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Attack of the deer

Written by Doug Oster on .

chewed_hosta

I make a video a couple weeks back about planting hostas and got most of the flat planted but then life intervened and a few stayed in their pots next to the bed.

I thought it was pretty funny to come out one morning and see that I had left a perfect snack for the deer. They got a few of the just planted hostas too, but interestingly enough, skipped some of them.

One of the cultivars is 'Fragrant Bouquet,' and it gets really big leaves, that were not touched, but the just planted 'FG' looked like the plants in the picture.

Experts tell us that deer are browsers and this is a great example. Why didn't they eat everything?

I'm not worried though, believe it or not, those plants in pots will still go in the ground and will be fine next spring. They have a wonderful root system. This happens every year at the end of the season as the deer are forced out of the forest. Curious too, that they haven't been back to finish off what's left.

The best defense against deer is fencing. My vegetable garden has a picket fence around it and they've never jumped in. Up in a cleared area in the woods, I've got seven foot high plastic netting that keep my fruit trees safe. But there are areas that can't be fenced; sometimes just wrapping the plant in soft plastic netting is enough. My number one defender is Max the dog who guards his territory with vigor. He's not always out there, so the next line of defense is a repellent. This homemade mix of onions, garlic and hot pepper works well, but it's a pain to make.

There are a lot of commercial products too, Deer Stopper, Liquid Fence, Bonide's Repels All and a host of others. If you have plants that must be protected, use several products and mix up the applications to keep the deer on their toes...I mean hooves.

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