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At War With the Deer


While on vacation for a week to the Oregon Coast the deer seemed to have decided that my yard was the perfect place to stop for a snack . . . I don’t know why they love hostas as much as they do, but I think that almost every one of my hostas has at least been nibbled, if not eaten all the way back to the ground!! The other plant that didn’t fare well was my tall phlox – almost all of them have had the tops nibbled off, and I probably won’t see a single flower from any of them this year. I knew I should have sprayed before we left, but I completely ran out of time and was keeping my fingers crossed that they would stay out for another week . . . no such luck apparantly!!

Here is what is left of my beautiful August Moon hosta – she used to be about 18 inches tall and about 24 inches across

Another victim . . .

And another . . .

And to think how excited I used to get to see deer out the livingroom window!! :) Oh well – thank goodness hostas are stubborn and will grow back!!!

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How sad!

23 Jul, 2010


What about planting Foxgloves and Paeonies, I believe they won't eat them.

23 Jul, 2010


So sad to see this. What is the spray you speak of?

23 Jul, 2010


What a shame gardennut! Would it be any good replacing the wood chips/bark you have down with some sort of pebbles or gravel? I was thinking they may not want to walk on it.

23 Jul, 2010


I know it seems silly to keep planting hosta when I know the deer love them, but they are one of my favorite plant groups. Usually if I spray them early enough and keep on spraying through September, I get to enjoy them for the whole season - I just didn't spray early enough this year. And I do have some Paeonies and Foxglove, Heron, and I love them both, but I am just too stubborn to give up on having hostas. And I have to spray regardless, or the deer would annihilate my entire yard by the time September got here - there really isn't much they won't eat. Drc - the spray I use is a deer repellant made w/ putrified egg solids and other smelly stuff, and it works for the most part (they still come in and pick occasionally, but don't do nearly as much damage). And Dylandog - I have thought of that, too - but they will actually use my dry creek bed (which is rock/gravel) as a pathway to get in to my mock orange and eat it, so I really doubt even that would help . . . I suppose this is what I get for moving to the country, but I refuse to give up!! :)

23 Jul, 2010


How about trying some sort of deterrent to keep them off your property? I know some people use concentrated coyote urine (in powder form) around the perimeter of their yards. I don't know whether that would attract coyotes, however!
For the most part, I try to buy deer-resistant plants, but I understand the temptation to buy hostas!

23 Jul, 2010


I've heard that human hair will deter them, from the hairdressers maybe.

23 Jul, 2010


I should get a keg of coyote urine and a garbage bag full of hair - mix, soak, strain, and apply!!! I think with my luck I would effectively deter myself and my family and not the deer :)

23 Jul, 2010


I wouldn't like to be the one who has to collect the coyote urine...:o)

24 Jul, 2010


Try Biocontrol Network -, I think - see what they have to offer in the way of solutions for you. I know they sell deer repellents.

24 Jul, 2010


I have found that the deer around here avoid my hostas like the plague because I have sprayed them with slightly diluted mix of crushed Hobenaro peppers and water. Raccoons and Rabbits also avoid the pepper treated plants. :-)

25 Jul, 2010


I agree, Dylandog - no thank you very much to that chore!! haha . . . And thanks for the link Lauram - I will check it out!! Habaneros and water, huh N2? I will have to plant some next year. It probably smells better than the dried blood solids that are in the spray that I usually use . . . makes my yard smell like dead things . . . haha :)

26 Jul, 2010

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