Tips on deer and critter control in the garden – The Journal News / Lohud.com
ASK THE MASTER GARDENERS
Q: Any ideas for dealing with the deer and wildlife that are ravaging my garden?
A: Browsing by deer and woodchucks has resulted in a large loss of plants at our Demonstration Gardens at Cornell Cooperative headquarters in Stony Point. To deal with this we have fenced in some gardens, use spray repellents, and accept some damage and use plants that are rarely eaten.
Your Cooperative Extension will have a guideline list of plants and their susceptibility to deer browsing. There is no list for woodchucks, which eat many vegetables and flowers. We have fenced in our Native Plant, Annual Cutting, Rain, Container and Shade gardens with great success. For deer, Cornell recommends using a fence at least 8 feet high. To deter woodchucks from digging under the fence, make an L-shaped bend 1 foot up from the lower edge of the fence and bury it a few inches underground. If rabbits are a problem, use fencing with very small holes.
Spray repellents work if they are applied consistently, changing brands a few times through the season so the animals don’t get used to them. Spray repellents have worked in our Fern Garden.
The Lower Hudson Valley has a very large population of deer. They are pressured for food sources and are eating plants such as ferns that are on the rarely eaten list, a list that they clearly don’t read!
Unfenced and unsprayed, our Hillside Garden and Ralph Snodsmith Perennial Gardens are evolving into gardens with fewer plants that are rarely browsed. Because the plants eaten by deer in one area can be very different from those eaten in another area, you should keep track of what is browsed in your garden.
Our Ornamental Grass Garden and our aromatic plant filled Herb Garden are, dare I say it and tempt fate, never browsed.
Starting April 27, at 1 p.m. on the last Sunday of each month through October, you can join the master gardeners for take a free hour-long tour of our Demonstration Gardens and ask us questions beginning at 1 p.m. at the Cornell headquarters in Stony Point. For more information, call 845-429-7085 or visit www.rocklandcce.org.
Donna De Sousa, Suffern, master gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland
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