September 1, 2009. Another month has passed which means it’s time for me to share another of my Gardening oops – GOOPs for short.
I was recently awakened by a nighttime sound that alerted me to movement along my front porch. This area is bordered with long perennial and foundation plantings and lines the walkway to our front door. When I got up and peered out the front windows and saw no large creatures illuminated by the bright moonlight, I went back to bed. GOOPs! The next morning I looked out to the front porch to find freshly pruned New Guinea impatiens – the ones I specifically potted in clay planters to line the front edge of the porch (Never mind the petunias – slugs have been feasting on them all summer – but that’s another story). Proof that potted plants on an open deck or front steps are not safe from hungry deer.
Had I opened the front door to shoo away the deer that had obviously been browsing there, my potted plants, and the morning glories trellised on either side of the front steps, might have a few more leaves. Had I kept up my usual deer-spraying routine, I might have saved these, plus the newly nibbled anemone and red-twig dogwood (yes the one that has since been totally defoliated by sawflies).
I’ve been pretty lucky this year, deer-wise. With the exception of a few unprotected coneflowers, and occasional nibbles to the morning glory vines, deer have done little damage. But the chomped impatiens reminded me that deer spraying must resume. I’ve already noted an increase in the numbers strolling through the yard during daylight hours, so there must be more 4-hoofed visitors at night. Learn from my GOOP – keep up a spraying routine of every few days (especially after it rains), and alternate types of sprays to try to keep the deer at bay. And, if you have a must protect plant in an at risk location, consider netting it, or protecting it (especially at night) with a barrier deer cannot eat through.
Now it’s your turn. Real gardeners make real faux pas. Share yours here in a comment below, or tease us with a GOOPs you’ve posted on your own blog (make sure to leave your link).
And, if you’re new to GOOPs, visit the GOOPs link under the Topics list to the right. Here you’ll find all past-posted GOOPs.