If your daylily blooms, hostas, bushes, impatiens, vegetable garden, etc. have suddenly been devoured- you may have a deer problem. The Washington Area has a burgeoning problem with the deer population. They are driven from the shrinking woodlands to our gardens for food especially during times of drought which we are having right now in MD, DC, & No.VA.
There are several home-made solutions to repelling deer that some people swear by:
-hand a stong soap like Irish Spring or Ivory hung among your plants
-deer hate the smell of eggs (mix eggs and water and spray on your plants, add a little tabasco!)
-four or five mothballs in an onion sack, hang it from a tree about as high as a deer
-human hair sprinkled around the plants
-a six-foot high wire fence (angled away from the yard) will create a physical and psychological barrier that deer will fear becoming entangled in. The fence must have a 30-degree angle to be effective (deer can jump vertical fences 8 feet high).
-the “scarecross sprinkler”: squirts bursts of water when it detects movement
-deer guard: a fine mesh that comes in rolls or different sizes to place over your plants and bushes
Deer Repellant products (if anyone has used these let us know):
Milorganite. It is a fertilizer made from human waste, will not burn your plants and does not have to be watered in
The best idea is to plant deer-resistant plants so you have a good head start.
Here’s some great “deer-resistant” plants that do well in our area – Not a guarantee: if a deer is starving, he/she will eat anything.
Lucky 21 favorites of Welcome Home Washington.
Achillea – Yarrow
Aconitum – Monkshood
Ajuga – Bugleweed
Artemisia – Wormwood
Buxus – Boxwood
Carex ¨C Sedge (grasslike plants)
Coreopsis – Tickseed
Dicentra – Bleeding Hearts
Digitalis – Foxglove
Geranium – Hardy, Scented Geranium; Cranesbill
Grasses – Ornamental Grass
Helleborus – Hellebore
Iris sibirica – Siberian Iris
Lavandula – Lavender
Monarda – Bee Balm
Perovskia – Russian Sage
Picea – Spruce
Polemonium -Jacob’s Ladder
Potentilla – Cinquefoil
Salvia – Meadow Sage
2011 Update: same scenario only this year I caught the deer at 4AM when they set off my security lights. I had to go outside and shoo them away (those daylillies are such a treat to them). I sprayed Liquid Fence on them the next day (there were a few buds left) and so far so good. Liquid Fence (deer & rabbit repellant), by the way, smells SO BAD. I can’t describe it on a family website. We had a downpour last night so we’ll see how it holds up.