Gardening

Deer damage in the broccoli patch

In July I planted 30 broccoli plants for a late season harvest and they have been growing like crazy. That is, until one morning last week I went out to check them only to find they were attacked overnight.

It wasn’t rabbits because rabbits make clean-cut edges, like someone snipped them with a pruner. These were torn leaves with the damage mostly on the top growth — it was deer nibbling on the broccoli.

Deer don't have top teeth so the bite marks they make are ragged.

Deer don’t have top teeth so the bite marks they make are ragged.

This patch is outside the fenced-in area of the main garden. Instead of putting up more fencing, I decided to try something different, coyote urine.

I have not used a deer repellent for several years because most of the older materials never seemed to work very well.

The package label said that it would take two to three weeks for the urine to work but, in this case, it worked immediately.  I treated that patch and the next morning those plants looked fine, while an area way on the other side of the garden sustained heavy feeding.

Keep in mind that you don’t spread this stuff on top of your plants, you treat just the area surrounding the plants you want to protect.

I’m now a believer in coyote urine and plan to keep some around to use in the future. By the way, the urine is not in its original liquid state, the manufacturer formulated it into a fine granular material that is easy to apply.

Now, I have to ask, when pronouncing coyote do you say: “ky-yoot” or ky-o-tee?

Bob Dluzen

As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob’s gardening has become an integral part of his life. “It’s the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued,” he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.