Texas Gardening forum: Edible Landscapes - HELP!!!!!!!

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Name: Duane Robinson
Kerrville, Texas (Zone 8a)
Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas
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Poohdaddy
Sep 2, 2014 7:15 PM CST
I met Dave a couple of years ago when he was speaking on this subject at Arbor Gate. I had researched redesigning my front yard for edible landscaping for much of the year before. I gleaned much from his wisdom in permaculture and edible landscaping. And I have to say that I have been very successful this year in the beginning of an edible landscape. The deer have found that just about everything I planted was edible!!

If I don't have a wire cage around it, the deer have kept it mowed. They haven't touched my Tansy, Marigolds, Hyssops, Mints, but have picked around those plants for the tomatoes, peas, peppers and even the comfrey! Oh and they really tore up my Lord Baltimore Hibiscus this year for the first time.

I am limited because we are unable to put fencing in our front yards. I am 100 feet inside the city limits so lead poisoning would get me in trouble.

Anyone have any wisdom or thoughts to share. I do own the 1.5 acre wooded lot across the road from me that backs up to another 25 acres of woods. I have thought of putting a corn feeder over there and try to get them to eat there rather than my yard.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 2, 2014 7:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I certainly feel for you. When I lived in Kerrville, the deer were as thick as squirrels and not afraid of people. They'd come right up against the house and anything not caged was eaten. We were only able to grow things like you mentioned - stuff that was either poisonous or so fragrant the deer didn't want it.

We have deer here but they don't come near the house, thankfully. So anything in zones 3-5 get eaten by the deer but the stuff we plant near the house is safe.

Hopefully someone will have some advice!
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Sep 2, 2014 7:33 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I can give some advice. I've seen people use motion detecting sprinkler systems that startle deer with a quick spray of water when they come near.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Sep 2, 2014 8:57 PM CST
Can you put fencing around your garden? You said you were not allowed to fence in the front yard, but what if you just did the garden area? It may be that the rule reads not to fence the perimeter of the yard- I would look into it and know for sure. You may also try planting shrubs that will get fairly tall and wide. Deer do not like to be in an area they cannot see, or to feel hemmed in. Deer can jump height and they can jump width, but they cannot jump both, that is why shrubs are helpful. I did see one area where the landowner dug a ditch about 4ft wide and filled it with chuncky rocks and then planted a row of shrubs about 5 or 6 ft tall. You might think of something like that as a 'fence' if you can't fence at all. You may also consider surrounding the garden area with a plastic mesh like material. It is made to deter deer. I don't think that could be considered fencing because it is not a fence, and your primary reason for using it is to protect your garden.

I have heard of the sprinkler thing too but have not tried it myself. I have heard that the deer sometimes get used to it and realize it is harmless and if they are hungry enough they will ignore it after a while. Might have to move it around frequently or try adding something smelly to it they would not like like a scented laundry additive or such.

you could try getting a dog and using some invisible fence for it. I have heard that even a small dog will keep out deer and some dogs are handy to kill moles.
Name: Kyla
Richmond, VA (Zone 6b)
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kylaluaz
Sep 2, 2014 10:00 PM CST
Eat the deer?

Green Grin!

Sorry, but I couldn't resist that one.

And in fact, if they are eating your garden that much, it means there's probably not much forage for them in their usual range. Not a problem you can solve but it's maybe useful to have as part of the picture.

The suggestion of shrubs is a good one. Thorny shrubs, maybe. Also, there are deer repellants on the market, non toxic ones but they are probably pretty noxious odor-wise (stuff like mountain lion urine scent, and the like.) I know, or knew, one guy who had a fence around his vegetables that had a kind of bright metalic ribbon woven in that would move with the breeze and shine reflections that was supposed to startle the deer and keep them away. Look online for deep repellants and you might find something you can use.

I've also heard that it's really water the deer are after more than food, and that if a good reliable watering area is set up some distance away from the plants you want to protect (maybe with a salt lick as an extra attraction) they will be less likely to damage the garden.

Good luck!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
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porkpal
Sep 4, 2014 6:25 PM CST
Dogs keep the deer away from our garden so I like the idea of the invisible fence and a dog. Perhaps motion activated lights would startle them - for a while.
Porkpal
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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LindaTX8
Sep 8, 2014 11:19 AM CST
Speaking of edible landscape...I saw a link to this info on another site! I'm afraid my Texas Persimmon fruits have already disappeared this year, however.
http://www.rootsandmarvel.com/foraging-in-texas-wild-persimm...
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad

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