Deer eating plants - Knowledgebase Question

July 1, 2010
I have started a flower bed in my front and back yards. My Hostas and Stella Dora were just starting to bloom when the Deer started eating them. Does Home Depot carry something I can use on Deer?

Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010
One group that has been researching deer damage on its property for more than 20 years is the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. The institute?s mission is to create and disseminate information on maintaining healthy ecosystems. Deer browsing is having a detrimental impact not only on gardens, but on forest ecosystems as well.

The Institute has been monitoring deer damage on almost 2000 acres to determine preferred plant species and the effectiveness of various home and commercial products and methods for deterring deer. They've found that deer change their diet seasonally, eating broadleaf evergreens and conifers in winter, but ignoring them in summer in favor of more succulent plants, including your lush hosta and daylily blooms.

They've found that scent-based repellents work best when used before browsing begins and when used in abundance to overwhelm an area with a scent. The most effective approach is to combine scent and taste deterrents. Many gardeners use the repellant sprays with varying success, but they must be applied and reapplied according to the instructions in order to be as effective as possible. However, if animals are hungry enough they will eat just about anything. If your area is experiencing a combination of drought, poor tree nut production, and high numbers of deer, your plants are likely to be browsed regardless. In that case, the only effective control is fencing.

Fences are usually the only guaranteed method of foiling deer, but a subscriber of National Gardening Magazine sent us this "new" tried and tested suggestion. "At a very young age, I was taught that one's success in the field depended on knowledge of the species of game hunted. As all hunters know, deer are creatures of habit. Deer will develop a pattern or habit of movement, using the same path for an approach direction and a second path for a departing direction. They'll repeatedly follow a familiar path until they sense or encounter some form of harm or danger there.
"I've discovered that a length of heavy strength monofilament fishing line, stretched across the approach path 24 to 30 inches above ground level and tied at either end to a half-inch willowly tree branch will stop an approaching deer. It appears that deer are confused by the unknown or unseen resistance and will change direction to avoid a questionable situation. Also, I've discovered that light-weight, noise-causing objects attached near the ends of the stretched lines will spook a deer away from the immediate area when they encounter the monofilament line. By studying the movements and changing the location of the stretched line each time they attempt a different approach, you can cause deer to avoid the area of doubtful encounters."

I hope some combo if the above works for you!

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