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More about gardening with deer – and we have a winner of the deer-resistance book!

The winner of our give-away of this terrific new book 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants, is Beltsville customer Kathy Kircher – congratulations!  But we can’t withhold such great information about gardening with deer from the rest of our readers.  So here are Ruth Clausen’s top picks for deer-resistant plants:

Perennials: Monkshood, Bigroot Geranium, Black Snakeroot, Baptisia australis, Euphorbia polychroma, Hybrid Astilbe, Dicentra eximia, Hybrid Sage, Japanese spurge (Pachysandra terminalis), Hellebore orientalis, Epimedium grandiflora, Brunnera macrophylla and Yarrow.
Shrubs: Caryopteris, Boxwood, Bush Cinquefoil, Lavender, Spirea, Beautyberry, Russian cypress, Lespedez and Weigela.
Grasses:  Fountain grass, Hakone grass, Acorus, Carex morrowii, and Switchgrass.

Bulbs:  Daffodils, Leucojum, Colchicum Waterlily, Snowdrop, and Allium moly.

Ferns:  Autumn, Christmas, Cinnamon, Ostrich and Japanese painted.

Herbs: Basil, Greek oregano, Rosemary, Sage and, Thyme.

And here are more tips from an interview with the author on Ken Druse Real Dirt

  • Wind chimes often spook deer.
  • Clean up fruit that’s dropped onto the ground.
  • Wrap the base of young trees during rutting season.  It’s easy to do and generally works.
  • Raise hanging baskets and bird feeders high enough so the deer can’t reach them.  Ruth said she once caught a deer standing on its hind legs casually eating everything in the hanging basket on her front porch. (Oh, yeah, she’s got ’em bad!)
  • This may sound too obvious, but she insists that it needs to be said:  Keep your deer fence closed!

You might ask, what about sprays?  She says that “Spraying things isn’t my gig.”  Me, either, but I do spray my 8 shrub roses that are growing where the deer sometimes roam – because I don’t want to lose them.  I spray monthly when there are leaves on them, and it just takes 5 minutes so I don’t really mind.

Posted by Susan Harris

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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