Roses forum→Deer have devastated my Roses

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
May 14, 2019 11:41 AM CST
The deer problem has been increasing here. Large numbers have been born and spent their lives in residential areas in the city. They have habituated to living among the homes. I've grown tomatoes for years and this year for the first time the deer ate the tops out of my newly planted tomatoes before I got the cages over them. Each year they have eaten the new growth and small buds off some of my roses. I've been out looking today and they have created havoc. An example is my large plant of Marilyn Monroe. It has ONE small bud. All others have been eaten. Most of my roses are damaged. Interesting that they have never bothered my Hosta, A neighbor saw me outside and he walked over. The deer had stripped his grape vines clean of foliage. They had ate a long row of peas and pulled up and eaten part of his newly planted tomatoes. Another friend lost a row of Chard transplants. Grumbling D'Oh! Thumbs down Shrug! Makes me wonder if it is worth it.......
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Steve
Prescott, AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: Southwest Gardening Roses Irises Lilies
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Steve812
May 14, 2019 12:31 PM CST
My office looks out over my garden and I routinely watch as deer jump the four foot fence to feast on my roses. I have used Liquid Fence which helps a bit. I have used Gain drier sheets which help a bit, too. But neither has been as effective as I'd wish. One is smelly; the other unsightly. Both require regular attention if they are to be effective.

Last July I started an experiment. My garden is molested by deer and gophers alike. I wanted to see if their palates could detect poisonous plants. And if poisonous plants could slow them down. I planted: datura, castor bean (ricinis Carmencita), foxgloves (digitalis) and larkspur (delphinium ajacis.) In locations where datura thrived, I found a slight decrease in gopher activity, and I think the experiment is worth doing again, although the plant does send out huge roots all through the garden.

The turning point came in late fall when the only green plant in my garden was a large patch of larkspur. I went out one morning and saw they were all nibbled to about two inches in height. It could only have been deer; the gophers pull the individual plants down into their burrows. I have noticed that since this moment the deer have sometimes stopped to look into the garden as they pass. But they have pretty much stopped jumping over the fence.

I keep intending to spray everything with Bobbex and forgetting to actually do so. I've seen deer pass my garden fence two or three times this week, which suggests they have probably passe four or six times. I've seen no evidence of rose damage.

I doubt that larkspur are a perfect solution; but they do get some efficacy from the fact that deer have very good memories. Right now there are several places where larkspur nearly envelop a hybrid tea rose. It looks a little odd. But the rose so enveloped looks very happy beneath this temporary shroud of protection.

I cannot explain it, but the damage that comes from squirrels seems lower this year, too. It's almost as if they like to nibble on larkspur, too.

This spring, outside the fenced area that houses my rose garden, I did put in a raised bed with a wire mesh floor and a dual fence around it to give more complete protection from gophers, deer, desert rats, rabbits, squrrels, chipmunks and javelina. It's in its first year, so we will see if the corn, zucchini, beans, and tomatoes grown there will survive. We'll see if next year we will be planting some more esoteric veggetables such as bitter melon. Regardless of what I plant there it would take about five hundred years of great harvests for it to pay for itself. But there is something reassuring to having it there nonetheless.
When you dance with nature, try not to step on her toes.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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porkpal
May 14, 2019 2:13 PM CST
It does not help deter gophers, but having dogs loose in the yard protects my roses from deer and hog damage.
Porkpal
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Houseplants Tender Perennials
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Paul2032
May 14, 2019 4:06 PM CST
My yard isn't fenced to keep a dog.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 15, 2019 12:44 AM CST
I watched an episode a while ago on Growing a Greener World...and the host, Joe Lamp'l (sp?) said that low fences are effective if they are spaced a little ways apart. Gee, I can't really remember what he said...but the idea is that the deer cannot properly see where it should land. So if you have your regular fence, and then a lower fence a foot from that...that may be enough to deter the deer. It would make your rose garden smaller, cause you'd take room away from them...but it may be a good solution.

Okay...I found it...it's around 10:55 into the video.
What do you think?

https://www.growingagreenerwor...
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 15, 2019 6:51 AM CST
I'll have to watch the video, but double-fencing does work if it's tall enough and widely spaced, otherwise the deer just jump over the whole thing. To prevent deer, one needs 7'-8' fencing.... with double fencing that can be 6' or a bit less so long as the inner fence is almost as high or at least further away. Plants in front of a lower fence also work so long as the deer can't see beyond them. Good luck. I've been fighting mine for a few years, but it's hard when they were foaled in my yard and consider it home. They will find any little egress and bash through most barriers. The water scarecrows worked for the larger deer, but the little ones ran under the water, but I worried about leaving the water on when away. I think I may have finally put enough fencing up to deter them. If only they didn't eat my plants, I'd welcome them as seeing them grow up was a a lovely experience.
Name: Melissa
Cartersville, Georgia (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Butterflies Heirlooms Herbs Peonies Dog Lover
Daylilies Roses Vegetable Grower Photo Contest Winner 2018
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Rosebaby
May 15, 2019 7:01 AM CST
For our garden we put up re bar in the corners and strung fishing line between them. Its a makeshift fence that is only about 3 ft tall but the wire touching then when they cant see it has so far freaked them out. The roses they are still going after if I don't cage them. I am about to experiment with spraying axe body spray all around the yard. It chases me off, why not a deer? Shrug!
[Last edited by Rosebaby - May 15, 2019 7:02 AM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 15, 2019 11:44 AM CST
Vaporvac - yes, watch the video...it's short...and the last half is about cooking...so you can skip that.

Melissa....that's kind of what the video talks about.
SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 15, 2019 5:39 PM CST
I did that, but they just busted it down.It was the first thing I tried after I saw someone do it online for a vegetable garden. Probably because they knew my yard it didn't bother them. It was a mess. They also tore down the netting up put up next. Actually they busted down everything until I did double fencing. It's heavy wire on top of split rail and just metal fencing for the interior one. So annoying and so many hours doing and redoing it.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 16, 2019 12:28 AM CST
Wow...deer are seriously problematic! I never have deer in my yard. Thank goodness!
Name: Melissa
Cartersville, Georgia (Zone 7b)
Region: Georgia Butterflies Heirlooms Herbs Peonies Dog Lover
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Rosebaby
May 16, 2019 7:47 AM CST
vaporvac said:I did that, but they just busted it down.It was the first thing I tried after I saw someone do it online for a vegetable garden. Probably because they knew my yard it didn't bother them. It was a mess. They also tore down the netting up put up next. Actually they busted down everything until I did double fencing. It's heavy wire on top of split rail and just metal fencing for the interior one. So annoying and so many hours doing and redoing it.


Goodness, Ohio deer are beasts! Thumbs down Our deer will just move to easier pickings. They are invading the neighbors yard again. They set up a nursery there last year, let her babysit while they went out to have fun since she had a fenced yard that kept the babies safe. She has dogs now though, so I hope they don't try that again.

SW Ohio River Valley (Zone 6b)
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vaporvac
May 16, 2019 10:59 AM CST
Melissa, you hit the nail on the head. I have a large yard on many levels that's fenced and hedged in. However, it was just a 5' split rail around the back and at the time it was becoming a small forest of undergrowth so they felt very safe there and probably spent most nights in its embrace! LOL! I had at least two sets of foals, but the last ones decided it was home, until I decided to clear it out and maintain it as a garden. In truth, we never had deer until just a few years ago when they developed one of the forested areas. Then they had nowhere to go. I know some people hate them, but seeing mom caring for the little one was enchanting and seeing the newborn babies so close was something I'll never forget. I would be spring weeding and suddenly found myself up close and personal with a little bambi hiding in the ferns! If only they just slept in my yard and didn't eat the roses! Still, I prefer them to coyotes and raccoons!
As an interim measure (since my various devices were often unsuccessful) I fully enclosed each bed with short fencing that I could easily open and close. This looks better and is easier to maintain to my mind than caging each individual plant. They NEVER bother the enclosed beds at all, just eating the buds and flowers that stick out through the fencing. Probably, the netting or fishing line might have worked had they not been familiar with my yard. This explains why I rarely post full garden shots! Sad I'm hoping my latest measures work and I can take off the caging finally! Crossing Fingers!
Zone 9, Sunset Zone 9 (Zone 9b)
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Mustbnuts
May 16, 2019 11:19 AM CST
Vap, I am sure your yard is just beautiful and I would love to see pictures of it.
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 16, 2019 11:44 AM CST
I agree with Musbtnuts! Lovey dubby
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
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Mike
May 16, 2019 4:03 PM CST
During the growing season we get a few deer grazing in our front yard at dusk just about every evening, and a full herd of deer move through the front yard during the night about three times per week (we often see them by moonlight around 11:00 or afterwards). And each spring, we have a doe that births a fawn and burrows down at night with it under our miniature weeping cherry about 20 feet from the front door. Whenever we got out the front after dawn or before dusk, they leap up and take off. In truth, I love having them there.

I don't really mind them much, because over the years I've figured out which deer-resistant plants to put in the front. The only roses I have in the front beds are about 25 Knockouts that were here when we moved in 6 years ago. The deer nibble on them occasionally, but don't seem to bother them all that much. That's fine with me, because I don't pay a lot of attention to the Knockouts. Most of the Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Grandifloras, Hybrid Musks, Bourbons, Damasks, Climbers, David Austins, Buck Hardy and other shrub roses are planted on the side and back of the house behind six-foot high iron fences, where the deer can't get to them.
[Last edited by Mike - May 16, 2019 4:07 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 17, 2019 12:52 AM CST
Mike - it's pretty wonderful that this doe has her special safe place in your yard to birth her fawns. It's also great that you have figured out a way to live peacefully with them in a way that doesn't drive you crazy trying to get rid of them. It's also good that you have a yard that can accommodate this. Thumbs up
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer Tomato Heads
Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Houseplants Tender Perennials
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Paul2032
May 17, 2019 8:29 AM CST
I need to live with the deer ruining my garden but don't have to like it. Planting roses, pruning, fertilizing, and watering, and anticipating a wonderful bloom season are a waste of time Grumbling Grumbling Grumbling
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Carol
Alberta, Canada (Zone 3b)
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Canadian_Rose
May 17, 2019 10:06 AM CST
Totally agree, Paul. Grumbling Mike's yard makes it work for him. Yours doesn't. Sighing! That must be horrible.
Somerset County, NJ (Zone 6b)
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Magiccraftcl
May 17, 2019 10:54 AM CST
Thumb of 2019-05-17/Magiccraftcl/a771f2

We get them almost every year. My garden patches are all fenced in. And when I work in them I make sure I put the fence back or the plants won't be there in the morning. Two years ago the deer misjudged the distance and cracked into the house at 4am. I put milkweed in three years ago. I think they sense it. So far, so good but I wake up every morning hoping all is good.
Somerset County, NJ (Zone 6b)
Butterflies
Magiccraftcl
May 17, 2019 11:06 AM CST
Thumb of 2019-05-17/Magiccraftcl/a94617

Speak of the devil.

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