Ask a Question forum: Soil, and deer tolerant plants

Views: 386, Replies: 11 » Jump to the end
Name: Pat Howard
Belton Texas
A newbie to gardening !!!
Pat4392
Mar 5, 2017 6:10 PM CST
We live on rock shelf overlooking the lake, we brought in some dirt to plant a little grass. Now I have carved out some flower beds, and would like to know how deep do I need the soil for good root systems for flowers.. Wanting perennials so I can plant once and then add to as the years go by. I have lots of deer, so need plants that the deer don't like to eat. I also have an area close to the house was wanting to plant some greenery, but it hardly ever gets any sun light, any ideas. And if you could not tell I am new to gardening.
Thank-you for any all help.
Pat4392


Any and all advice will be taken to heart
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 5, 2017 6:31 PM CST
Hi Pat, Welcome!

Can you tell us what zone you are in? If you don't know, use the 'Zone Lookup' under Tools & Apps (above) to help you figure it out.

I would think that if you got 2 feet of topsoil in there, you could plant most perennial shrubs. Herbaceous perennials could manage less. Think of it as planting in a pot. A really BIG pot. Pots need drainage so figure out a way to drain those shelfs, otherwise, you are building bathtubs.

The types of plants will be dependent upon what zone you are in.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Mar 7, 2017 9:09 AM CST
So... In tx with a rock shelf...
Are you referring to that infamous caliche?

Really depends on whether you brought in a sand based soil or a clay based.. or even some of that black gumbo y'all have.

At my house.... There is zero rocks... The sand goes down as far as you would care to dig... And I can't hardly grow anything.

If you piled on some nice clay soil, you could probably garden during the wet season.... But... I remember the tree die-offs yall recently suffered...

Deer eat most anything, even many toxic plants join the menu when they get hungry enough.

You could probably grow brugmansias and datura inoxia...
Maybe some prickly pear... Although, maybe not, rabbits and deer seem to be feeding on it at my house... And maybe yuccas... If you weren't attatched to seeing blooms.... The deer eat the bloomstalks at my house....

Maybe lantana, if you don't mind a certain ragged appearance.... They nibble... Rather than graze it to the roots, like they will do to echinacea.

Maybe some monarda punctata...
Name: Pat Howard
Belton Texas
A newbie to gardening !!!
Pat4392
Mar 7, 2017 6:35 PM CST
Thanks for the input, I am talking just hard rock, as we are on a ledge overlooking the lake, I have rock as far as well I guess you could blast out. So hauling dirt in is the only way, I have got my flower beds set, and staked out, just trying to figure out how much dirt I should put in each one, and what plants will do the best with our deer. I want to have birds, and butterflies like you do. Your yard looks amazing so much wildlife, I really want to have the deer stick around, just eat somewhere else. Smiling
I live in zone 8A and I have had some luck here with growing lantana in my window boxes, the deer don't seem to like it as well as other plants
Thanks for your response,
Pat4392
Any and all advice will be taken to heart
Name: Karen
NM (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Critters Allowed Region: Arizona Xeriscape Greenhouse Annuals
Cactus and Succulents Bromeliad Adeniums Orchids Tropicals Plumerias
Image
plantmanager
Mar 7, 2017 6:50 PM CST
No plant is deer proof. During times of low food, they will eat anything, even prickly pear cactus.
Here is a list of deer resistant plants. So far I've had good luck with some of the plants on this list.
https://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs...
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Mar 7, 2017 7:00 PM CST
Welcome! Pat !

There are a few ways to make your gardens deer proof...
1.) Don't bother planting anything.
2.) Put a HIGH fence around the perimeter of the gardens.
3.) Resort to chemical deterrents such as Deer Scram
4.) Get an 'outside' dog.

Other than that, as others have said, the deer are going to eat pretty much anything. Up here in Maryland, (Zone 7b), the only things they haven't eaten are fern and hellebore. Our yard is mostly shade, so I use a lot of hosta. The deer think I'm planting a buffet just for them! They always go for the expensive varieties. Although, I noticed today that they have started eating the common ones. Probably because the expensive ones are up yet.

Check with your local garden center to see what works best in your area.

As far as draining, you could put some perforated pipe under the dirt to channel the water out to the edge of the cliff. Heck, you might even be able to lay them 'just so' so that they resemble a waterfall during heavy rains.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Image
DaisyI
Mar 7, 2017 7:07 PM CST
Look at ScareCrow Motion Activated sprinklers. They work great!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Mar 9, 2017 7:40 AM CST
RickM said: Welcome! Pat !

There are a few ways to make your gardens deer proof...
1.) Don't bother planting anything.
2.) Put a HIGH fence around the perimeter of the gardens.


As far as draining, you could put some perforated pipe under the dirt to channel the water out to the edge of the cliff.


"Don't plant anything"...
Lol....
If you have native saplings coming up.... Expect to see the deer eat those...
About the only thing the deer don't eat is turf... And who wants that?

I did write this piece a while back, which discusses gardening with mostly toxic plants, and aromatics:
http://www.stonethegardener.co...

But it doesn't cover the shallow soil issue...
Really disbelieve that drainage is going to be an issue.... The problem is far more likely to be dry soil.... The same as I suffer from...

And.... What kind of soil did you (OP) say that you'd added on top of the rock ledge? Gonna be a very important consideration, as far as what plants will grow.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Mar 9, 2017 6:47 PM CST
Pat,
Looking at your hardiness zone (8a), it looks like you can use a variety of fern in your perennial beds. The deer around here don't touch my fern. But I still think you should check with your local garden center or county extension agent. They can tell you what would work best.
Name: Bob
Vernon N.J. (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Heucheras Echinacea
Hellebores The WITWIT Badge Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
NJBob
Mar 9, 2017 8:54 PM CST
I have never had deer touch Hellebore which should do ok in your area in shaded areas.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
RickM
Mar 9, 2017 9:56 PM CST
Now that you mention it, they leave my hellebore alone as well. I've also started to experiment with mint. I'm putting it around the perimeter of the yard in the hope that it becomes a 'fence'. In the right conditions, it can become invasive though. You could try putting pots of mint around the gardens. That way, you get the benefits of the mint (deer repellent and culinary uses) without it taking over.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
stone
Mar 10, 2017 7:32 AM CST
RickM said:Pat,
Looking at your hardiness zone (8a), it looks like you can use a variety of fern in your perennial beds. The deer around here don't touch my fern.

deer eat ferns here.... But toxic hellebore seem reasonably safe...
Really depends on the number of deer as to what they're willing to eat.

If you're seeing a lot of timbering activity, the deer population can be expected to skyrocket.... They love some cutover....
If the neighbor is feeding them grain, maybe expect them to spend a lot more time visiting....

At my house.... Mint doesn't bother the deer... They'll walk right through the mint and garlic to get to the good stuff....


Thumb of 2017-03-10/stone/c02d12
[Last edited by stone - Mar 10, 2017 7:36 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1386447 (12)

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Ask a Question forum
Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.

Member Login:

Username:

Password:

[ Join now ]

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Hosta Kroosa Regal"