The Deer Strike Again!

It looks like this will be another saskatoon-less summer. Things were growing so well… Lots of sun, lots of rain – no hail, no untimely frosts… And then, it happened. The deer strike again!

This little fellow decided that, after chewing on a few peas, that he would try saskatoons. And wouldn’t you know it – he liked them! By the time I interrupted his meal, he had already trimmed down the majority of my saskatoon plants. So I guess there’ll be no saskatoons for me this year. But what else can you expect when you live in central alberta? Besides, I can always head over to my brother’s upick saskatoon farm – the Saskaberry Ranch.


Deer – My 2nd Worst Enemy

Gardening in Alberta certainly has it’s challenges. The #1 challenge has got to be the weather. Late & early frosts, May blizzards, hail, wind – it all takes a toll on the garden. But there is another enemy. A cute and cuddly, seemingly harmless enemy. It’s the deer.

This is the first year that I have not (yet) been ravaged by hail – but it is also the worst year I have ever had with deer. Why, just this morning I interrupted this little fellow at my square-foot salad bar…

Deer in the Garden

On the menu today was lettuce, kohlrabi, asparagus, peas, strawberries, and assorted flowers. It seems lettuce was the favorite today.

Deer Evidence

So if the deer are regular customers at your garden, here are a few things you can try…

  • Have a radio loudly on throughout the night.
  • Scatter human hair around your garden – ask your local barber to bag a day’s hair.
  • Hang pieces of strong-smelling soap around the garden.

The problem with all of these and other deer-deterring techniques is that deer are pretty smart and quickly learn your tricks and ignore them. From my experience there are only two real options.

Option #1. Build a fence. If you have the money and don’t mind an eight-foot fence around your garden, this is probably the best deer-proof solution.

Option #2. Live with it. If you live in Alberta, there will always be bad weather… and there will always be deer.