Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. ~ Katherine Mansfield

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Deer Repellent

My tomatoes have turned me against Bambi.

I am relegated to a container garden this year as we are overrun with deer and rabbits in our neck of the woods. (Seriously, where have all the predators gone?) Normally I love the wildlife, and am enamored by Aidan running to the sliding doors every morning and calling out "Deer? Rabbits? Are you?"

Until a month ago, I was also in love with the container garden. Virtually no weeding. Pretty colored pots. Giant lovely tomato and pepper seedlings courtesy of my favorite plant-pushers, Seed Savers. I was set up to have the most successful, trauma-free garden of the last four years. Two of my plants were taller than my toddler! I should have taken a picture because, as we learned from our old pal Pony Boy, nothing gold can stay.

Enter the deer.

Sad little garden.

They took me down to the stalk. Then the plants recovered over the course of a week! And then the bastards took me down to the stalk again. Only the prickly-stemmed squash escaped unscathed.

Deerpocalypse 2013!!!

Like a discarded popsicle stick...

The sight of two speckled day-old twin fawns frolicking in the trees outside my window almost made me offer up my plants directly...and then I remembered how delicious summer tomatoes are fresh off the vine, hot from the sun, and I toughened up. I taught Aidan to say "No deer! Bad deer!" and we returned to the garden.

Photo bombed!

I wish we could blame the dead yard on the deer too, buddy.

I sprayed the plants with liquid capsaicin from the local feed store. So far so good. Apparently Bambi is not into food that registers on the Scoville scale. We're 3 weeks out from the last deer blight and the plants are making a strong comeback.

Heritage plants unite!

I'm hoping for one solid round of fruit before the frost, and then I'll chalk this up to a lesson learned for next year. If the capsaicin doesn't hack it in 2014, I have a girlfriend who can get me a bag of deer-deterring hair from her salon (it's Aveda, so it's designer!) and there is an African lion rescue 30 miles down the road that gives away free lion poop to spread as a natural form of deer-be-gone. Ah, country life.

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