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Alttara, I fear you have chosen a state with one of the highest
deer-per-square mile ratios going. I once heard of a "night job"
clearing Greenwich estates of deer. Job requirements were a cross bow or
compound bow (and arrows) and a trailer. Get the picture? $700/night.
Illegal of course. It is a serious problem and there is no end in sight.
Thousands of deer become car hood ornaments each year to the tune of big
money and some serious injuries.

Good dogs do the trick but there are dogs and there are "good dogs". The
problem folks forget is that with the deer there is a very serious
problem with ticks and Lyme Disease. If you even have pets you have to
think about ticks and be sure all family members know what to look for.
This is very important!

Deer control only works with fencing but that is expensive and requires
zoning permissions. You can get around the zoning by screening the fence
with plants but you're talking lots of expense. Orchard growers have a
great fence product that runs $80 for 300 feet but that's the easy part.
Enough said on that.

I use a product called TreeGuard which I swear by. It is a latex
product, sprays on, lasts all summer. It contains the product Bitrex
which is very, very bitter. "Older" hosta growers might remember a
product used in a different century to paint fingernails of young kids
who bit their nails--that was Bitrex. 

Couple problems with TreeGuard. Being a latex product it clogs a typical
sprayer. I use an electric hydrostatic type but the traditional
pump-it-up sprayer requires cleaning the nozzle to get the job done.
Secondly, hostas grow fast so I spray once in the spring and then again
after a couple-three weeks. The only time I have lost hosta is when I
have planted new ones and forgot to spray.

Other commonly described practices in combination are helpful.
Monofilament fishing line strung around the perimeter 2 feet off the
ground is a fairly invisible, one-time-cost/labor defense. Everything
else you have ever heard of is good to incorporate too. But the fact is
the odds are against you in your new state and deer all belong to the
AHS and can easily identify the expensive and special hostas.

Don't forget the tick part.

George Africa
Vermont Flower Farm
256 Peacham Pond Road
Marshfield VT 05658-8099
Tel. 802-426-3505
FAX 802-426-3706
Zone 4

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