Tom Greenthumb Gardening

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Whitetail Deer Repellents for the Gardener - Wireless Deer Fence

I recently spoke with my aunt and uncle about their use of whitetail deer repellents and the wireless deer fence in their garden. Deer can be a gardener's worst enemy. These foraging animals can grab a mouth full of your precious plants before you even know what has happened. The whitetail deer is one of the most common species in the United States. This deer became a problem for my relatives. Deer can eat a large amount of food.

My relatives live near a Greenbelt. Their home is situated right behind an area designated for the protection of wild animals and the environment. It really is a beautiful area. The challenge is that in this urban neighborhood the deer are not frightened. They are protected from hunting and quickly become accustomed to people. So if you're like my aunt and uncle, and trying to grow a garden in your backyard, it becomes extremely difficult keeping the deer away from the fruits of your labor. It doesn't take long for deer to cause an extreme amount of damage. In the case my relatives, deer were invading at night. Vegetable plants, herbs and fruits were being eaten to the ground. My aunt and uncle went on the search for whitetail deer repellents.

There were many options available. A natural way of repelling the deer would be growing plants that the deer would not like the taste of. That really wasn't practical. Natural or chemical repellents could also be used. Deer have a keen sense of smell. It's one of the best ways that they protect themselves from danger. Coyotes will prey on deer if they find a weak deer in the herd. Generally deer stay away from coyotes. So, one of the repellents my aunt and uncle considered was called "coyote urine". You spread this deer repellent around were you think the deer are concentrating. Another product to be used in combination with this product is called liquid guard. It keeps the coyote urine from washing away or drying up in the sun. There are other repellents in this category ranging from bags of human hair to lion feces.

They also looked into the option of ultrasound devices. They decided against these as they read the deer quickly learned these products were no threat to them. Another group of products that they passed on created loud noises when the deer would approach. Obviously this was not acceptable in a public neighborhood. My aunt and uncle contemplated building a tall fence to protect their garden. They soon found out though, that a ten foot fence was against the homeowners community guidelines of their neighborhood. My uncle grew up on the farm. He wondered if there were such a product as an electric fence for deer. He came across a product called the "wireless deer fence". It seemed like of all the whitetail deer repellents he looked at, this was the best. By sticking a poll in the ground and putting a few pellets in it to attract deer, the deer gets a harmless shock. My uncle tried the product along with the coyote urine. The combination of these "whitetail deer repellents" has seemed to work for him. I hope that you find a solution to your deer nuisance problems.

How to Use Grow Lights for the Basic Herb Garden

My nephew recently asked me how to use grow lights for growing the basic herb garden, which would give him access to fresh herbs all year. I'm glad to see that he's starting to eat a more natural and healthy diet and learn about herb gardening at the same time. He's watched and helped me for years with my own gardening endeavors, and decided to try something basic for himself. The challenge is his location. He lives in a basement apartment which doesn't receive an abundant amount of light. He has a small garden plot outside of his patio that is designated for his herb garden. Wanting to get a good start on the seedlings, he's decided to start growing the herb garden indoors.

For growing herbs indoors, I thought that fluorescent lighting would probably do the trick. There are other types of lighting systems such as high-intensity discharge and incandescent lighting. For this purpose, he was looking for a grow light that wouldn't take up too much room, yet do its job in giving the seedlings a good start. One of the advantages of using the fluorescent grow light is that it releases less heat making it a safer method. He decided to place the seedlings in his laundry room. You initially want to place your seedlings in a warm place. When the seeds sprout you gradually increase the amount of light they get. This has worked best for me. You don't want to fry them as they emerge. I don't think that room gets used much, so this location was probably a good choice. Fluorescent lighting is ideal for a small gardening project such as this. The light given off from fluorescent bulbs can be as much as three times the intensity of incandescent lighting. This is true even with similar wattage output. It may take some trial and error to determine how to use grow lights to their best advantage. Having a good plan before you purchase them and exploring all the possibilities they offer is usually a good idea.

So my nephew and I set off to find the appropriate appropriate grow light for his herb garden seedlings. A successful basic herb garden, or any gardening project for that matter, should receive anywhere from around 1500 to 3000 lumens per square feet. If you start your garden indoors, you obviously don't have the advantage of the naturally high lumens put out directly by the sun. We decided on purchasing a 4 ft. cool white fluorescent grow light for the project. This would put out around 6000 lumens in a 1 to 2 foot square area. Perfect for his herb garden seedlings! Within no time at all we had the basic supply of light needed in his little laundry/nursery room. Seeds were planted, watered, and he was on his way to eating healthy. Showing him how to use grow lights, planting the seeds, and preparing for an abundant supply of fresh herbs throughout the year was a fun way to spend the afternoon.