Friday, August 19, 2011

Oh Deer

Two deer have gotten into the garden by the old store and feasted themselves on beans, cucumbers, summer squash, beet greens, and the tops of the brussels sprouts. Fortunately we’ve had a good harvest of snap beans, cukes, squash, and beet greens already; but a lot of damage was done to the dry beans, and without further preventative measures the deer will eat the tomatoes and eventually everything else. Beans are the major attractant, and what they eat first.

A deer incursion occurs every half dozen years or so now, as they jump the fence despite the usual measures meant to discourage them: a high fence, now nearly 8 feet high; hair bags and/or aluminum foil pie plates hung on strings at the top of the fence; growth around the perimeter of the fence; bright lights; and a radio left on to an all night talk station (neither conservative political talk nor sports talk has discouraged them this year). I have seen two deer jump the eight foot fence this year, jumping out when I scared them. One was a smallish doe with a short tail; the other a good sized buck. I do not keep a gun in the house and would not shoot them; I intend to discourage them further before they eat the remaining beans and all the tomatoes, along with some fall lettuce and the brussels sprouts. I put agribon cloth over the tomatoes a few days ago and so far that is helping; I will spray the beans with a deer repellent today and put agribon over them and hope for the best. Next year the fence may have to go even higher, and I will plant beans elsewhere.

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