Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deer Proofing the Garden

A few days ago as I weeded I removed the covers from our broccoli plants.  We cover them while they're young and tender so that the rabbits don't eat them to the ground. The day after removing the covers, this was what I found:

Deer decimated broccoli

This isn't rabbit damage, all ten broccoli plants were decimated by deer.  Both Chris and I were raised by fathers who garden.  Each of them are still gardening, about 5 miles away from us in either direction.  Neither of them have deer problems, so we didn't have any immediate idea what to do based on the Dads' advice or experience.

We're big softies about animals, so we don't want any solutions that would harm either the rabbits or the deer.  I started looking into garden fencing online, and it's EPENSIVE!  Somewhere between a car payment and a house payment to protect our little garden.

So on the advice of an employee at  our favorite garden store, Menne we did several things.  We spread Milorganite, a stinky and apparently deer repelling fertilizer, we hung white plastic bags around the garden to startle the deer as they flap and crinkle in the wind, and strung old cds around the perimeter which shine and flash quite impressively in the sunlight.

The upshot?  No sign of deer visits last night or this morning, and our garden now looks and smells like it was landscaped by a homeless guy.

 deer and bunny proofing, 1st attempt