Veggie Gardeners, Gardening with Love, The Flower Show


Garden/Allotment (Photo credit: tricky (rick harrison))

Smaller containers appeal to veggie gardeners who don’t have lots of space
Washington Post
Container gardening is growing smaller. Suppliers are downsizing this season with easier-to-use trough planters, raised beds, pots or bags. It’s an effective way to produce edibles or blooms in tight spaces. One of the leaders in this less-is-better

Master Gardener classes begin March 6
Parkersburg News
Master gardeners are volunteers trained in small scale food production, horticulture and gardening. The $100 registration fee for the training course covers the cost of speakers and includes a WVU Extension Master Gardener’s manual.
In the Garden: Gardening with love
The Wenatchee World Online
By Gloria Kupferman, Master Gardener Red tulips are viewed in some cultures as the flower of choice to communicate love. “The garden is a love song, a duet between a human being and Mother Nature.” I’ve often wondered why Valentine’s Day,
A gardening Valentine might appreciate chocolate _ the plant, that is
Washington Post
Still, you might want to give the seeds as a gardening challenge, perhaps nestled in a gift box on some moist, real cotton. To sprout, the seeds need warmth and well-drained soil. Fresh seeds are available online at and
Introducing The New Sunset Western Garden Book, the Essential Guide to
MarketWatch (press release)
Now in its ninth edition and completely redesigned to be more accessible, this go-to reference for gardening in the western United States includes over 2000 full-color photographs for the first time as well as extra emphasis on contemporary issues like
Broomfield Enterprise Gardening Feb. 12: Another reason to practice zone denial
Broomfield Enterprise
By Ann Montague Colorado Master Gardener I practice zone denial. As a gardener, I love to push the envelope. Almost every year I find a plant I just have to try, even though the books say it shouldn’t grow here. Sometimes they grow.
Master Gardeners: Busting myths about the garden
Marin Independent-Journal
( John Mutrux) GARDENING MYTHS are as common as blackbirds in a sunflower field. Some have just become bad habits; others have been passed down for generations. While it may be tempting to believe that everything your grandma taught you about gardening
Flower show know-how
Chicago Tribune
Here are some tips: Choose your show wisely: Some shows are major spectacles, with a dozen or more elaborate fantasy show gardens full of real blooming plants, all-day speaker schedules and hundreds of vendors. They include the Philadelphia
Cottages & Gardens Publications Announces the Launch of a New Luxury Design
MarketWatch (press release)
9, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Cottages & Gardens Publications, known for its oversized luxury design magazines, today announced the launch of a new regional publication, New York Cottages & Gardens (NYC&G). The publication targets design
Great Falls gardening not easy but there are some tricks to try
Great Falls Tribune
These conditions discourage many aspiring gardeners, but thankfully there are ways to work around these conditions. Traditional gardening methods typically mean tilling an area in the backyard and planting in rows or blocks of crops.
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Electronic Deer Repellent From Havahart

Elaphurus davidianus in Kadzidłowo

Elaphurus davidianus in Kadzidłowo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The electronic method of repelling deer has become extremely popular. Frustrated homeowners use electronic deer repellent to supplement the natural means of deterring deer. By combining several different approaches to keeping deer out of the yard, a homeowner is usually more successful. Modern-day electronic repellents like those from Havahart are effective without being an eyesore.

The Havahart 5250 electronic deer repellent consists of three electronic posts, cotton balls, and acorn-scented deer lure. The portable posts are wireless, each requiring two AA batteries for operation. The result is a 400-volt electric charge that repels deer harmlessly. Three stakes will provide protection for about 1,200 square feet and the charge is less than that issued by static shock.

Patented technology actually attracts deer within close range, something that is surprising since this product is sold as a repellent. The acorn-scented lure is put on a cotton ball and inserted in the post, drawing deer toward it. When a deer makes contact with the post, the animal receives a gentle static shock. This conditions it to stay out of the yard.

Posts are green and silver in color, making them inconspicuous from a distance. The top of the post is bright red to signify to humans that it should be avoided. The posts are cold and heat impervious and are easy to assemble and install in the yard. They work in the same manner as an electric fence but they do not have any wires.

When used in combination with homemade deer repellent, electronic repellents may not need to do as much work. They are there when needed, attracting the hungriest deer that are not deterred by hanging bars of soap, human hair, or solutions sprayed on plants. After a few shocks, deer will create a psychological barrier that keeps them away from the property.

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Fruits And Vegetables That Deer Do Not Like

When keeping deer out of the yard, homeowners often assume that they must stop growing fruits and vegetables. Humans enjoy these, so why wouldn’t deer? Though it is true that deer do nibble on some of these, there are also some considered deer repellent plants and trees. Learning which ones are on a deer’s dislike list can make the vegetable and fruit garden come alive again.

Typically, deer resistant plants, trees, and shrubs are categorized as rarely damaged, seldom severely damaged, occasionally severely damaged, and frequently severely damaged. Apple trees fall into the third category, meaning that very hungry deer may enjoy some of this crisp fruit. However, it is still a safe bet when considering what to include in a fruit garden.

Common pear trees fall into the same category as apples. A gardener may want to intersperse some bushes or shrubs that deer dislike. When thinking about other fruit trees to include, cross cherry and plum off the list because deer frequently enjoy a snack from these. Deer also find strawberry plants quite delectable, so grow them inside.

Asparagus is one of the vegetables that deer will seldom touch. They also dislike onions, leeks,  and garlic due to the strong smell. Squash is a vegetable enjoyed by many people but not by deer so gardeners should feel free to include it in the yard. The globe artichoke is a deer deterrent vegetable due to its sharp foliage.

The growing selection may need to be expanded with foods that are not typically eaten by some people. Try persimmon, date palm, and edible fig because deer do not like these. Prickly pear is a vegetable that deer stay away from because of the thorns. Since super fruits are important to our diet, grow some pomegranates. Deer do not like the sour taste but many people enjoy it.

Pretty Coreopsis Is A Deer-Repelling Machine

The perennial coreopsis is a pretty flowering plant, with beautiful golden blooms. It is also an excellent deer repeller, making it a popular choice of gardeners who are fed up with deer munching in their yards. Threadleaf coreopsis is one of the rarely damaged deer resistant plants, while lance coreopsis is seldom severely damaged.

Coreopsis is known for its long blooming season, which lasts throughout the summer and into the fall. Plants prosper in full sun, growing about 18 to 24 inches tall, though size varies by variety. The Moonbeam species features tiny, yellow blossoms and Zagreb is characterized by large flowers that are mustard-colored. Gardeners in northern climates often choose this second type because it is a hardier plant.

These cheery plants are perfect for use as borders and also look nice when cut and displayed within the home. They are suitable for use in climate zones four to nine and with the many species available, gardeners have some attractive choices. There is even the C. rosea species that features pink flowers containing yellow centers. One of the newest introductions is the red C. verticillata.

In general, these deer repellent plants do not experience problems and are easy to grow and maintain. However, they can sometimes fall victim to fungal diseases, slugs, and snails. Longer blooming results from deadheading the plant, which can be a mess due to the many blooms. It is easier to cut back the entire plant once the first flush of blooms subsides.

Many gardeners consider coreopsis to be one of the best native wildflowers for incorporation into a garden. Whether they select a compact species or one that is sprawling, gardeners will be pleased at the deer-deterring feature of these well-formed plants. Dephinium, false indigo, and echinacea make nice companion plants as do vertical plants like the daylilly or allium.

Add Some Attractive Ageratum To The Garden For Deer Resistance

Ageratum is an attractive, flowering annual plant that is rarely damaged by deer. The creatures prefer to pass by this plant and instead munch on vegetables and other flowers. Though gardeners in deer-prone areas often select ageratum because it is one of the most effective deer repellent plants, this annual is also very beautiful.

The fluffy, blue flowers that grow on an ageratum look pretty when cut and displayed in a vase. Though blue is the most common color, white, lilac, and pink can also be found. The plant grows to about six to eight inches tall in small hills and its leaves are usually oval and hairy, forming compact clusters. Taller versions grow to about 18 inches.

Many gardeners use this plant in their beddings, as a border, or in a rock or container garden. These deer resistant plants grow well in partial shade or full sun when placed nine to twelve inches apart. Growth season begins in early summer and runs through the first frost. The plant is easy to grow, making an excellent choice for a beginner garden.

When ageratum is grown outside of a natural range, it can become an environmental weed. Gardeners with children should be cautious because several species of this plant are toxic due to their pyrrolizidine alkaloid content. Liver lesions and tumors may be caused by ageratum conyzoides and ageratum houstonianum. The ageratum seed is poisonous if it is ingested and handling the plant may result in an allergic reaction or skin irritation.

Blooms will begin appearing in late summer and the fragrant flowers attract birds, butterflies, and bees. Since this plant self-sows, it should be deadheaded if volunteer seedlings are not desired next season. To collect the seeds, first allow them to dry on the plant and then remove them to plant in other areas next year.

Benefits And Drawbacks Of Homemade Deer Repellent

When deer venture into a yard and find some plants to munch, they are likely to return. In some cases, this area will become the local hangout for the four-footed animals. Some people purchase a deer fence or commercial sprays to deter the creatures. The most industrious gardeners may choose to address the deer problem by making homemade deer repellent.

A commercial product can become an expensive repellent method if many plants need protecting. Homeowners who make their own deer repellent save money because many deer repellent recipes include household items on the ingredient list. Commercial products often contain chemicals, which can be unsafe for use on vegetables. These are not included in homemade recipes.

The need to mix the solution prior to each use is one of the main disadvantages of using a homemade deer repellent. Since the mixture does not feature a substance that helps it stick to the plants, it must be reapplied frequently. Reapplication every two to three weeks and also following a rainstorm is usually recommended.

One recipe for an effective repellent can be sprayed onto plants before buds appear, for best results. Blend five eggs and mix them with one cup of yogurt, milk, or buttermilk and two tablespoons of hot sauce. Add one teaspoon of liquid dish detergent and one tablespoon of vegetable oil. You can also add 15 drops of cinnamon oil or two teaspoons of crushed garlic, if desired.

After blending all of these ingredients with one quart of water, combine them with an additional three quarts of water. Strain the solution prior to transferring it to a sprayer. This will keep the sprayer from clogging and preventing the solution from reaching the plants. Occasionally, ingredients should be changed because alternating bad tastes confuses deer. Use the repellent in a small area first to ensure that it is effective on local deer.

Overview Of The Deer Gard Electronic Deer Repeller

Keeping deer out of the yard does not need to involve a cookbook of deer repellent recipes and hours in the kitchen preparing these concoctions. Ultrasonic electronic deer repellent devices like the Deer Gard Electronic Deer Repeller work just as well and are easy to install. This product costs about $40 and lasts much longer than homemade deer repellent.

The Deer Guard Repeller is humane and requires no maintenance following installation. An electronic deer repellent such as this keeps deer out of the yard without the use of chemical solutions. When the four-footed creatures move into the coverage area, an integrated infrared motion sensor is activated. Continuous operation can also be selected and is designed for residences with a constant deer population.

The sound technology used by this device is shown to be very effective at repelling deer. Adjustable YardGard sound frequency enables the product to be effective on other creatures like feral cats, stray dogs, squirrels, rabbits, skunks, and raccoons. The tone is silent to humans so neighbors will not be disturbed by use of this repellent.

Keyhole slots on the back of the device enable it to be easily mounted anywhere in the yard. Coverage area is up to 4,000 square feet so only one device will be needed in smaller yards. Homeowners can keep deer and other pests away from the garden, yard, and fields. Farmers use products like this to keep their nurseries and crops safe from nibbling creatures.

With a weight of just one pound, nearly everyone can install the DeerGard Repeller on a post or tree. Electricity costs are estimated at under 25 cents per month and power can be supplied via the 120 volt AC adapter or four C size batteries. During a power failure, the unit will convert to battery power if batteries are installed.

Beautiful, Deer Resistant Poppies For The Garden

Every garden can benefit from a little color and poppies are just the flower to deliver it. Whether they are of the annual or perennial variety, flowering poppies feature four to six petals of nearly any color. Bees get their pollen from the stamens within the center of the flower but deer generally leave these plants untouched, allowing them to burst into glorious color.

Deer resistant plants like poppies are very versatile due to the many color varieties. Whether the gardener wants red, coral, pink, white, yellow, or purple, these will be easy to find. This is just a sampling of the colors available, allowing every side of the house to contain a different color scheme. If the gardener is undecided, these lovely plants can be grown in pots and relocated.

Plant height varies depending on species, ranging anywhere from 12 to 40 inches tall. These plants love full sun, perfect for those sun-filled gardens in which many other plants cannot survive. In general, plants should be placed between 12 and 18 inches apart, depending on type. Poppies flourish in U.S. hardiness zones three through seven and are frequently sold in two or four-inch pots.

The papaver orientale species of plant has flowers that look like crepe paper tulips. Even when deer nibble on the new foliage that appears in the fall, which they rarely do, brilliant flowers still appear during spring. By the end of June, the foliage is dormant so poppies should be planted among late blooming, slow-starter plants.

Many deer repellent plants cannot claim to be as attractive as poppies. The “King Kong” variety is especially breathtaking, growing an amazing 40 inches tall and featuring orange-red flowers. Gardeners can even find poppies featuring flowers with different colored borders, such as a red poppy with a white ring around the petals.

Hellebores On List Of New Deer Resistant Plants For 2011

Home gardeners are not content with the traditional plants and want the latest and greatest. They can usually find new additions each year, including deer repellent plants. For 2011, there are three new hellebores in this category and each is beautiful. These vigorous plants feature three to four- inch rounded flowers in eye-catching colors.

Hybridizing has expanded the color range of the hellebores. Slate gray, deep purple, plum, yellow, pink, green, and white are all included. As the flower ages, it turns greener and individual flowers usually remain on the plant for at least one month. Picotee flowers feature sepals in pale colorings with narrow margins containing a darker color. These are highly sought, as are plants featuring dark nectaries that contrast outer sepals.

The brilliant flowers of these perennials bloom for ten weeks, beginning in late winter or early spring. This long blooming season allows the garden to look beautiful when the neighbors are still removing dead limbs and dried leaves. The flowers are lovely when cut and can be floated in water to create an attractive centerpiece. Color saturation is excellent and deer will refrain from taking a nibble.

The Grape Galaxy strain features over 125 grape-spotted flowers with plum-colored sepals and spots of dark purple. Green Gambler has flowers that are shamrock green in color, some of which have red glitter flecks and bright red picotee edges. Red Racer features huge 3.5-inch, ruby red flowers. These deer resistant plants will make even the smallest garden look lavish.

Each of these strains is included in the Winter Thriller series and mature plants get over 150 blooms. Hellebores prefer shade and do best in sand or heavy clay soil within hardiness zones four through nine. They feature evergreen foliage, which serves as a nice winter groundcover when the rest of the garden is bare.

Electronic Deer Repellent Pros And Cons

Deer look adorable when they are walking through the woods. They are not so attractive when they reach your garden and destroy your plants, flowers, and vegetables. What once looked like Bambi quickly takes on the appearance of a destructive beast. Construction is encroaching on rural deer habitats at a record pace and adding to the problem is a growing deer population.

Anything considered vegetative is food to deer, though a hungry deer will not be choosy. Deer often look demure but they eat quite a bit. An adult male deer consumes over five pounds of food daily, on average. Heading deer off at the pass, literally, is the best way to keep them out of the yard. The garden will not become the next deer salad bar if proactive measures are taken.

Electronic deer repellent like electric fencing is usually more effective than regular fencing because it features an electric shock. In general, it works but it can also be expensive and due to its height, an eyesore. An eight-foot high fence is recommended but shorter fences sometimes discourage the opportunistic eaters from dining in the yard.

An interesting fact regarding electric fencing is that peanut butter can be smeared onto aluminum foil attached to the fence. The peanut butter serves as a strong lure and deer will not come near it once they have taken a taste and been shocked. Havahart makes another effective electronic deer repellent that lures deer only to provide them with a 400-volt surprise.

Ultrasonic repellents emit noises that deer find intolerable and are often not heard by humans. Bird-X DG Deer Gard Ultrasonic Deer Repeller is one popular brand. It is DC or AC operated and features an integrated motion sensor and adjustable frequency of both sonic and ultrasonic sound. In addition to keeping deer away, it deters other pests.