Monday, May 11, 2009

Deer feeding

We have unwittingly set up a deer feeding station in our back yard.


Mother and son

For several years it has been a chicken feeding station, poached by no undesirable critters other than the occasional grackle or bad dog.

But our luck wore out, and it seems that deer have excellent memories as far as food is concerned. They're daily buffet visitors now.


Scruffy deer

Hubby thinks they're cute. "You won't think so after they eat the entire garden," I warn, but he doesn't believe it.

This would be the non-existant garden... the garden we've yet to find time to plant. When I moaned about it at a meeting last week, a man told me that he hadn't planted yet either. "The signs aren't good until Thursday. Then they'll last for about 10 days."

Since it's supposed to rain almost every day this week, I'm not overly hopeful. Instead of planting by the moon, we usually use the "when we're both here and it hasn't been raining buckets" method. And those signs have been terrible lately.

19 comments:

robin andrea said...

They will definitely eat your garden, when it is finally planted and the lush leaves are full. You may need some deer proof fencing.

Wayne said...

Rain and deer. Looks right now like you're getting more of the former, and probably the latter as well.

Deer have been keeping a low profile here and I wonder if the last two years of drought has had some effect. Nonetheless there's just about no way to plant a garden unless it's in an exclosure. Best ones I've found are the ones that are small-scale, small enough (say no more than ten feet protected) to prevent the deer from leaping into them. Otherwise you have to have either electricity or a fence that's more than ten feet high.

Yes, they're cute. And I'd rather have them around than not, but I'd also rather have wolves or cougars or something to keep them in check.

Floridacracker said...

Bear has moved the deer comfort zone out a ways from the house, as compared to preBear when I was expecting to find one in the living room some day.

Rurality said...

Up til now they have not been overly interested in the garden... a short fence + Jasmine have been enough to keep them away. But they seem so much more plentiful this year...

We are teaching Jasmine what "Deer!" means. So far she will chase if she sees them, but she definitely does not understand the pointing finger. Maybe it would be easier to teach her the names of areas. "Deer, backyard!" etc.

Ericka said...

deer - aka long legged rats. just wait. they'll overrun everything. someone told us once that hanging soap from the trees would keep them away 'cause they didn't like the smell. they ate the soap. so, yeah, good luck with that!

Rurality said...

Ha! Yeah, that's just what I need, deer hanging around my soap workshop, begging for discards... :)

countrypeapie said...

Who is this man who knows of these signs, and does he have a blog?

Rurality said...

He's a man from my Master Gardener group. I think he is getting it from the Farmer's Almanac though.

Lythrum said...

I actually got to sneak out btween rains this weekend and got a little done. Looks bad for the upcoming weekend though.

Rurality said...

It never did dry out here enough to do much except plant in some containers. Now more of the same...it may be July before we get a garden in!

KFarmer said...

Those are the same signs that I've been planting by here of late... :)

Gail said...

More rain here, too! Sigh heard in Alabama for sure! We had a small family living in my suburban back yard last winter...my bad, I left the gates open! One reason I won't plant a vege garden is that the only sunny spot is not fenced! Good luck! Gail

Rurality said...

It feels like it's never going to stop raining! Well there's always the farmer's market if we never get anything planted! :)

Leigh from Larrapin Garden said...

We're in a deer and rain battle right now - I've nicknamed this gardening season "pounded or drown-ded!" Coming this week to Larrapin Garden - a solar deer zapper fence!

Jenn said...

Looks like meat for the freezer to me.


Just be ready with a bow come October!

Rurality said...

Solar deer zapper, sounds just right!

Yeah if either of us knew anything about deer hunting, we'd probably do that! We may invite some cousins next year.

Pamela said...

I wonder if a diversion garden would work. One where you could plant all their favorites, and make it much easier to plunder.

just thinking in two dimensional black and white here. Probably a dumb idea, huh?

Rurality said...

It's kind of like that theory with the Japanese Beetle traps... do they attract more than they trap...?

James said...

I would do this more often if it wasn't for my garden. Once I started feeding them, I noticed that my garden was being ravaged overnight. We went from feeding to repelling them. I got Deer Off and it did the trick. It was the most effective repellent I’ve tried. The deer stay away when they smell or taste it.