Hi, I'm Tricia, an organic gardener. I grow
organically for healthy and safe food supply, for
clean and sustainable environment, for an enjoyable and rewarding
I love living in a rural area with
wildlife all around me. There is one wild creature
that takes some effort to get along with, and that's the mule deer.
The ancient Chinese general, Sun Tzu, said know thy enemy and know yourself
and the more you know about deer and
understand how they react your gardening
the better you're going to be able to
get along with them.
Deer are and not grazers. They prefer woody or broadleaf
plants over grasses and they can reach
up to 6 feet high.
30 percent of a deer's water comes from
what they eat
so they're more attracted to well
irrigated plants and plants with new,
succulent, spring growth.
When does are
having their babies
and bucks are growing their antlers they
have high carbohydrate needs.
So they're going to target plants that
are nutritious and those are the plans that are well
Deer are creatures of habit
past deer damage will predict future
deer damage. And there's three methods of control:
repellents, fencing and deer resistant plants.
Repellents such as these from Plantskydd, Liquid
Fence and Havaheart are effective but they
require re application
throughout the season. Apply repellents
before deer damage occurs
and at times on your plans are most
susceptible to deer damage
such as early spring or late fall when
start to wane.
There's only one sure-fire
method to prevent deer damage and that's fencing.
I like this plastic
mesh deer fence it's quick to install
and it does keep deer out.
For vulnerable plants like vegetable
gardens and orchards
fencing is your best option. Fencing
like this or at least
a tree guard is essential for small
Deer don't have to eat a tree to kill
it. When bucks are shedding their velvet
they like to use saplings to remove the
velvet. Look at the damage that they did
to the trunk this small tree.
The last strategy is to plant deer
There's no such thing as deer proof
plants. Resistance is highly regional,
seasonal, it's affected by the weather,
the food availability,
and the deer populations. When planning a
deer resistant landscape it's important
to get a list and deer resistant plants
for your region.
In our area, which is the Sierra Nevada
foothills, the book "Deer in My Garden" by Carolyn
Singer is an excellent resource. You can also
talk to your master gardeners and local
nursery professionals for regional suggestions.
Keep in mind that when deer get hungry
they will eat just about anything.
Deer resistance is usually graded by:
rarely damaged, occasionally damaged,
frequently damaged or dear candy.
Among the rarely damage plants are
aromatic plants such as
alliums, sage, mint, rosemary and
things like that. They also tend to
stay away from prickly
or fuzzy leaved plants, they also avoid
plants with the latex waxy sap
like figs. Another group of plants that
the deer dislike are palms an ornamental grasses and
that's because they don't have a lot of
When planning landscape many gardeners
find a zoning approach works well.
That mean separating your garden into
zones starting from your home and
In the farthest area plant seldom
damage plants that require less
irrigation. In the middle zone, place the
occasionally damage plants and be ready
with the occasional deer repellent
application at high risk times. Cozy
any deer candy plants right up to your
house where you can keep an eye on them.
You can also add an extra layer of
protection by planting a plant that
deer like, like this crepe myrtle, amongst plants
that they don't like.
Deer resistance is highly variable but
the more you know about deer
the better you can plan your garden cell
don't get mad get informed and organic for life