Herbivores are dumb. They see a leaf, they munch on it. Unless they have munched that leaf before and learned that it has prickly spines (squash leaves) or have fallen over dead (oleander and nightshade leaves). Even if there is a pile of dead geese next to an oleander, another dumb one will wander by and see green leaves and figure it's something to try. Add one more to the pile.
If you want a guaranteed way to keep herbivores away from plants, you are going to have to follow natures lead and look for varieties that have some sort of leaf nastiness. I'd suggest plants that have spiny leaves rather than the ones that have leaf toxins (tomatoes), after all, you want a live flock, not a dead flock.
As far as I know, all cactus are perennials, and typically quite slow growing. (If it was ambiguous, I meant my last post as a warning. Those were bad geese for eating my prickly pears! Or bad me, for assuming they wouldn't.)
R Ranson wrote:How far north will they grow?
Again, depends on the cactus. A few prickly pears such as Opuntia humifusa are hardy to zone 2 or 3. (This species grows naturally in the more arid parts of Montana.) I am growing Opuntia ficus-indica, which is more commonly cultivated for its pads and fruit. Alas, it is only hardy to zone 8 or 9, so I have to take mine indoors for the winter
Neat to know about cactus. I always assumed they won't grow here because our daylight is all wrong. Might be worth experimenting with it. Even with our wet winters, we have a lot of trees that only grow in desert environments... summers are super dry. So perhaps with good drainage... a subject for another thread perhaps.
The geese decided to help me weed and got into the garden today. They helped trim the kale on their way to mow the barley but they walked right past the fava beans. It might be worth trying some favas in the geese-beds as I call them (aka, garden within goose reach).
We used to feed 300-500 white embdems. Part of their job was weed control in our truck patch
Sweet corn after the whorl is above goose head height by 6"....they will eat leaf tips, but only do damage if left too long
Strawberries...remove at berry formation
Cotton Berry canes
Onions once tops won't break off easily
Most annuals are what geese target. Particularly grasses.
They are really great in vineyards, orchards, and cane berry patches.