Gardening in a woodland location is complicated by deer who love to chomp on tender flower and vegetable gardens. In search of organic and humane population control methods, the best defense is exposed.
Today my quest is for a natural pest control method to deter deer from devouring my gardens, preferably without sophisticated fencing or expensive pest control services. Or by enrolling in a weaponry class. I jest. Sort of.
The first time deer pranced onto the property I tripped over the dog to grab the camera. Cute, white tails, sweet little faces leisurely nibbling on the brambles. You’d think I’d witnessed an alien landing.
In short time these skinny-legged hoarders developed fancier palates. They treated my well-tended flower and vegetable beds as their personal farm stand while leaving a trail of dung my pooch found disturbingly tasty.
Being mindful our civilization invaded their homeland and created sub-divisions, I sought organic and responsible methods to shoo these tick bearing delinquents off my highly-taxed property. Shooting deer is against my HOA’s policy. If caught, of course. I jest. Sort of.
Suggestions tried to no avail:
Rotten Egg Cocktail
I cite the following from a recent AARP Magazine blurb entitled, Keep Deer Away. “Pouring or spraying a ‘rotten egg’ cocktail around your plants will keep deer from eating them. Just mix six raw eggs in two gallons of water and let it sit outside for a week. The smell will keep Bambi at bay”. And apparently people. I haven’t received mail in a month.
A neighbor suggested hanging Dial soap on a rope. This explains the strange-looking wind chimes on his trees and the interesting scent that wafts through the neighborhood on a breezy day. Surely this violates the HOA’s use of offensive or tacky lawn ornaments, however garden gnomes are acceptable.
An internet search found the scent of dried blood offends deer. Really? For the record, this offends me too. I’ll assume the dried blood is a garden variety and not the lawn carnage we find from “survival of the fitness” competitions between the coyotes and the rabbits. Yeah, we got those too. There’s a bonus. Sprinkling dried blood adds nitrogen to the soil which makes hosta plants grow big and strong, which attracts the deer. Ah, the circle of life.
Those methods along with soapy water, oils and pepper sprays only goaded the ungrateful varmints to snicker behind my back.
But yesterday: Success!
Wrapped in a towel after my shower, I sipped a cup of coffee while admiring my newly replanted flowers. And then: “Four for the salad bar please”. Snarky. I jumped the dog, grabbed a broom and ran up the driveway. My crazy eyes and screams drew attention as I waved the broom like a samurai sword and shocked the beasts back into the woods.
Momentarily elated, I quickly chilled to the airstream against my bare skin, and my neighbor, standing still, a deer in the headlights, gripping his soap on a rope.
I trampled the flowers in my hasty escape, forever to be known as the woman who violated the HOA policy by running naked with a broom. I jest. Sort of.
Image courtesy: Nemo / Pixaby