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franklin county times

How can I keep deer out of my garden?

By By Amelia O’Brian / horticulture columnist
June 22, 2003
Amelia O'Brian is a native of Meridian and graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in horticulture. If you have a gardening related question
e-mail her at: thepottingbench@peoplepc.com.
Dear Gardener: The deer are starting to tromp into my garden and my yard already this year. Are there any surefire methods for keeping them out?
Dear Reader: There are all types of products on the market, including a couple of new ones that I have not heard reviews on yet for keeping deer out of the yard. There are also a lot of folk remedies. Some of the ones that do reportedly work, like spreading blood meal, have to be reapplied every time it rains.
This would not be very practical in the light of our recent weather history. I personally believe the best way to keep deer out of the yard and garden is to get a dog.
In the yard, I also recommend planting shrubs and perennials that deer do not find tasty. A few of the plants that deer dislike are foxglove, columbine, barberry, clematis and boxwood. On the other hand, deer love azaleas, hostas, impatiens, roses and geraniums just to name a few.
Dear Gardener: I am writing you in hope you can give me some answers concerning one of the plants in my yard. My wife and I set out a pampas grass in a corner of our yard of our home last year.
Last fall we cut back the dead growth on our plant as we were advised. Earlier this year, we noticed that due to unusually warm weather, we had some new growth on our plant. However, a unexpected cold snap killed this new growth and now nothing is happening other than a single shoot that appears to be coming from the plant.
Is there any hope for our pampas grass or should we give up on this one and just set out a new one. Any advice you can send us on the successful growing and caring for of pampas grass will be sincerely appreciated by us both. Jeff &Teresa
Dear Jeff and Teresa: The grass may still come out. I would give it a little while. In fact, it may come out by the time this article prints. If it does come back (or if you plant another one), wait until spring to cut back the dead leaves. They help protect the plant throughout the winter months.
Dear Gardener: I am redoing the foundation planting at my parent's home. The landscaping has not been touched in probably 30 years. I have to move a few things, and I am reluctant to wait until fall to do this. They have a large butterfly bush that is currently in full bloom. Am I going to kill it if I move it now?
Dear Reader: It would be best to wait until fall to move such a specimen. If that is not a possibility, then you need to take a few precautions. Cut back the shrub by a third, taking off all the flowers. Do not let the bush flower at all this summer.
The bush needs to put energy into new root growth. Flowering expends way too much energy. Lastly, invest in a bottle of root stimulator and use it every third or fourth time you water the shrub.