I found deer tracks in one of my flower beds where tulips are growing, and
the leaves were munched off 5-6 plants, but not the other dozen or so. And,
no snacking noticed with tulips elsewhere on the property. Are deer known
for liking tulips, or was this just a taste? FYI, deer own this
neighborhood, and the flower beds they did NOT raid provide them with more
shelter than the one they did.
Or....maybe it was just one deer shopping, and he/she is bringing the whole
family tonight. <scary horror movie music here>
Deer are slightly less inclined to gobble down daffodils, & perhaps you
could surround tulip beds with drifts of daffodils. I'm only in the past
few months learning about what its like to garden with deer present, since
I took a landscaping & garden caretaker job at a big garden that is a
defacto deer park.
I've noticed the deer will sample even things they don't like, & if the
sample is a small shrub that four or five different elk take one bite of
(the elk travel in bands) then reject it as not tasty enough, it still
looks pretty badly nibbled.
I planted tulips by chance between matting groundcover junipers & a
fence & the deer & elk for some reason just didn't want to walk over the
juniper to get to the tulips, but they did pull out of the ground a bunch
of bergenias that had been planted that very week (which we replanted &
the deer pulled them out of the ground the next day too -- they didn't eat
much of them, but their "sampling" behavior can unplant new plantings).
Those bergenias were only a few feet from the tulips, but didn't require
the elk to traipse through the juniper, which is pretty funny since when
they reach the property edge they have to hop through dense undergrowth,
but they won't walk over the carpet-junipers.
The elk travel in little bands so can do more damage than a deer by just
"sampling" as they pass through. But mainly they seem to like to crop the
lawn & I've been suprised how minimally they damage things even with such
regular visits, though the elk do unfortunately rub bark off trees to get
their antlers shed, one young birch was killed by their rubbing. There are
too many birches & the garden could afford to lose one or two, but there
are some really swell Japanese maples which I'd hate to be their next
The attitude so far is the garden is so big it can stand a bit of "natural
pruning" from the deer & elk. If they destroy something really precious in
the future that attitude may weaken, but so far it's working out fine. One
large fence-enclosed area serves for really delicate plants they'd gobble
down in an instant.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
My late Uncle Seth was a New Englander to the core, he had seed catlogs
beside his deathbed looking forward to his next garden.
He was also a collector of " stuff".
He had a collection of " wind up" alarm clocks ( pre- battery operated type
with the bells and clappers) that he would set for odd intervals during
the night, placed them inside otherwise defunct aluminum garbage cans with
a few discarded tin cans and pie plates.
Every evening after supper he'd go out to the garden with his stogie and
wind up the clocks, change some alarm times, rearrange the noise-makers
among whatever was choice to raccoon, deer or other critter.
Kept his wife exceedingly busy with canning and freezing and always had
freebies for visitors and neighbors.
On 4/7/05 8:16 AM, in article E9c5e.3064$ email@example.com, "Doug
I recently heard of a novel way to discourage deer from eating anything! I
have no deer so have not had a reason to try it. It is a hot sauce called
'Insanity Sauce'. It is 10 times as hot as jalapenos...so the story goes.
Dilute in a spray bottle and spray on perimeter of garden area or
It's available from Save On Foods (I'm told) and maybe other food stores. It
could be worth a try.
Rule of thumb, is if it is green, deer will eat it. They have favorite food
like acorns and apples but browse and bite anything that suits their fancy.
In the winter snows, deer come up to the house and eat the foundation
evergreens. Deer can die of starvation eating evergreens because there is
little nourishment but they die with full stomachs. I just put up netting
to protect young hydrangeas and rhododendron. When I had a garden, the only
crop they did not feed on were the onions. They'd bite a hot pepper maybe
once but enough to ruin the plant. If I could hunt the area, I would.
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