Don't feed the deer

Written by Doug Oster on .

A small rhododendron is covered in deer netting. Hopefully I'll be able to enjoy the blooms.


I actually fed the deer this winter, feeling sorry for them. Well, the forest has started to leaf out, so Bambi, you're on your  own. The only way to reliably stop the deer is some kind of physical barrier. If you can fence the garden, just do it. Individual plants also can be be covered with some heavy-duty deer fencing if the perimeter can't be protected. Don't bother with bird netting, it's too thin and doesn't last.

When I planted this small rhododendron, I knew the deer would feast on the buds during snow and cold. The plant is barely three feet off the ground, perfect height for the deer. I covered it at the end of the season with the deer netting and will remove it when it's ready to bloom.

Other solutions are to grow things the deer don't prefer, or use homemade or commercial repellents. But nothing compares to some kind of fencing.

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