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Posts Tagged ‘mint’

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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In my head, I said this post’s title much like Dr. Frankenstein when his experiment woke up.

While it may seem a bit silly, it kind of replicates my feelings when I saw our herbs bouncing back. The oregano has sprouted a handful of leaves, and the chives and mint are getting out of control, which is a bit of a surprise because it’s still so early in the season.

Chives and oregano in the first pot, mint behind it.

Chives and oregano in the first pot, mint behind it. The thyme didn’t survive the transplant.

Last year we dedicated an entire raised bed to herbs. Matt thought that was a waste of space, and I’ve come to see his point. Our plan this year is to intersperse the herbs throughout the vegetable beds – both as a space saver and possible pest deterrent.

But until we planted tomatoes, squash, peppers and a host of other plants, herbs were going to be on hold. So when I dug up the landscape fabric from last year’s herb bed, I replanted the chives, thyme and oregano in a spare pot until they were needed.

My thought was if they survive, great; if not, no big deal.

We’re glad to see they’re mostly doing well – the thyme looks dead, but the other two transplants look lush. I’m going to divide the chives into smaller clumps and plant them around the maple tree in our back yard. We also have hostas there that were nearly destroyed by slugs, and chives are supposed to repel those slimy beasts. Plus, they have pretty purple flowers when you let them go to seed.

As for the mint, well, Derby Day is right around the corner …

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