Not exactly an organic question, but I'm trying different deer repellents and I am wondering what others have used that worked.
So far I've tried Liquid Fence with dubious results. There was some nibbling right after I sprayed. I tried Bobbex too, but according to directions you are supposed to use 16 oz per gallon. At $40 a quart, that's out of the range of possibilities. I called the nursery where I bought it and asked about the dilution rate and was told that they don't follow the directions. I asked how much they use and she said "oh I don't know, I just eye-ball it".
So now I'm looking for somebody who's tried any of these, and at what dilutions.
For ornamentals we use DeerAway. I first read about it years ago and saw that Weyerhauser used it for their large forests in the Pacific Northwest and figured that was a good testimonial. It lasts a long time, although you do have to touch up occasionally to protect new growth.
For edibles, we have a four-foot fence around the two sides of our garden that offer access by deer. On one of those sides is an old orchard, and on the other is a pasture. Both of those areas back up onto the woods where deer like to wander and we see them in the pasture and orchard sometimes. DH put up an electric strand at a height of 22” and two feet out from both of those fences, where the deer would have to set up to jump. When he first turned the current on, that night we heard a deer hit the electric wire and fall back with a thump. There was a lot of huffing and snorting, but they never tried it again. That was many years ago.
I just came across this thread & don't know if you've moved to another forum.
I have very good luck with Liquid Fence & have used it for years. The plants need to be dry when you spray for best results. I follow their recommendation of spraying once a week for three weeks then once a month thereafter. The idea is to train the deer to stay away from particular plants that don't smell or taste good.
I have been spraying a little more often this year, though, and usually if we've had a super-heavy rain I might spray again, although rain doesn't normally wash it off.
You mentioned that you had some nibbling right after spraying. Was it alot of nibbling or just enough that one of the deer might have decided to taste a plant before realizing it didn't taste good? Usually smell alone is enough, but if they're hungry they might taste the plant which is why Liquid Fence is non-toxic.
And by-the-way, Liquid Fence is safe for tomatoes & other vegetables. . . it even says so right on the bottle. I called & asked them about it several years ago & they said it's perfectly safe. You just want to stop using it on plants like tomatoes about two weeks before harvest to make sure it doesn't leave any lingering smell or taste.
I haven't been able to find Deer Away locally. I did find something called I Must Garden and tried that. It doesn't smell as bad as Liquid Fence so I sprayed it closer to the front and back doors where I have lots of hostas and things that deer like. Somebody also told me that plain old humate will repel deer. I have lots of that but haven't tried it. Mine is dried humate.
I wish I had sprayed before they chewed up my oriental trumpet lilies though. They left me with 1 bud. I guess it wasn't close enough to opening. But it's been sprayed now - thoroughly.
I just started a small lasagna garden experiment. Just as we finished it DH said we should have used some molasses on this. I didn't have any so we didn't, but I'm wondering if we should though because it seems like that would bring in the deer in droves.
Ok, thanks Gal. I'm almost out of this other stuff.
Have you ever heard of using Humate to repel deer? And now I have another pest - either moles or gofers. I have had them before, but now they are after some ferns I just planted. I have been watering them and wondered why they looked so puny so stuck my finger in the soil and found a tunnel.