Oh Dear! Deer in My Garden
Oh Dear! Deer in my Garden
So my grandkids love watermelons. And of course I want to please my grandkids so I promised ripe fruit for their August visit. But this year, more than ever before, the deer are eating my watermelon plants.
Yes, I planted them in my front yard even though I don’t have deer fencing, but I’ve done this before and they have been fine. Also, I have new soil with lots of fish fertilizer in it and this has proven to be excellent media for growing squash and melons before. Plus, my newly designed front yard has a brick planter so it is hot, really hot. And watermelons love it hot.
I covered them with protektnet for the first few weeks to get the plants established. And then I removed the netting and Voila! The deer started munching.
Yes, the deer chewed the plants back twice after I uncovered them, so I sprayed them with Bobbex. This really stinky spray affected the plant leaves by turning them brownish-grey. And Bobbex is not suggested for food crops anyway but I was desperate. Then, my friend Jeannine suggested I just spray around the area and not on the plant.
The cost of Bobbex is so high Qualicum Beach stopped spraying every single plant every time it rains (or every 28 days according to the label.) So, instead of constant spraying of plants, the town staff just spray around the plants, on the beds and the borders. This stuff is stinky and Jeanine says this circle-spraying keeps the deer away. So I sprayed all around my enormous watermelon planter.
This seemed to be working and yesterday the fruit were as large as a big fist. And there were no signs of damage on the fruit.You can still see the clipped and deer damaged leaves in this photo.
I sprayed again last night because the fruit were getting impressively large. I know the deer usually come out at dusk and yesterday evening there was no damage when I was out for my dog walk with Corle (seen here with her squeaky toy lion). I decided to spray again anyways, just in case.
So this means battle. Ian popped by and we filmed a “Little Jobs in the Garden” segment for my Facebook and Youtube channels about using Agribon to tent the watermelons and make a physical barrier between plants and deer. No more Bobbex for this gardener. We have taken the next step to protect the watermelons. For the kids.
This segment of Little Jobs will appear is live right now on Facebook: watch it here. We used the summer weight of Abribon so the plants would continue to grow without getting too hot. Or check out my video here:
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