I just bought a new house where the deer are prevalent and planted a
lot of hostas last year. The deer seem to feed more in the early
winter months but was wondering about hostas.
In winter they're out of luck because they die back but do they go
after the spring shoots?
Please -- only someone who has experience with the matter -- no
Hostas, sometimes called "deer lettuce".
They love the stuff.
They won't dig out the roots but they eat hostas whenever they
can find it. Spring, summer, fall, it doesn't matter.
You can try deer repellent, soap flakes, netting, other home remedies.
Ultimately, nothing will work except a fence.
I put up a six footer and finally experienced a year where the
deer did not eat all the hostas:
What a shame -- I have nothing but shade around here and they love to
eat when I'm SLEEPING, the SOB's. Also, found out this year they love
Yews, but not Junipers?
Maybe I can just rig up something with auto on lighting and some audio
to scare them -- electronics is my business.
I use netting. Electric fences will work. They can easily jump a 6 foot
fence when they have to. Smaller fences will deter them but not stop
them. Not much deer won't eat but when they're eating evergreens they're
I've heard their limit is around 10 feet.
The 6 footer I put up seems to be working but the deer have other
places to eat and finding take off and landing spots isn't that
easy. There are bushes in most spots on both sides of the fence.
I have a neighbor that swears 2 fences a few feet apart always
works. They don't even have to be high, maybe 4 feet.
On 2/23/2011 3:49 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I think it's in the area of 8 to 10 feet. Any obstacle will deter them
but if pushed they will get around it. I've never gotten a chemical
deterrent to work. It may put them off for a while but after a while
they will ignore it. Netting would not hold if they wanted to crash
through it but I've only had this happen once when the herd was after my
chestnuts and took out netting around my hydrangeas.
I ran barbed wire up my bird feeder poles and the squirrels don't even
think about it anymore. Maybe I can mingle some into the hostas after
they have gained a bit of height -- or some electric fence -- easy
enough to do that.
I love the Deer but they're all over the place where I'm at.
Plan B -- Ferns.
I read where most ferns don't appeal to them and I enjoy them as much
You'd best check your local ordinances, barbed wire is illegal in many
places... if some visitor, especially a child, is injured by your
barbed wire they will probably end up owning your house. I strongly
urge you to learn how to live in a rural area or leave.
Deer love yews, they only just like junipers. You need to know that
when deer are hungry they will eat most anything. If it's rural where
you live and winters are cold and snowy you will note that folks don't
have many plantings that aren't fenced. There are lists of plants
noting their relative susceptibility to deer browing.
Deer hardly notice when my motion sensing outside lights come on.
There are all sorts of electronic gadgets available that claim success
but don't actually work. All those chemicals that claim to deter deer
don't work either. And there are all sorts of old wives myths, none
work. The only reliable deer deterrent is a good tall strong fence.
Essentially you need to decide if you want to live in the country or
the city... whether you want to share your environment with hoodlums
or deer... I choose the four footed critters anytime. Deer will never
mug you, they have no pockets, they take only what they need to eat.
Good luck in your new digs.
When moose colonized Isle Royale in Lake Superior in the early 1900's,
one of the first trees to disappear from virtually all areas
accessible to the moose was the Canada yew. All deer love it.
I'm in central New Jersey.
There were a lot less deer here in the past,
then it was the settlers territory.
Before that, it was the Indians territory.
Before that bears, wolves, Sabre tooth cats.
So the deer haven't owned the territory any time in the
past I can think of.
They are probably doing better now than they ever have in the past.
It would be nice if we could devote more territory to wild animals
but I don't see that happening in the immediate future.
On Wed, 23 Feb 2011 11:49:41 -0500, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Exactly! With deer running rampant don't plan on naturalizing hosta.
And rabbits love hosta too, so if you erect a fence make sure its
openings are really small because in early spring baby bunnies get
very hungry. In areas where one would normally have hosta (edges of
wooded areas) I've since learned to plant ferns instead.
I'm not sure rabbits can go completely out of control like deer.
I'm in New Jersey, not Australia.
I get small amounts of damage since I built the fence but I'm not having
whole rows of plants devoured.
Of course I'm not growing vegetables.
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