For those of us who live in the climate of four seasons, our garden season is soon coming to a close for the year. Of course there is always work to be done if you insist, but otherwise, sedums and mums are pretty much our last show of bravado from our flowers. If we’re lucky and the warm weather sticks around, the annuals will too, as well as the pests that suppose we should share our hard work with them. Garden protection year round is a must.
I have to admit to having a pretty successful winning war against the deer in my neighborhood this year. BUT, as with any scenario, get to cocky and you Murphy’s Law will but a big fat bulls eye on your back.
Here, in central New Jersey, we are plagued with way to many deer per square mile. The house building craze that blossomed in the 70’s gave consistent birth too many developments over the past 40 years. With all the housing developments, the deer quickly adapted to the new environments and found them to be very desirable and easy to live in. Do you know what other Nature does when she thinks everything is copasetic? She multiplies!
In other words, life for the local deer became so easy…each house presented another landscaping buffet to behold as well as all those freshly cut grass lawns to munch on! OH, and when all these houses sit right alongside of a 100 acres of corn or soybeans…..Talk about Heaven! So of course if life is that easy to raise a family in, then why not have bigger families? And Mother Nature makes it so. Then the deer were having twins more often. Now, we are seeing more and more sets of triplets being born! OUCH!
This post today is not for pro hunting, it’s about my precious garden. I don’t like vegetables, so I only grow flowers and enjoy sitting, and working, in my garden whenever I can. I can also tell with just a quick glance when something’s different or not right in my garden. Like a person with OCD knows when something has been moved out of its precise place. The other day I went to the backyard and was immediately, and very indignantly, horrified that the deer munched my hibiscus plant to the bare branches! BASTARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fresh Minty Smelling Deer Out
For several years now I have been using “Deer Out” with quite a bit of success, when I do what I know I am supposed to. The guy who invented it lives locally and happened to be talking with my husband where he works. They got onto the topic of deer, and them eating everything, when the Hubby mentioned me fighting to keep the deer off and out of my flower gardens. The gentleman then offered to send a gallon to me for free to give it a try. It worked. I was totally sold. AND it didn’t spell disgusting! But depending how big your gardens are, and the amount of deer you have to fight off, it can get expensive.
Before Mr Deer Out showed up, another customer of the Hubby’s swore by Irish Spring soap. Said she has been using it for over 50 years to keep the deer away. I got some, shaved it and hung it in cut up pantyhose all around everything: flowers, shrubs, everything the deer touch. EHHH. Helped a little.
For Deer and Halloween?
Then I found another option to try, pretty sure it came up in my Facebook feed, but don’t really remember. Anyway I ordered it, I gave it a whirl. Hmmmmm, I think it helped a lot! What is it? Predator Eyes. They were just little rectangular boxes with a solar panel and two little red lights. They charge up during the day and blink on and off all night. The trick to these, is to move them very couple of days or even just face them a different way. They are supposed to resemble predators, so leaving them in the same spot the deer will figure its harmless if it never ever moves. I purchased four and spread them around my yard (about 2.25 acres).These can also be used to help warn off raccoons, foxes and other wildlife that might bother, or threaten, any of your outside animals. One of these days I plan on mounting these on a pole, using 4 of them, like a weather vane, so that I don’t have to manually move them anymore. The ultimate would to have at least four of these on my property.
Well, earlier on in the spring I went in the shed to get my Deer Out when I realized I didn’t even have any? I could of sworn I bought 4 gallons last year & only used two? CRAP. I didn’t really have the money to spend of deer control due do my car being a recent money pit on crack. So I figured I try the Irish Spring soap again. This time I just took it out of the box and threw them in the garden. I also had another problem: Cami. Cami loves to take stuff and run around with it, then usually hangs out by a tree down back and chews on her stolen merchandise. Usually. Two of the four “eyes” are accounted for this year.
Damnit Damnit Damnit
The Irish Spring worked like a charm!!! Talk about awesome and saving some money! Just last month I bought another supply of soap and spread them around, especially around our younger ornamental trees to detour the deer from rubbing their antlers on them. Was very pleased that NONE of our trees got hit this year!!! YAY!!!! And then just the other day I saw it. DAMNIT! One of my hibiscus plants got nailed, nailed good. I take a closer look and there are THREE bars of Irish Spring soap less than 10 feet from it so what the hell gives????!!
Cocky Much, Who Me?
Remember what I sad about being cocky? Yeah, well, I was looking pretty good in my cockiness suit….I should of known better. UGH. How could I have gone all the way until almost October without any deer problems? And then the other day I mowed the lawn and saw “droppings” everywhere. What the hell is going on? My garden ego took a serious beating. I am trying hard not to be to hard on myself since the only plants hit were 2 hibiscus plants, one totally eaten and the other just partially ( I’m the only one that notices it) and they took a couple of nibbles from my one bunch of mums that I didn’t even notice the first time.
Moral Of The Story
The Moral of the Story: If you live in deer country, do not ever underestimate your opponent and always keep a diligent eye on your gardens, and anything else edible on your property. Spring and summer are just the highlight of gardening seasons, but at no time are your plants free from hungry long legged varmints. Garden Protection is a must at all times! Another time to be very proactive is late winter. When the food supply has dwindled, the deer will be back in droves, to snatch some easy pickings on any shrubs alongside your house. In areas where there is little, to no, obstacles for them, they will have no problem blatantly eating everything you own, right smack in the middle of the day while you watch them. Places like mine, where there are two dogs who can roam the property with free will (in ground dog fence), the deer know when their “last call” is and patiently wait on the sidelines till the coast is clear. Make no mistake, these creatures are diabolical. Every time you think you have them figured out, they will change all the rules!