[NAFEX] Deer repellents???

Road's End Farm organic87 at frontiernet.net
Thu Feb 26 11:33:42 EST 2009

On Feb 26, 2009, at 10:29 AM, Jim Fruth wrote:

>     Is there a deer repellent that really works?

Lots of delicious stuff for the deer to eat, elsewhere in the immediate 

Almost everything works better if they're not too hungry.
>     We've got about 800 feet of fence that keeps rabbits and other 
> small
> critters out of the garden/orchard.  Since 1994, deer have paid no 
> attention
> to our spread with the occasional exception of an individual taking a
> short-cut through.  That changed last Fall when they mowed the 
> strawberry
> bed, ate our winter vegetables and spent numerous nights sleeping on 
> the
> premises.  Lately they have been walking up and down every row like 
> they are
> wondering what to munch on first.
>     We are located in the city and zoning laws forbid high fencing and
> electric fences.  I'm afraid that they'll start munching when the 
> leaves
> come out.  What do you suggest that works?

While there's no fruit present on the strawberries: try scattering a 
little bloodmeal over the leaves. You don't need much, so it shouldn't 
cause an excess N problem; but you do need to renew it after each rain. 
Can't do this while they're bearing, of course.

Depending on the vegetables, you may be able to do the same thing at 
some growth stages. If they get in the habit of thinking that your 
stuff tastes and smells like a slaughterhouse, it may work, for 
vegetables (and strawberries while fruiting) that you can't put the 
bloodmeal directly on, to make a line of it around the field; maybe 
some through the paths also, if it's a large field; you want the 
general area to smell of the stuff. (to a deer, that is; your neighbors 
aren't likely to notice.)

If they've already gotten in the habit of eating in that area, and 
especially if there's nothing for them to eat elsewhere, the 
line-around-the-edges technique isn't likely to work; but even under 
those circumstances I've had some success in cases in which I could put 
the bloodmeal directly on the plants. If you start with strawberries 
first thing in the spring, and then when fruit starts to appear switch 
to the line around the edges, they may not figure out that there's none 
directly on the plants till after fruiting is over.

Good luck --

Finger Lakes NY; zone 5 mostly
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