Our Northwest

Outfox those deer that gobble your garden

Tuesday, June 30, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Thanks to citified deer, we’re not enjoying our raspberries this summer.
     I’ve nurtured raspberries ever since we put in our first yard eons ago. My mom grew raspberries at my childhood home, I transplanted some of her bare-root starters to my own yard, and for years afterward our family gorged on them starting in late June.
     But a few years ago the deer that live in Marymoor Park annexed our Redmond neighborhood into their domain, and each spring they devour my nascent raspberry shoots.
     I’ve seen them do this. They browse among the plants and bushes in my backyard before stepping into my raised garden bed, where they find my freshest raspberry canes. They clamp their jaws at the midway point of the canes, jerk their heads sideways, and strip the canes of their new leaves. What remain are bare stalks that seldom recover.
     I was excited to read a recent article in The Oregonian titled “How to protect your plants from deer.” It seems there are ways to counterattack.
     Deer might leave my raspberries alone if I introduce more-desirable plants nearby, like roses. I just hope there’s something deer truly do like more than raspberry stalks. I’m skeptical.
     Another tactic is to surround my raspberries with distasteful plants that can repel deer, like holly, iris, and Shasta daisies.
     I could build a fence, but an effective one should be 8 feet high. That’s a pretty tall fence.
     Repellents also are known to work. Some mimic the smell of predatory animals, and some involve nothing more than dropping capsules on the ground.
    Read The Oregonian article to learn more tricks.

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Comments on this post

personDY06/30/2015 01:51 PM
Shucks. We lost our family raspberries a while ago in the same way. For years the starts were moved from home to home so everyone could have fresh berries all season long. The last stop was from Bellevue to Sammamish and Bellevue to Gig Harbor. Berries that had been a staple since the fifties are now long gone.

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