Rhubarb, aspargus and... ???

homegroan(3a)May 30, 2013

We recently relocated to northern MN (zone 3a) , and the long wait for spring is finally over. I "inherited" a small garden patch about 10x18 ft that has some rhubarb and asparagus in it. (The other garden plot has a fence to keep deer out.) My nice neighbor said the deer don't bother the rhubarb and asparagus. There are also a couple of other plants she said are garlic.

Does anyone have info on some other veggies I can grow in the area without the deer fence?

Also, any tips on caring for the rhubarb and asparagus would be greatly appreciated. Thanks :)

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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Just get a few Niteguards from the pheasant farm in Princeton.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nite guards

    Bookmark   May 30, 2013 at 9:47PM
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The deer will avoid rhubarb but they love asparagus. Once they find your asparagus, they will definitely be back for more as it comes up. Mine doesn't stand a chance without protection. Onions, and maybe radishes are the only other vegie that are safe for me.

Other items that need deer fence for protection: blueberries, sour cherries (both bushes and trees), plums, and apples.

Raspberries, will get pruned by the deer, but not extensively.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:30AM
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Major deer problems in my area. Finally had enough and installed an electric fence around one of the main gardens.

Never seen deer damage on my tomato or potato plants but they will chew down peppers, bush beans, pole beans, peas, cowpeas, soybeans, cabbage, cauli, broccoli. Also never seen damage to any root vegetables such as carrot, beet, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, which I find very surprising. As mentioned previously, I also have never seen damage done to alliums.

Regarding asparagus, I strongly recommend that you do not put salt down in the bed to control weeds as is a common practice - it will attract deer like a magnet by turning your bed into a salt lick, and they will absolutely destroy it. It will also increase deer traffic by creating something they really desire - that is the last thing you want to do.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Most of my tomatoes are in a fenced in area with my fruit garden. However,we planted two tomato plants in large pots to have them near the house on the concrete driveway for quick, easy picking later in the year. The very 1st night, before I caged them, deer ate them all the way down to a 5" stem. Fortunately, I had some replacement back-ups.

They have eaten my potato plants in several past years. As Tom said, Peppers are a favorite of deer. I'm sure they actually become giddy if they find an unguarded pepper plant.

Turnip and parsnips are definitely favorites as well because these are common seeds in deer plot mixes that deer hunter plant to attract deer to their hunting location.

I've never used salt around my asparagus. Deer love it even without seasoning. Once it gets past about 24" to 30" the deer will leave it alone.

Basically, the higher the deer density, the more extensive their diet will be for garden plants.... and the bolder they will become to get them.

I think that I may have a good year for blueberries. Total of 36 bushes with lots of blossoms. My fence will keep the deer out, but I may have to add an electric fence as well to stop the black bear in the area.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2013 at 8:48PM
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northernmn - you are definitely right about deer density - higher populations puts pressure on food sources so they are forced to move into any feeding opportunity. Fairly low population density around here is probably why my root veggies have never been touched. Last summer had a doe with two fawns living here - they did terrible damage.

Black bear? Glad I do not have to deal with them on top of all the other gardening woes. I would fight them hand to paw in order to protect my blueberry bed if I had one. LOL

Wild turkey are a huge problem for friends in the river bottom but are not an issue for me - yet. Last year I saw a flock three miles away. Always keeping an eye open for them...

    Bookmark   June 1, 2013 at 12:00PM
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