Winter has brought hardships for wildlife as well as for growers. Farmers are not selling crops because there are few to be had. Gardeners are hardly planting because the ground is frozen; and wildlife, well, they know that natural resources are scarce. Although it may seem that we are still in the heart of winter, Spring is in fact, around the corner. We, as growers, need to keep an open mind about deer management strategies to implement in spring and protect flowers to ensure a successful growing season.
Spring Gardening Checklist
If you don't plan to prune this winter, trim fruit trees at the start of spring. Pruning trees, bushes and flowers before they blossom will ensure that they will mature and grow.
Perennial flowers can be divided later in winter and can be used as deer-resistant flowers. Gardeners planning on planting verbana, daffodils and iris plants can place these plants ahead of flowerbeds. Deer should not touch them since they can't stand the smell or taste.
It's time to quit that before spring growth. It's great that you were feeding birds and helping them get through the winter; but now they keep coming back for more. Take down bird feeders and add bird netting to flowerbeds. Wildlife netting will repel birds and let them know that the buffet is closed.
Building flowerbeds is a fun DIY project that can be done using store bought materials from a local hardware store near you. Raised flowerbeds can create a challenge for deer to reach flowers; and adds a touch of elegance to a garden.
Building deer fence is the most effective means to repel deer from gardens. The best deer fence height should be 7.5' to 8' feet high to stop deer from jumping.
Applying deer repellents around a garden fence is a good idea before spring sprouting. Repellents should not be a replacement for deer fencing; but should be used in conjunction with one. Repellents to repel deer will need to be re-applied after heavy rains or changes in climate.
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