they are acclimated to humans and will often come right up to the house. It is good to plant things that they dislike, but remember that in winter if they're hungry enough they'll eat anything. And definitely ask your neighbors what has worked for them. Different deer in different areas eat different things. And if any hunters ask, let them hunt your property. It would be much better for the environment as a whole if there were substantially fewer deer.
Has anyone out there tried the "ivory soap bar" thing and does it even work???And if so, how do you place the bars and how far apart????Please help!!!!I am being eaten up by deer...Thanks...
I don't think the soap thing would work on my deer, though I can't say for sure it wouldn't on yours! Try Liquid Fence, or one of the homemade egg-tabasco-garlic sprays, and good luck.
The 6' tall, 2"Ã4" mesh wire fence around my 40' Ã 50' garden has kept the deer out ... so far! Deer don't like to be caught in enclosed spaces, so I think that means the bigger the space, the taller the fence. Still, klavier's report of their jumping a 10' fence at the Dutchess airport amazes me.
A vegetarian friend has finally found a fencing method that works but it is just around his vege garden. He has 10' high deer fence with a second electic fence about 4' out. The combination came after trying 10' high with electic above. He was also able to get a permit from DEC to have a friend shoot them off season but it was because he was trying to protect his comercial crop. I agree that it is past time to encourage bow hunting. 30 years ago, our neighbors all hunted but now most don't. We've become too developed and probably half of our population came from the city and is not really in touch with surviving without super markets. The only shrubs they don't eat are barberries and forsythia, and the barberries are invasive.
It's a shame they do so much damage if you hit them with your car. They have become accustomed to wandering into the road in Woodstock and are protected by a number of people who watched too many Disney movies.
I started using Deer Pharm spray and it seems to work - just have to keep spraying (it also deters small dogs and teenagers). I just ordered some Garlic Clips which are supposed to be waterproof and last up to 6 months.
I live in the city on a small lot and garden anywhere I can manage so fencing isn't really practical right now - will let you know if the garlic clips have any effect on our regular marauding deer.