Bobby Peoples

Due to the hot summer weather, my wife and I have not maintained our flowers and shrubs over the summer months the way we normally do. We have spent considerable time in the yard this week trying to catch up, and the yard selectively looks like someone took a weed eater to some of the scrubs and ate the tops of the daylilies. 

The weed eater in this case happened to be whitetail deer. Whitetail deer are just as much at home eating wild plants in the woods as they are eating the roses in your flower garden. 

It is truly amazing how a deer’s single walk through your yard can result in so much damage. It can become frustrating and expensive for homeowners who enjoy flower and vegetable gardening. 

A couple of does and a young buck set up housekeeping in our neighborhood during the summer months, and they have seen no reason to leave. They enjoy the safety from hunters and the fine dining in the neighborhood. 

When my wife and I moved to our current home on Lake Sinclair several years ago, we immediately set about planting our new yard with a variety of flowers and plants. We walked into our newly planted yard one morning to find unbelievable destruction. 

In a single night, the deer had destroyed about half our flowers and scrubs. The deer ate large blooming roses all the way down to the ground and completely pulled up other freshly planted flowers. To say the least, it was heartbreaking to have our time and money go out the window so quickly.

Once the deer find your yard full of delicious plants, they will return time after time and without some type of prevention, the deer will totally destroy your yard. Looking for prevention, I began a search that resulted in several suggestions.

I tried about everything including human hair, noisemakers, soap, blood meal, several commercial sprays and even a homemade recipe for a repellant that I could spray on the plants. There were several recipes floating around and most include the use of eggs. 

The one recipe I tried included cayenne pepper, eggs and assorted other ingredients. Some of those things I tried did work but only for a couple of days at best. The deer would quickly return to their browsing activity.

I reached the point where I thought I only had two options left and neither of those were good options. I could simply forget having flowers and scrubs or place a deer stand in my yard and sit there each night with a loaded rifle. The first option was not acceptable and the second option was certain to run afoul of the law.

I continued my search on the Internet and came across a product called Liquid Fence (www.liquidfence.com). Shortly after reading about that product on the Internet, I stopped by a local landscape business to buy some pine straw and saw the product in the store. 

I asked the store owner if they had any reports from local homeowners who might have used Liquid Fence. At the time it seemed that the product was fairly new to the area but the owner had received some positive feedback about the product’s effectiveness. I was out of other options and decided to try the product.

That was the best decision I could possibly have made. The product is absolutely amazing. Liquid Fence is a little on the expensive side but if you want to have flowers and scrubs in an area where deer are present, it is a great investment. Used correctly Liquid Fence will safely stop deer from browsing in your yard. Liquid Fence now comes in a gallon ready mix for spraying and that is what I am now using.

The spray only has to be applied to flowers and plants that deer like once every five weeks. Deer are very selective about what they eat. The key is determining which plants the deer like from those that they dislike. I simply began that determination by just looking at my own yard. I could readily see what the deer had eaten and what flowers and plants the deer had avoided. 

Recently, I added a new product to deter the deer and the combination of Liquid Fence and that new product DEER OFF are working extremely well. My trail camera shows the deer walking past the yard and not eating anything. The Liquid Fence as I stated earlier has the be applied every four/five weeks. If you go six weeks they will begin to eat again. Both products are available at Lowe’s and other stores in the area. 

See you next week.

—Outdoor columnist Bobby Peoples can be reached via email at brpeoples995@gmail.com.

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