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12 messages
13/10/2012 at 17:12

Thanks to Gary Hobson, yesterday's problem I had with a squirrel in my garden has been sorted.  However, is there any solution to deer eating crops?  I'm a volunteer at school garden and deer are now visiting and destroying the crops.  We are in a rural area in West Sussex and barricades are out of the question. This year they have eaten carrots, beetroot, runner beans, strawberries, raspberries and peas.  Is there any organic type pest control on the market?  It would have to be organic because of the children.

13/10/2012 at 17:23

You can get deer deterrents- they're sold on Amazon and elsewhere - they're battery powered and when the sensor is triggered they make a noise and turn on a light - reviews are mixed - some people swear by them, but others find they're not so helpful.  I've no experience  of them myself - my farming brother got lion dung from a zoo - that worked for a while.

13/10/2012 at 17:43

If you put 'deer' in the search box at the very top of the page, you'll find numerous threads where a similar question has been asked.

On this thread:
http://www.gardenersworld.com/forum/problem-solving/hungry-deer-2/1933.html

two people said that they had tried Grazers spray, and found it successful. However, that is sprayed on the plants, and makes them taste unpleasant to the deer. I wouldn't like to eat any vegetables that had been sprayed.

Chili powder might be worth trying. You could have some sacrificial crops dusted with chili, for the deer. Hoping that once the deer have tasted them, they don't get onto the undusted crops.

Some people say that wire netting, laid flat on the ground, creates a barrier that deer do like to step on.

Alternatively, you could get hold of a motion-sensitive night-time wildlife camera, local wildlife enthousiasts will have such devices, and take some photos or film, of the deer in action. That might be a fun thing for kids to do. This is not a very good snap, but shows you the idea...

http://i849.photobucket.com/albums/ab51/falcosubbuteo/deer-2.jpg

13/10/2012 at 18:12

Thanks for the above ideas.  Of course, money is tight especially as we had very little to sell at the school gate this year.  Tomatoes are in a noisy, vandalised flapping plastic polytunnel and they survived and taste wonderful..  So far, the deer haven't eaten the squash, courgettes or pumpkins so hopefully the children will have some money to invest back in the garden next year.  We had thought of growing flowers but that is a definite 'no' now the deer are visiting. 

13/10/2012 at 18:20

Simply laying fleece (which is very inexpensive) over low growing crops might act as a deterent. I'm not sure.

13/10/2012 at 19:00

Lion pooh! where from ?a zoo.

13/10/2012 at 19:01

Good evening Gary, we will try that in future.  In fact, I do have quite a lot of fleece at home which I could use to cover the school carrots.  At present we are using bits and pieces of plastic wire netting  but as soon as the shoots grow thro the deer eat them

13/10/2012 at 20:22
14/10/2012 at 10:04

From time to time I do use Silent Roar when I find the three neighbouring cats have used my garden as their toilet and owners have let their dogs poo on the grass verge outside my house.  Of course, to use it all the time is the obvious solution but being the eternal optimist and begruding spending money on coping with other people's pets, I don't.

14/10/2012 at 19:43

I had deer in my garden. Tried several things, no good. I was thinking of giving up the veg. We've now put up a high netting fence and had the best crops for years and no deer damage. They didn't eat tomatoes, onions, leeks, butternut squash or courgettes.

14/10/2012 at 21:33

I think Busy-Lizzie that is what we have to aim for.  We have three enormous raised beds and  I'm thinking maybe we need to try and obtain suitable netting and supports to surround at least one of the beds next year.  We would need to be able to remove the netting for the children to weed and tend the crops.  Netting around the perimiter of the field where the beds are is out of the question.  I'm very grateful for all the suggestions and I now realise we have to look at this problem long term as the deer are not going to go away..

14/10/2012 at 22:16

Good luck with it, it's so distressing when everything is eaten. On looking at my answer above it looks a bit ambiguous. The crops I mentioned are the ones the deer don't eat when they have access. They do eat spinach, lettuces, carrots, brassicas, peas and strawberies and they strip leaves and beans off the runner bean stems.

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