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Mar 15, 2016 12:59 PM CST
|For many years I've been plagued by deer feasting on my garden plants. This year I'm trying a product called Trico, manufactured by the Austrian company Kwizda Agro that has gotten a great reputation here in Sweden. People have been able to grow tulips in deer infested gardens and so on, you know, purely science fiction stuff |
I stopped growing most of the things deer like, but I'd love to be able to see crocuses bloom and not become decapitated by hungry deer, a tulip or two in the open garden would be nice and I've been heartbroken over when the deer started attacking my supposedly deer-resistant reticulated irises.
The active ingredient is 6.396% sheep fat. The product is water resistant once dried. The effect is supposed to persist 4-6 weeks. This was the main selling point to me as I wont be needing to reapply after rain.
A few days ago I treated crocuses and reticulated irises in full bloom and see no discoloration so far. Heuchera (what little that is left of them ) and daylily foliage has also been treated. Early days here and I'll try more plants as needed when they emerge. Hosta and lilies has never been eaten here and you can actually find hosta on some deer resistant lists in Sweden, which may seem weird, but so it is. I however plan to treat the martagon lilies(that are new to me) as soon as they appear. The reasoning here is that the foliage differs from normal lilies and deer are curios in nature - don't want them to discover a new delicacy!
Obviously hard to know if the stuff works or not. One could miss to treat a spot and the deer could go . Likewise no guarantee that the deer actually comes to visit, so may apply it all for nothing. I suspect one also would have to accept deer taking a few tastes here and there as they already are used to eating these plants.
What I can say so far is that the recommended dose of 25ml of Trico to 100ml water is very difficult to use in my 5 liter pressure sprayer as it simply is to little liquid for it. This dose is supposed to be enough to treat 100 square meters and that is just laughable, even if I were able to use it all. In Sweden this product is ecologically certified, yet one should avoid contact with skin, eyes, clothes and wear protective gloves...
Not sure if this product is available yet in the US and the rest of the world and what it would be called, or if its just out in Europe, but I want to mention this anyway as not everyone may be aware. This is no recommendation to buy the stuff in anyway, do your own research and so on.
Mar 15, 2016 5:29 PM CST
|Let me know how it works. I will try anything. If they do not sell it under the same name I am sure someone is using the same ingredients. I know I saw something that said it has animal blood and it makes the deer run.|
Mar 16, 2016 3:06 PM CST
|Of course! I'm going to post updates throughout the season |
There are indeed blood based products available. One of them, "Plantskydd" is actually from Sweden, but seems to be widely available in the US. I haven't tried it myself as I think there could be risk of discoloration of treated plants.
Mar 23, 2016 1:28 PM CST
|I will try anything. I have had the deer problem since I moved here 5 yrs ago. If there is a hosta they do not like I am not growing it. They love my hostas so do I but I like to look at them. I moved about a hundred from my old house. Some so big I had to use a dolly to move them.|
I wheeled this beauty up the hill to perfect spot. It was 5' wide 4' tall.
Got up the next morning and this is what it looked like.
Mar 23, 2016 2:15 PM CST
I believe deers taste varies widely even in between individuals and I'm aware about the problem you guys are having with hosta.
I can report that so far I had no damage at all on the spring bulbs and I have observed fresh deer tracks, not among the bulbs, but in the kitchen garden. I take this as positive, but obviously still to early to tell. I'll treat some more stuff this weekend, including a pot of blooming tulips from the greenhouse that will be put outside and see how the deer feel about this delicacy.
Mar 29, 2016 12:15 PM CST
|Due to rain I postponed the treatment of tulips one day in the cutting garden, thinking they probably were too small to be interesting for the deer. Big mistake and that very night they got to them .Not a total loss, but no fun as I lift and store these bulbs over summer every year so spend a lot of time on them. Usually I cover them with net. Also had some very minor damage to Scilla mischtschenkoana and to the magnolia (they can only reach the lower bloom buds now ) Obviously should have treated these before as this stuff can't work if you don't use it.|
A couple of treated pots with tulips outside, some with buds, some with blooms. So far so good. Three days for them now.
Mar 29, 2016 5:46 PM CST
|Keep us posted. |
I sprayed with my homemade deterrent because I went out and saw the daylily leaves were eaten. Then I put down some moth balls. First time trying them. I read somewhere that they do not like moth balls.
Millbury, MA (Zone 5b)
Apr 2, 2016 8:36 AM CST
That was a Sum and Substance Hosta. It will come back, but you will have to protect it with repellent.
Most repellents in the US are made with putrescent eggs. Many also add other ingredients like clove oil, fish oils and other natural ingredients. I use Bobbex which has given me good results. It's made fairly locally in Connecticut. It's expensive, but I buy the concentrate and mix my own. A half gallon ($49) lasts me all year and I have about 300 hosta (deer candy).
But let's be truthful. The efficacy of any repellent, store bought or home made, will depend upon the pressure of your deer or critter population. In other words, if deer are hungry enough they will eat anything, including hot sauce.
Be aware that you will have to reapply any repellent during a plant's vegetative growth period and during its flowering period if you are protecting flowers like crocus. As the plant grows and adds new leaves or flowers, that new material is unprotected unless you treat it.
The only thing that is 100% effective against deer is a good fence. But you don't need to eliminate the deer from the face of the earth. You just have to convince them to go to your neighbor's garden. I have a friend who protects his vegetable garden from deer with an electric wire. He puts aluminum tags on the wire with peanut butter smeared on them to teach the deer a lesson in the Spring. Make sure you don't turn on the juice until after you've applied the peanut butter.
Athens, Ohio (Zone 6a)
Apr 3, 2016 6:52 PM CST
|I apply repellent almost daily to tulips. I can't imagine that a product would last a month--there is so much new growth.|
Apr 13, 2016 2:32 PM CST
|Well apart from some slug problems the tulips in pots are doing very well. Looks like the one in the cutting garden are doing fine as well and a majority of them will still bloom as the buds for the most part still was below the eaten section.|
@mantisOH I understand how you think about the new growth and I had and still have some reservation regarding that, but so far it doesn't look absolutely critical. Probably the deer will smell the sheep fat from some distance. Certainly long before they taste it. That said I'm going to apply a new dose as soon as the weather stabilizes as I don't want to tempt fate.
Apr 17, 2016 2:45 AM CST
|Was out spraying this morning. Tulips, Heuchera, daylilies, Anemone coronaria, Sedum telephium, martagon lilies and a few other lilies(normally the deer don't touch lilies here, but I wanted to try it on a few anyway to see if there is any ill effects). Also Pulmonaria and Brunnera got a small dose as the deer sometimes eat the blooms and buds on these, although they never touch mature leaves. A few Erythronium also got a slight dose - the deer has an habit of tasting a few of these every year, but it's no favorite for them.|
Everything treated is still left alone, yet the deer devastated a population of more or less naturalized and untreated striped squill a few meters from the tulips in the kitchen garden. As far as I recall, the deer has never done that before. Maybe they have taken a taste or two, deer often do that, but never like this. This tells me that this stuff works.
Other victim was some corydalis, but so far just a taste and hopefully it will stay that way as they got a quick dose of the Trico too. Never grown Corydalis solida before, but I was lead to believe they were somewhat resistant to deer. Hopefully the spraying, although a bit late, will get the point across Don't touch!
May 14, 2016 5:06 PM CST
|The last of the tulips are in bloom now and the deer has left them alone. I treated the tulips only twice, but as some got slightly damaged at an early untreated stage, perhaps three times would have been better, but overall this actually went better than I thought and the Trico treatment really does seem to work for a long time and doesn't wash of with rain. For my conditions it doesn't seem necessary to spray every untreated inch of new growth immediately, but of course one need to use good judgment and reapply in a sensible way. |
I'll continue treating Martagon lilies until bloom and in fact treated them today together with a few perennials, but this is the logical end of this small trial for the spring bulbs as the season for them is over now. I'll however update if I encounter any problems or as needed. Although I'm very positive for now, time will tell if this is a long term solution or if deer eventually will get used to the spray.
May 25, 2016 8:53 PM CST
|Yes that is the problem. Either they get use to the smell or are so hungry they do not care if it taste bad. I switch up between the homemade and the other stuff they sell in the stores. I even switch up with the store stuff.|
Jul 17, 2016 3:36 PM CST
|I have had great luck with PlantSkydd! I like the liquid form vs granular...just make sure you are upwind when you apply!|
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