problem deer - Knowledgebase Question

Ocean Shores, Wa
Question by johnatthelak
April 28, 2008
We have free roaming deer on the Ocean Shores penninsula, and the seem to eat almost everything during different seasons. This last winter they ate our 'hens and chickens' Never heard of before.
Thanks very much John Carlson


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Answer from NGA
April 28, 2008

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I sympathize with you! Deer can certainly be a BIG problem. As for what they consume, sometimes it's a big surprise. They will eat almost anything if they're hungry enough and the competition for food is great. There are Deer Resistant plants...actually quite a few. You might try growing allium, crocus, daffodil; artemesia, aster, coneflower, candytuft, iris, peony and phlox; boxwood, cotoneaster, hydrangea, lilac, ajuga, ferns, pachysandra; clematis, euonymus; maple, birch, dogwood, and pear.

In my Seattle garden I have had extremely good results using "Milorganite" which is a lawn fertilizer that deer find particularly offensive. I sprinkle it throughout my gardens every 2-3 weeks and haven't seen deer since I started using it. I live in a rural area, so I think it works! You can also hang deoderant soap bars in your trees or on stakes. That is also supposed to work.

The product "Deer Away" is said to be effective in repelling deer but must be reapplied every 7-10 days (you will find this true for most all repellents, the rain and dew tend to wash them away).

Wish I had other suggestions to help you keep deer from munching on your prized plants!

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