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Re: CULT. heat ! and DEER

>Laurie, you mentioned deer -- I know they like hosta and daylilies, but I 
>was hoping irises  were not on their table of desires.


In my garden, irises are low on the palatability scale for deer.  Deer 
typically will only eat the irises during the times of year when they 
have no natural browse to consume - most notably in early spring when the 
deer are starving after a long northern winter and will voraciously 
consume whatever greens up first, e.g. irises. My local deer also seem to 
have developed enough of a taste for iris foliage now that they will 
continue to graze them a bit even after they have plenty of grass 
available in the surrounding hayfields.  As soon as the brushy areas 
bordering my hayfields leaf out, however, the deer will abandon my irises 
in lieu of their preferred browse.

I sometimes also have a problem with deer grazing my irises in the fall 
after their browse has dropped its leaves for the winter.  At that time 
of year, they have the infuriating tendency to uproot and relocate 
summer-planted irises.

In a normal year, deer wouldn't be a problem this late into the growing 
season.  Unfortunately, our abnormally cold temps have delayed leafing 
out substantially, so the deer are still snacking on my irises.  Ugh.


P.S.  Interestingly, deer never bother my hostas.  I assume that's 
because the hostas don't start growth until after the browse has leafed 
out and the deer have retreated to their preferred dining accommodations.

USDA zone 3b, AHS zone 4 - northern MN
normal annual precipitation 26-27"
slightly acid clay soil

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