The Dryden Observer

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Keeping the deer out of your garden

Although we love to see such beautiful creatures, they can sure make a mess of all our hard work.

We all admire our local deer population, but not when we watch them destroy our many hours and many dollars worth of hard work.

Deer are famous for destroying gardens, flowerbeds, grass and shrubs.  There are some flowers and plants that are labeled as deer resistant.

Although labeled as resistant, that does not mean the deer will not still have a breakfast of your loved perennials.  If they are starving, they will eat just about anything.

A few of the flowers recommended as “resistant” are alyssum, snapdragons, astilbe, calla lilies, clematis vine, daylilies, echinaea, iris, double peony, daffodil, monkshood, columbine, foxglove, lavender, and rudbeckia.

Some shrubs that are classed as resistant are witch hazel, elderberry viburnum and various dogwoods.  Trees in this category include birch, ash, juniper, and hemlock.

A few suggestions for vines are bittersweet, boston ivy and grape.  There are some ornamental grasses that are labeled resistant as well, including feather reed grass, northern sea oats, blue fescue, Japanese silver grass, and flame grass.

Some of these plants are poisonous, so ensure you do your research to ensure the safety of these plants with your own domestic pets.

If you have a loved flower that is not in this category, there are some other methods of deer proofing that you may not know about.  Deer are driven by scent, not sight.  There are a variety of scent deterrents that can be placed around your garden to “jam the senses” of the local muncher.  The scents need to be strong enough that the deer cannot smell the greenery behind them.

Some ideas for scent deterrents are soap and fabric softener strips.  Drill holes through a bar of soap, and cut fabric sheets into strips, and hang either or both around your garden.  The stronger the scent, the better the deterrent.

Other scent blockers include hot pepper spray, and moth balls.  The moth balls can be placed in a cheesecloth bag and also be hung around the garden.

Although, possibly not the most aesthetically pleasing, there is always the option of putting up fencing.  This is not always a cheap option, due to the height necessities of the fencing, but still a choice for each homeowner.

You can check your local garden supply store for deer repellent sprays as well.

– Ally Dunham

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