• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Deer browse and the forest garden

 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd be interested in strategies and observations about Deer

We have a modest population of White-tailed deer here in rur-ban Olympia.  I use 7' deer netting supported by 10' sticks of 1/2 rebar pounded into the ground with a piece of capped pipe.  I put it on tight and then brace it in the corner with additional rebar sticks to keep it from sagging.

I also do this in spots to get trees established

I urinate outside, and occasionally hang an old sock full of blood meal.

Their foraging varies seasonally.  They are creatures of habit.  I think the trick is to avoid getting on thier circuit.

I am working on another strategy... I make a tripod of rebar, and take tree tops from interplanted alder I have harvested, and suspend them upside down from the tripod, creating a mess of branches obscuring a delectable shrub. 

I'm working on shrub hedgerows in key locations.  It seems that deer flow across the landscape.  I know where the habitually enter and exit the property,  I figure I may be able to deflect their movement if I make the property feel dangerous and inconvenient to enter, while fencing the most delectable treats.
 
Kay Bee
Posts: 471
Location: Jackson County, OR (Zone 7)
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Paul,

Thanks for starting a new thread.

Is your place in a rural or suburban setting?  I'm curious because I'm looking to see what people have observed deer (white-tail and mule) eating in a forest environment in the PNW.  The suburban "subspecies" of deer likely have developed different eating habits.
This may overlap in to the forest garden once a wide variety of plants are introduced.

The places were looking at moving to are very rural with lots of established woodlands.
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I had trouble with a deer eating a young apple tree so I sprayed it with soap spray periodically and never had any problems again. I did try to keep up the spraying after every rain but wasn't as diligent as I should have been.

The spray was made using run-of-the-mill dish soap and water, about a capful per liter, or 4 capfuls per gallon.

I can't remember where but I read about the following method recently. It might have been in Gaia's Garden:

Plant a thick border of sunflowers, and at the end of the season chop them down but leave several inches of the stems to stick out of the ground. The deer don't like to walk on the stems. Again, I haven't tried this so I can't vouche for it but it couldn't hurt to try. The way I plant sunflowers is to broadcast the seeds in the fall, and mulch over top. 
 
Travis Philp
gardener
Posts: 965
Location: ZONE 5a Lindsay Ontario Canada
8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There's mention of a Sep Holzer method in the first post of this thread:

http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=1805.msg15148#msg15148
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 855
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
15
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for invoking the Holzer thread!

If it works, I bet there is strong evolutionary incentive for not hanging out and eating around the grave sites of your kin.  I know Anthrax travels in carcasses and can live in soil for many many years.  I am loathe to abuse two cast iron pots for an experiment...

I am 6 miles north of town.  It is patchy forest (40%) and field (60%) with some intact creek corridors, zoned 5/1 rural residential, only slightly diconnected from major corridors like the Nisqually River Valley, which connects to the central cascades.

Forage hit hard if not protected on our land, Apple, Amalanchier, Chinese hawthorne, Aronia, Peach, Mt. Ash, Willow, Pear, Rose, little Ribes sanguineum, Note the love of Rose family!!  In the garden BEANS BEANS BEANS.  Beet tops,

Notable no-nibbles:  Vaccinium, Ribes cultivars, Diospyrus

In the wild when following deer they have commonly cherry picked legumes... Vetch, Clover, Lupine.  I think they look for protein.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic