Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Deer Protection Plan

Now by that title it sounds like I'm protecting the deer from who knows what.  But in fact I'm protecting the gardens from the deer.

This winter I read two books that have been my inspiration. 
Deer-Proofing Your Yard and Garden by Rhonda Massingham Hart
50 Beautiful Deer- Resistant Plants by Ruth Rogers Clausen

Based upon what I learned I have a 9 point plan.

1) Spray Liquid Fence regularly.
I started this last week on the emerging day lilies and will have to keep it up on a weekly basis as other deer favorite delicacies emerge.
In the autumn I will need to spray it on junipers to protect them from winter browsing.

2) Create a downed wood fence along the glen.
  It will be the first line of defense next to the plantings, then fishing line.  I started the fence last year and have been adding to a short section.  Saturday I had help building the last section though it will need to go taller over time.

3) Install a fishing line fence along the glen.
I purchased 20 lb. monofilament line to string from tree to tree about 2-3 feet off the ground.
Supposedly the deer won't see this but will feel it and back off.  If they are fleeing they may break it.  I'll have to take that chance.  Not sure how it will affect birds. I completed this task today.

4) Close off the west entrance to the backyard with an arbor and gate.
I purchased this arbor and gate from Plow and Hearth.  It will need to be installed and then planted on either side with bushes and flowers that deer don't like.  I'm thinking butterfly bush, black snakeroot, morning glory, and Russian sage.  The idea is that you block the deer's view into the yard and deter them with plants they don't like.

5) Close off east entrance to backyard.
No arbor here just plantings of ostrich fern, Russian sage, black snakeroot again to discourage them from investigating further what's beyond that they cannot see.

6) Remove hosta from under east window.
This is another possible entry point to the backyard and with the hosta there invitingly they will then move on into the backyard.  I hope to plant red hot poker, butterfly weed, in place of the hosta.  I will probably also have to remove a phlox which they love.

7) Interplant more ferns with the hosta I have along the glen edge.
The idea is to confuse them with the plants they don't like.

8) Protect English laurels with winter fencing.
These are evergreen bushes that the deer don't eat during the growing season but come winter with nothing else green they devour all the leaves.  For 2015-16 and beyond I'll fence the deer out.

9) Russian sage hedge
To discourage deer from entering the yard from the north I'll plant a Russian sage hedge that will direct them away since they can't stand the scent of Russian sage.

Here are some other photos.

This is the east entrance to the backyard.  Fishing line starts on nearest skinny trunk and goes to small beech tree then to the right.

Fishing line catching the sunlight is visible here.


Looking west out of the backyard.  Arbor and gate will close this off.

Standing at the west entrance to the backyard looking east.

Next part of this plan to complete is assembling the arbor and gate.