Deer and Unicorn are Related?!
Deer aren’t all that mysterious, and we are all familiar with these lovely wild animals. But sometimes our information is out-of-date, and we continue to believe old myths about deer that have actually been debunked.
Myth #1: Deer are Harmless
There is a long-standing belief that deer are the ultimate in meek, timid animals that are completely harmless. While this is partly accurate in many cases, it’s definitely a myth overall. For one thing, deer can be quite destructive to your property, especially if they are somewhat regular visitors. They will eat your flowers, garden plants, shrubs and even trees if it suits them. Just moving around your property can cause damage if they walk around your garden beds, or decide to knock over fence posts and furniture.
Do Deer Pose a Threat to My Family and Home?
Nothing says peace and tranquility like a deer or two, quietly grazing in an open field. They seem like the most harmless creatures in the world. Well, the truth is that they can be destructive and downright dangerous in certain circumstances. Everyone knows that they may eat your landscaping or garden plants, but there can be a lot more at stake when deer are roaming about.
What Kind of Damage to Property do Deer Cause?
Besides just eating your plants, deer can do quite a bit of other damage to your property. Their large size gives them a lot of leverage up against fence posts, furniture, or other sorts of yard decorations. Things can get broken just by them wandering around. One other damage problem you might have is the rubbing and scraping that bucks due during mating season. They will scrape large patches of turf down to the dirt, as well as rub bark off trees as methods for leaving scent markers. Continue reading
Deer Do Not Belong in Your Garden
It’s bad enough that you spend all summer fighting against the ravages of insect pests and unreliable weather to keep your vegetable garden thriving, but then still end up losing your plants to roaming deer. Why are they eating your tomatoes and other vegetables anyway?
Most deer will come into your garden when food is scarce, which is usually in the winter months or during a dry summer. Seeing all of your tender plants can be irresistible, especially once the deer realize that almost all of them are edible and tasty. While deer are browsers, eating twigs, bark and woodier brush, they do prefer softer plants when they can get them. Continue reading
Deer Do Not Prefer Tomatoes and other Nighshade Plants
Though deer are notorious foragers and can wreak havoc on a vegetable garden if they are hungry in your yard, there are a few plants they definitely will ignore. Whether it’s the taste or the smell, some vegetables are not very appealing to deer. It’s not perfectly fool-proof as a starving deer will eat just about anything when they have to, these are plants known to be left alone by casual deer browsing. Dealing with deer? Try these plants to stay on the safe side.
Due to their pungent taste and aroma, deer are seldom seen nibbling on onion tops. And that includes close relations in the same allium family. So adding more onions, chives, garlic and leeks can make deer think twice about venturing into your garden. Roses grow well as a companion to garlic, so you can protect your roses at the same time with a few garlic plants tucked in the flower bed.
Summer Time Can Mean Deer Damage to Your Lawn and Garden
Living near wooded areas can be lovely until wildlife comes visiting to cause damage to your yard or garden. In particular, deer can be a real nuisance. While they are a problem any time of year, there are some aspects of deer behavior that are unique to the summer season. Here is what to look out for when the weather gets warmer.
Changes in Feeding Habits
As with most animal pests, it’s the eating that does the most damage. And considering how large deer are, they can eat a lot once they get a taste for the plants in your yard. Not only will they eat grass, flowers, vegetables and many other bedding plants you have in the garden, they will also browse on shrubs and low tree branches too. Unlike during the winter, they aren’t as likely to start gnawing the bark off the trees during the summer months. Continue reading
Deer In Yard
Though chemical and scented products are known to be excellent deer repellents, there are also a few mechanical devices on the market that are pretty good at keeping deer at bay. Though there are many different types on the market, there are 3 common styles overall.
This is a potent method for scaring off the deer, using a sudden spray of water to scare them off when they enter your property. Spray Away is one particular model, and it pairs a lawn sprinkler with motion and heat sensors. An unexpected spray of cold water is an excellent way to spook the deer.
Keep Deer Out Of Your Yard This Spring
Winter is soon coming to an end, and that means the new growth of spring is around the corner. And with all that new green, you can expect deer won’t be far behind. Here are a few thoughts on how to deer-proof your property this year, and a few ideas that probably aren’t going to be successful.
Thinking of Trying a Fence to Keep Deer Out?
First of all, don’t bother with a normal fencing. People often think that a good fence is a solution to animal pests, but unless you have the resources to build a 12-foot high fence completely around your yard, your efforts may be futile. Deer can and will hop over barriers lower than that without hesitation. They can probably get over a fence as high as 15 feet if they are determined. Using a double fence line about 6 feet apart can help because deer can’t jump them both and won’t want to be trapped between them. This means a substantial construction project though, and not really worth the effort.
Winter Lawn Care
Though most gardening chores are put on the back-burner during the winter months, there are some things you can be doing to ensure a healthy spring for your lawn and garden.
Look for Pests
Plant-eating animals that are scrounging for food during the winter are a significant problem for the yard. Keep an eye out for deer (see our article Signs that Deer Are On Your Property) or rabbit tracks that will alert you that animals are around. They’ll dig or paw through the snow to eat any grass or perennials they can find, leaving you with dead plants come spring. Add a few repellent packs designed for rabbits, squirrels or deer to help with this. They will work just fine, even in winter weather.
Be aware that voles are very damaging to your yard, and are usually invisible as they tunnel around under the snow. So even if you don’t see any signs, having repellent around the yard can still be a good preventative step.
Ice and Snow Accumulation
A layer of snow is just fine for your grass. In fact, it’s insulating and will actually protect your turf from extreme temperature changes and damage from animals. But you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to larger plants and trees.
A heavy snow or ice load can snap off branches on trees, shrubs or any larger plants that you have overwintering. Giving your plants a hard shake is not the answer either, or you will do even more damage. Very gently brush off excess snow where you can. Continue reading
Deer In Yard
Seeing a deer can be a lovely experience, though they can also be a serious nuisance in the yard. The problem is that you can have a persistent deer problem without ever actually seeing a deer. The trick is to learn the signs that deer have been on your property, even when you don’t see the animals themselves. There are a few main things to look for.
Buck During Rut
The reproductive cycle of deer follows a general pattern. That pattern can be affected by several factors including seasonal changes in temperature, rainfall, and day length. The unique behaviors displayed by deer during different periods of the cycle can affect how deer impact your lawn and garden.
Seasonality for Male Deer or Bucks
The season when male deer breed is called the “rut”. The rut, for most bucks, takes place in October. Some bucks, however, experience the rut as late as December. The later rut is most often experienced by younger and weaker deer. There are several behaviors associated with the rut, they include:
- velvet is shed from the antlers
- sparring among bucks
- “rubbing” – a buck rubbing his antlers and forehead on a shrub or small tree
- “making scrapes” – a buck pawing a spot of ground, usually to bare soil, and urinating in that soil.