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Fall Gardening With Deer

Rid Deer From Lawns and Gardens This Fall.

Summer was prime time for growing homegrown fruits and vegetables in gardens; and deer loved every bite of it. Summer was a hot season for deer damage, and gardeners saw an influx of deer on properties (due to the deer birthing season in Spring). Now that summer is gone, gardeners may think that the cool breezes may see a decline in deer populations on lawns; but this couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, deer damage will worsen in autumn for a number of reasons. Here's what home gardeners need to know:

Deer Movement In Fall

Deer know that their freeloading days are coming to an end with the first signs of the fall season; and they will need to act fast to eat from home gardens and enjoy their last bites of homegrown plants before resorting to twigs and fallen leaves. Deer will search for food in the early morning and late evening hours to go undetected by homeowners and avoid chilly wind gusts in the afternoon. To block deer browsing attempts, gardeners will need to act early on in the fall season to keep deer at bay.

Deer Rut Season Begins

Furthermore, September is when deer rub their antlers against trees to rid dried velvet that they obtained in summer. This is in preparation for deer mating season, beginning late October through mid-November, where bucks attempt to appear more desirable to does. For homeowners with trees, or tree growers, this will cause unsightly foliage around home properties. 

Deer Management Strategies For Fall

Gardeners need to implement a deer management strategy early in September to avoid wildlife damage on lawns and in gardens. To start, gardeners can wrap tree guards around the base of young trees to deter whitetails. With poly tree guards, deer will not be able to damage tree bark (and eat it) and reach fall fruits (apples) from fruit trees. 

For gardeners with established vegetable gardens, they should consider building deer fence around the perimeter of their garden (or yard) to prevent damage caused by deer, rabbits and ground hogs (gophers). The best height deer fence is 7.5-8' feet high - and material matters. Plastic deer fence can be used around gardens with light deer pressure; which metal deer fence is better suited for chewing animals such as bunnies and groundhogs. 

Autumn is here; and deer are getting antsy to eat. To block tree damage during the rut season, and deer browsing, implement these fall deer management tips now.