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Mon Sep 8, 2014, 07:26 AM

Do deer eat mint? If I plant it, will it keep them out of the garden?

Knowing of course, that mint is very aggressive.

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Reply Do deer eat mint? If I plant it, will it keep them out of the garden? (Original post)
hedgehog Sep 2014 OP
LiberalEsto Sep 2014 #1
hlthe2b Sep 2014 #2
kickysnana Sep 2014 #3
CottonBear Sep 2014 #4
ginnyinWI Sep 2014 #5
hedgehog Sep 2014 #6
TuxedoKat Sep 2014 #7
blackcrowflies Nov 2014 #11
TuxedoKat Nov 2014 #12
Aerows Sep 2014 #8
spinbaby Oct 2014 #9
hedgehog Oct 2014 #10

Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 08:10 AM

1. They don't eat plants in the mint family, as a rule

 

But planting mint will not keep them out of the garden.

I live in a heavily deer-populated area. The only way I can grow vegetables is inside an area surrounded by 7-foot-high fencing. This fence consists of treated 4 by 4 poles, bird netting, and rabbit fencing on the lowest part to keep the rabbits out.

To protect vulnerable non-food plants, use a spray such as Liquid Fence or Deer Off every couple of weeks. That's what I use on hostas, azaleas, etc.

My deer-resistant flower garden includes nicotiana, coreopsis, purple coneflowers and black-eyed susans, which deer won't eat. I also plant less aggressive mint relatives such as salvias (May Night), lavender, agastache (anise hyssop), catmint, lemon balm and true hyssop. You can do a web search for other deer-resistant plants that grow well in your area.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 08:20 AM

2. It surely won't keep rabbits out.. that I know from experience..

Though admittedly I love wild rabbits, but would prefer they not eat my flowers.

NO deer currently in my area. They stay with the elk further up in the foothills.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 01:58 PM

3. I tried a little strip herb garden at my parents place a number of years ago.

The deer ate everything completely but the chives. I knew that there were deer in the area but I didn't think they would be partial to strong tasting plants but they loved them to nubbins.

The next year I did a square foot garden with poles and deer nets. Late in the season one jumped in the middle and helped himself anyway and opened up the net on the way out. The next year had higher poles and the neighbors groundhog decided to move to my garden. At that point I gave up cause I couldn't be there daily and it was a lot of work just to feed the wildlife and evidently the word had spread because I heard a moose was seen a few miles north of there.

They did share a little of the garden with us all three years and we enjoyed what we got.

An apple orchard here had petitioned to put in 12 foot fences because the deer were clearing the 10 foot fences, pole vaulting? They would actually pull the chain link off and let the deer eat the windfalls after harvest but the deer were not good at waiting. Smelled wonderful there. They also did pumpkins.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 06:17 PM

4. No & no. Keep mint in pots. Use liquid Fence on plants they eat.

LF must be applied at least twice a week.

I'm a gardener at a botanical garden. I battle the hungry herbivores on a daily basis. The only way to keep deer out is a tall deer fence. Liquid Fence alternated w/ Deer Off can reduce damage. You must make your garden a hazmat zone!

Good luck!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Mon Sep 8, 2014, 08:33 PM

5. I have mint in a spot in my front yard.

We have deer--live very close to a state forest, and there is a woods behind our lot too.

They have not eaten my mint, lemon balm, oregano, sage or chives, none of which are behind a fence. Critters in general don't like herbs.
But would they stay away from a garden because of it? Probably not. I have a 5 ft. fence around my 17x20 ft garden and that works. If you have a bigger garden, you will need a higher fence because they will be happy to jump over a 5 ft. fence as long as they know they have enough room for a running start to jump out again. Apparently my space looks too small for that, so they stay out.

They come into the yard to get windfall apples from my trees, and that's fine with me. They did crash through one of my lilac bushes and broke off the top--not so fine with me!


I've heard human hair deters them, but have not tried it.

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Sep 9, 2014, 09:50 AM

6. Thanks for the replies, everyone - I was wondering if I could protect my tulips

by planting them under a cover of mint, but i guess not!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Tue Sep 9, 2014, 11:23 AM

7. Deer

Last edited Tue Sep 9, 2014, 01:05 PM - Edit history (1)

The deer were eating all the new growth on the young apple trees I planted this spring. Since I didn't have time to fence the trees, I covered each tree at night with a large white trash bag. Well that stopped them. White is a color of danger in nature to wildlife but a clear trash bag would have stopped them too. I think the giant white trash bags as tall as them must be pretty intimidating to deer. It may help to tie strips of white plastic bags to plants around your yard too. The flashes of white may scare or startle them away, especially if the wind blows them. I also had tomato plants in a raised bed that they attacked also. I arranged some lawn chairs as a barrier and that put an end to that. I think they didn't want to approach a lawn chair as big as they were to get to the plants. I've also used shovels, etc. to set up little "road blocks" in and around plants. So I say think creatively when dealing with deer.

Next spring I plan to get some clear or white tulle to put around the apple trees, blueberry bushes and other things to protect them -- that way I won't have to remove protective covers every morning.

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Response to TuxedoKat (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 18, 2014, 09:16 PM

11. tutus for the apple trees...

 

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Response to blackcrowflies (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 18, 2014, 09:54 PM

12. Haha

Not quite. I'm thinking they will look more like giant hairnets on the trees. Although a giant tree ballerina might deter the deer as well!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Wed Sep 24, 2014, 10:48 PM

8. I gave up on mine

 

because a deer just wandered in like it owned the place while I was sitting on the back porch reading a book.

Next year, I'm doing the wire cage method. As a bonus, though, I do get to see squirrels, and blue jays run off with my produce, too.

I got a good haul this year, though, so they are welcome to "squirrel" away what they can. Next year they will not be so lucky!

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Response to hedgehog (Original post)

Fri Oct 17, 2014, 10:13 PM

9. Our deer eat darn near anything

But they leave the mint alone. Different populations of deer seem to have different tastes, though, so your mileage may vary.

I've been looking for something viney to grow over the arbor that they won't eat.

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Response to spinbaby (Reply #9)

Sat Oct 18, 2014, 10:01 AM

10. Poison Ivy? Multiflora rose? Kudzu?

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