Posts Tagged ‘deer repellent’

It only took four days. That’s how long the deer “waited” before feasting on our newly planted vegetables. We planted the majority of our garden this past Sunday and after a couple days, everything seemed fine.

From bottom left: Tomato, spinach and zucchini all eaten by deer.

From bottom left: Tomato, spinach and zucchini all eaten by deer.

There was a little bit of a pepper leaf torn off, but not a big deal. Then, checking our garden this afternoon, we saw the full brunt of the damage, along with a few hoof prints left behind in the soil.

Our spinach was sheared to stems and the cherry/grape tomato plants were chewed to nubs. The deer also did a number on our pea and ate all but a couple leaves from both our zucchini plants. Oddly enough, they left the yellow squash alone. I also think it is a bit strange that for two months they never nibbled on the growing spinach, peas or lettuce and somehow decided this was the opportune moment.

So now we’re in full defense mode against these beasts, which, under any other circumstance, I don’t mind having around our house.

Mixed together with water, this helps deter deer.

Mixed together with water, this helps deter deer.

Here’s the plan:

Garlic and cayenne pepper. I tried this toward the end of last year and it seemed to work. I mix the powdered versions (what you buy in the spice aisle at the grocery store) with water and spray generously around and on the plants. I might even add egg or milk to the mix to help it stick to the leaves.

Mint. We’ll move our mint pot to the area we want to protect. Apparently the strong smell is not so pleasing to the deer.

Marigolds. It’s the same idea as above. The strong smell is supposed to keep the deer away. Probably buy several of these to put near each raised bed. Other plants could help and we might try those too.

We’ve bought two replacement zucchini and transplanted the others to pots and will do the same for the tomatoes. Last year the deer damaged tomato plants recovered a bit and actually produced some. The only positive to this situation is that the deer ate everything early. If it must happen, I’d rather it be now than when the plants are well established.

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After what seemed like an endless streak of hot weather and FOREVER without rain, the past couple weeks brought a break in the 100-degree heat and a handful of much-needed moisture from Mother Nature.

Our green beans are finally growing again and starting to climb the poles. The tomatoes are turning red, and the squash plants are blossoming. While most of that is good news, nothing is ever perfect.

We have deer repellent (cloth bags filled with meat meal and red pepper–kind of gross, but it seems to work) hanging in our woods and near the green beans to deter them from feasting on our efforts. It appeared to be effective. At least I thought so.

Last week I went outside to check on everything and noticed most of our lettuce was gone, except for a couple small clumps. Matt said he didn’t pick any so my best guess is the deer thought it would make a nice snack.

On a positive note, however, that gives us a little room to try broccoli again for a fall harvest, and some of the lettuce is the “cut-and-come-again” leaf variety so a couple gnawed plants are putting out new leaves.

It appears that everything is starting to turn around, which is a good thing!

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