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Re: Repelling Deer

> As of today, my holly is chewed down to the ground and my rhodie has allthe
> tips chewed off. I wonder if they will be ok or if they will die. Darndeer.
> Chased one off this morning at 6:30 am.>> Denise>


I live in a neighborhood blessed/cursed with many deer, and can certainly relate to your frustration. There are a couple of things we do that seem to be effective: the main part of my garden is surrounded with a 3 ft high electric fence (the low voltage kind, components from Fleet Farm). This is effective all year round. But it takes a little work to set up and is not a good job to do in the winter!

In the winter, both inside and outside the fenced area, I hang packets of blood meal on all bushes and shrubs that the deer seem to like best - esp. rhododendron/azaleas, small pines, arborvitae, etc. I save old panty hose to make little bags - three per leg. I tie a knot in the bottom of a section, pour in about 1/4 cup of blood meal, then tie the open end around a branch on the bush (near the top where they would get a whiff of it when they bend over to checkout the bush). I use one bag on smaller bushes. On large plants (mature columnar arborvitae, for example), I put 3 or 4 bags all around the plant at about deer nose height.

When I do this: no deer damage. When I miss a bush, it's eaten. One year, I forgot the arborvitaes next to the house and the deer stripped the bottom 3 feet. They filled in again, but it took 3 years. Last year, I forgot a few azalea bushes and they were the only ones damaged. (They do recover and may even be fuller after their pruning, but you will probably have few or no flowers this season.)

Although the blood meal seems kind of expensive (up to $7 per box), one box or bag goesarborvitae. Since we've gone to casual dress in my office, I don't always have enough worn out panty hose and have to buy cheap ones to cut up for my "deer bags"!

Good luck, Denise. The nice thing about gardening is that we almost always get another chance!


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