deer spray?

doctorsteve(6)June 17, 2007

My hummingbird/butterfly garden is almost complete -- coral honeysuckle, cardinal flowers, 3 types of butterfly bush, foxglove, yarrow, bell flowers, bee balm, latana, hosta, and a teacup-sized birdbath. (Now if I can just find a local garden shop that isn't out of black and blue salvia...)

I find that I've learned to think like a hummingbird in the garden shop. But I've also learned to think like a deer, as I have daily visitors. Looking at my newly-purchased foxglove and bell flowers today, it occurred to me that they might look tasty to deer. I immediately thought of using the pepper spray I use (with indifferent success) to keep them off my daylilies. But then the thought struck me that the hummers might not like it, either. (Unless I get some of those Mexican hummingbirds, that is. :-))

Does anyone have any wisdom on whether the pepper spray used to keep deer off of flowers can be used on flowers without souring the nectar, as it were, for the hummingbirds?

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WHY TAKE THE CHANCE? I USE MILORGANITE (FERT. MADE in Mich. FROM HUMAN WASTE) You can buy it at Lowes or Home Depot for about $8.00/40lb bag. It is a fertilizer (granula form) great for your flower beds and lawn and very inexpensive. I have used it for 6 years and the deer don't eat my plants. I sprinkle it throughout my beds and especially around the plants deer particular like in early Spring, again the middle of summer and again in the early and late fall. The deer still come into my yard but don't eat the plants. I see droppings and an iron bench is turned over from back hoofs catching it as they jump over. BUT the roses and hosta and daylilies are still with foliage and buds. Try it. You don't have to use it late fall but it protects the hosta for the next spring. I swear by MILORGANITE. I should do a commercial for the company. People keep telling me the deer will finally get use to it but so far it has worked for every season. Good luck

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Made from human waste???? Hmmmm....I could save my money and make like a bear.... Nah....

Seriously...thanks for the suggestion. This is the first I have heard of this kind of product. I've heard of people using their own urine rather than coyote/fox/bobcat/wolf urine. (Presumably after eating lots of meat.) But the only thing I've read on the, er, "human compost" side has been in the form of warnings not to use it, presumably both for one's own health and the plants'. So at first blush, my intuition is that one is taking far more of a chance in handling anything made from human waste than in using pepper spray.

But doing some reading in previous posts (Milorganite seems to come up periodically), it looks as though it is, in fact, incinerated at temperatures that should make it pretty safe on the organic side, though some have raised concerns about non-living things that might make their way into the Milwaukee sewers, like industrial wastes. So I guess it's worth considering, especially if it keeps deer (and woodchucks too??) away from things for months, unlike things that need to be sprayed on after every rain -- while also not driving them completely from the yard. (I DO like to see fawns this time of year, and the deer earn their keep by eating the leaves the squirrels knock down from the elms.)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 10:12PM
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Deer don't mind hot peppers, they eat my Habaneros all the way to the ground. I am trying the Milorganite, but I'll be honest and say I bet nothing works. Eventually they learn to adapt. My friend uses deer out or something like that, you get it at Cabela's and it's the only deer repellent they sell. He swears by it. I might try that next.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2007 at 3:45PM
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