Thursday, July 7, 2016

How to Keep Deer Out of Your Garden

First, let me just say that I didn't mean to take such a long hiatus from the blog and I certainly haven't abandoned it. I like to use the blog as motivation to finish projects but sometimes that backfires and I don't finish projects OR blog. That's what happened this time.

We're 98% done with the bathroom. We're so close to being done with the bathroom that there's no reason to actually finish it. (Except for the fact that I really want to use the nicer shower...but in order to finish the shower B will have to go under the house with the snakes and that just sounds gross.) Eventually it will be done and I will post a full update about how wonderful it is.

This post is actually about gardening. Well, sort of.

A few weeks ago we went to the footh-ills to visit Pilot Mountain and stayed at the cabin we visited in the Spring. This time the gardens were in full force. The property has two stocked ponds, vegetable gardens and a huge berry patch. We spent most of the time fishing and sunning ourselves in the unseasonably cool temperatures. Fishing was amazing! As soon as we dropped in the bait, we'd hook a fish. Some of the times we managed to catch things on hooks without casting! Or without bait! I am thankful that it went so well because now B is interested in fishing with me.

The berry patch was also amazing because it had thousands of ripe berries and we were allowed to graze as we wished. Most of the berries that were ripe were varieties of raspberry or black berry. Some of the hybrids were amazing.

All of this food was just open without any kind of fencing which was remarkable because we saw so many deer out in the fields and even saw a turkey that was hanging out in the backyard. None of the tomatoes or squash showed any sign of nibbles...which is amazing to me because the deer in my yard eat everything. I asked the owner of the property how he discouraged the deer and he told me that he uses a no-fail trick that he learned from his grandparents. All he does is place a single raw egg with a hole in it in the garden and it keeps the deer away for six months! The whole season!

Well, I was skeptical. First, because it seemed too easy and if it were that easy then everyone would know about it and the entire corporate deer fencing machine would be dismantled. Also, because I lived in Mississippi long enough to be suspicious of people giving advice to nosy city folk.

Either way, eggs are cheap and the promise of a simple deer free garden solution was too much to resist so as soon as we got home I set out a sacrificial tomato plant and chucked one egg into the pot. I made sure to put it in a high deer traffic area because... SCIENCE.

After about a week I was totally sold on the egg idea and made a bunch of plans to add all of my favorite and most delicious plants to my gardens and put eggs out there! I even went to the garden center and browsed at all of the plants I never buy because I know they'll get gobbled up.

This technique worked fabulously! And no deer so much as nibbled at the plant! Foooor a few weeks and then I came out to a very small tomato plant with no upper branches.

I'm not sure if I needed to refresh the egg....or if it got all the goo rained out of it....or if someone besides a deer ate the plant. (Clearly I needed more controls on this experiment but science rules are for nerds and it's not like Bayer CropScience was funding this.)

I give this deer repellent technique two out of four stars. Maybe it would help if you already had something in place and you needed to add a little bit of oomph...but I wouldn't rely on this method for protecting your prize winning roses.

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