Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Protecting Spring Bulb Gardens from Whitetail Deer


When I looked out my picture window I saw doe deer and fawn in my yard nibbling in my spring bulb garden.  I ran outside and waved my arms in the air and the deer left my yard. But I knew they would be back and I needed to take steps to protect my spring bulb garden from the whitetail deer.
Whitetail deer doe and fawn in garden

Every spring I have a problem with the whitetail deer because I cannot convince them that my spring bulb garden was not planted to nourish them.  Every doe deer in the forest finds their way to my spring bulb gardens. 

Over the years I have tried to discourage the deer with Contech Scarecrow motion activated sprinkler s a natural way to scare deer.  This  water spray deterrent works well in the summer but is not a good deterrent during winter. 

Other deer deterrents that I have had good results with is a  potent pepper spray and deer scam, however these products need to be reapplied and depending on your weather; snow or ice these products can get costly. 

Last fall I put down a deer forage plot but that died back due to a cold  snowy winter.  I found in the past that if I proved the deer with their dietary needs that they will leave my spring bulbs alone.  

Since it is whitetail deer in garden season and I need to keep the deer out of my garden I went to Atwoods ranch and yard store and bought 40lb bag of natural apple corn for $7.49 and a mineral salt lick.  I set up a feeding station that was downwind from my tulip garden. 

My husband and I waited on the side deck and at dusk we saw the deer coming up the side yard path.   The doe deer come out of the woods to enjoy the corn and to lick on the mineral block. 

Notes by Sgolis: 

  1. This wildlife compromise worked because the deer have stayed away from my spring bulb garden because their dietary needs are being met with the mineral lick and feeding station.  
  2. When spring greens up the deer will no longer need to be fed as there is ample forage in the forest. 

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