Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Plea from Willow's Garden

Deer have been in my tiny garden.  They have destroyed my snap peas.  They have trampled on my lettuce.  They have eaten my roses.   They have even consumed top half of my tomato plants.

This is the first year I have had any difficulty keeping my garden secure from the deer which freely roam our neighborhood.  Until this spring, the deer have ignored my garden in favor of more easy pickings.  Really, my garden is no easy to navigate.  It is extremely steep, built in three stair step levels three feet deep and about forty feet long.  The top level is covered in native California flora which it turns out the deer are not eating.  Instead they are hopping down the bank and having at my mandarin orange tree on the middle tier and feasting on the kitchen garden plantings on the first three foot high level even though parts of it are covered with wire netting.

I am seriously sad.  Each spring we plan and plant our square foot beds and lovingly water and weed.  I knew the deer had spotted our garden because last month all the rose buds disappeared one night.  Understandably, things have gotten much worse, nutrition-wise, for the deer since the wild fire swept through the mountains which is their habitat.   I know I should share.  But it's gone too far.  They're taking everything.

What can I do to save the little bit of garden I still have?  Any ideas other than chasing the deer away with a shotgun?


roxie said...

Take one of the Professor's sweaty t-shirts and drape it over the Mandarine Orange tree each night. Check with the zoo and see if you can buy dung or urine from the big cats and mark out your territory with it. Male cat, preferably. Cougar would be best.

You might encourage the professor to mark his territory, but your neighborhood might have laws about that.

marilyn.mchardy said...

from Willow's back garden neighbor. Hubby filmed one chomping our Indian Hawthorne and Rosemary last week and Dave R observed two having at our apple tree shoots @ 3am last night, while leaving the oranges. Strangely they've ignored all the roses in front. Dave suggests clippings from barber & stylist spread on ground. I think they're testing new foods now that mountain vegetation is gone. (like infants)

ancient one said...

wow... I have no ideas... we live in the woods and have goats.. we hardly ever see deer.. but in the edges of the corn fields we see them often.

Gracie Saylor said...

Oh dear...I am no help. We made a square foot garden right by our front door in NY to protect it, but one day I looked out and a buck with an impressive set of racks was making himself at home munching on our crab apples which were right next to the garden and our front door and I was so impressed I did not even try to chase him away :-)
Gracie xx

Marg said...

A pellet gun? Oh my...I would not be happy. Last year our place was infested with rabbits and they ate everything until we put up a wired fence around the garden bed...it's all for extra work either way.
They must be really hungry this year. Was the winter too cold?

Julene said...

I just posted about the deer eating our raspberries and roses! We went to the farm store and got some scare tape....and a spike device/cannister that the air blows thru and carries a scent that repels the deer. It's suppose to last a long time.
Losing your hard work and food is sad!! I understand because I felt the same way! There is help!!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried deer netting? Do an internet search for it, and lots of possibilities come up!

nikkipolani said...

Have you come up with any solution, Willow? My friends who garden generally find that deer fencing is the only sure deterrent.