June 8, 2008

News: Deer Tolerance Update

We're experiencing temperatures around 100 degrees here! Much too hot. Gardening chores are being done before 9:00am or around 9:00pm in the evening.

It's 10:00am here right now and the temperature is already 90 degrees. This is the garden this morning--the sun is already very bright.

The deer came through last night and did a bit of sampling. The rudbeckia 'Goldsturm' were pinched back here and there, but no serious destruction. This happened last year with the first few buds.

Perennial Geranium 'Rozanne' is reported to be deer resistant. Last month, I planted a few under the willow tree in our outer garden. Last night was the first time that a few of the blooms were munched. Just a few. A gardener is supposed to trim back these blooms in order to get more blooms, so I also consider this damage minimal.

A few more Japanese irises were deadheaded by the deer last night. Again, just the blooms, not the buds. The heat had curled the blooms in the last few days, so I was about to take on the deadheading chore myself.

The Knock Out Roses that fall outside the fence were still not eaten. These have been sprayed with a mixture of Neem Oil (a natural Japanese Beetle deterrant that doesn't harm beneficial insects, mammals or birds), dish liquid and water. Although never reported to be a deer repellent, the deer haven't so much as tasted the roses since I sprayed them. You cannot spray the blooms, only the foliage.

That said, I've taken precautionary measures and once again pulled out my 32" high wire edging fence across the points where the deer tracks were found. The garden is still literally open, I'm just disrupting the traffic paths. Since we have a water feature (stream) that is outside of our fence in places, the deer also come there for water. That is probably the lure into the garden right now.

Happy Gardening!
Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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