This thread is in reply to a blog post by aspenhill entitled "Battling the Deer".
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Mar 15, 2018 4:56 PM CST
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Pennsylvania Keeper of Poultry
I can fully understand how heartbreaking this is. We have deer issues here too, though not so bad as you describe. Deer repellant sprays do seem to work to some degree here, but I am experimenting with physical barriers as well. I've grouped my hostas into only a few areas and last year I surrounded them with that fine black plastic "deer netting." I put some black-painted PVC pipes into the ground at the corners of the bed and put an inverted black-painted yogurt cup on the top of the post so the post wouldn't poke thru the netting. Then I draped the netting over the bed and weighted down the edge with a few strategically placed rocks. I also kept the bed and surrounding vegetation sprayed with repellant. It seemed to work and the netting was a lot less visible than I feared it would be, becoming nearly invisible except very close up and in certain light. The drawback was that fall leaves gathered on it, but by that time, the hosta season was nearly over and I took the netting off. This year, I'm going to experiment with using black painted chicken wire as a more permanent barrier/cage in some areas.
I am not "country" I am "landed gentry."
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Mar 15, 2018 5:42 PM CST
Name: Terri
Lucketts, VA (Zone 7a)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Virginia Dog Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Deer Ponds
Foliage Fan Ferns Hellebores Irises Peonies Amaryllis
I still have a few specimen hostas in other garden areas that aren't so prominent and in your face when they get reduced to ugly stems after the deer get to them. Maybe I'll give your physical barrier of deer netting a try. I actually have some netting left over from the tall enclosure I erected around the vegetable plot and Mike always has lots of pvc pieces laying around from his water and sewer line replacement business. I hadn't done netting around anything else because I thought it would stick out like a sore thumb, but you are saying that it is a lot less visible than you thought it would be. I really like hostas and it would be great if I could manage to keep a few from deer damage. How much higher than the hostas did you put it? A few inches, a foot or more?
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Mar 16, 2018 8:30 AM CST
Name: Annie
Waynesboro, PA (Zone 6a)
Cat Lover Region: Pennsylvania Keeper of Poultry
In one bed, I had the netting only a few inches above the leaves (the flower stalks emerged through the netting, which looked very nice but did make it a bit more difficult to clean up at end of season). In another bed, I had the netting about 1 foot above the leaves (again, flower stalks came thru). I think it looked nicer with the netting further above the bed because there was no chance of the leaves being squashed. You do need to periodically check and remove debris that lands on the netting, but I was very surprised by how acceptable it looked; not perfect, but certainly not offensive. It seems to me that the key is: if the deer can't get his nose on it, he won't even try. I saw no indication of the deer "testing" the netting. But if the netting is up enough to expose a leaf, they'll eat anything exposed. Again, I did also keep them sprayed with repellent so I think that also helps. Our deer are also eating sedums so I'm going to try a chicken wire cage around a bed of those.
I am not "country" I am "landed gentry."
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