Wildlife is one of the things we all love about living, working and vacationing in Muskoka. Excitement is all around when we pass a moose on the road or encounter a bear on the way into the cottage.
Deer are one of the most graceful and beautiful of the animals we encounter – however, when it comes to the gardens – they’re everyone’s worst nightmare – always hungry they seem to be able to sense new and beautiful plant material and inviting themselves for an all-you-can-eat buffet!
We always struggle with the battle of deer damage on our properties and there are a few things that we can do to prevent them from touching the landscape.
Here are some of our suggestions:
We trust our friends at Bartlett Tree with this issue on most of our properties – they use an all natural foliage treatment to deter the deer. We must admit – this is one stinky treatment – no wonder it works so well! We recommend that the property be sprayed once every three weeks and that you try to schedule if on a day that you won’t want to be enjoying the property because the smell is quite potent for the first day or so!
Irish Spring Soap. Believe it or not chunks of Irish spring sprinkled throughout the garden tend to deter the dear – a much better smelling option than the deer spray (although slightly less effective)!
We have a cupboard in our softscape shop well-stocked for emergency control for deer invasions!
No one likes the look of this next option – but sometimes deer fence is the only way – a heavyweight mesh construction fence lining the perimeter of the property is one way to stop the deer from wandering your property.
Lastly, we tend to use plant material that the deer don’t seem to like. Unfortunately hostas, daylillies and even bush honeysuckle (a Rockscape favourite) – are some of the deer’s favourite!
We tend to have a lot of luck with limited deer browse using some of these plants:
They’re beautiful but pesky! Best of luck as you deter the deer! Let us know if you have any other great tricks!