Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Bountiful Deer, Please stop eating our tulips!

When we moved into our apartment last year, I was elated to find that we had a small garden plot and we would enjoy, every spring, the tulips and daffodils the previous tenants had planted.  We started to see little clumps of leaves poking out--so exciting!

However, one morning, to my horror, I noticed a couple clumps of tulip leaves had been eaten!  Lee sat me down and educated me on the domestication of Bountiful deer--how they walk around like they own the place, how they hang out in a nearby field, and how they LOVE tulips!  I was sad for my favorite flower's fate. 

Then I got mad.
Of course, Lee wanted to get a gun and have some venison, but I found out other (non-violent) methods to POSSIBLY keeping the deer away from our tulips:

1)  Human or coyote urine sprinkled in the area (gross, but the "enemy" smell is the deterrent),
2)  Cut human hair also sprinkled in the area (smells like a human is near),
3)  Placing a bar of soap on a rope in the area (smells like a freshly-washed human is near),
4)  Paprika sprinkled on the leaves (apparently deer don't like spicy food), and
5)  Planting daffodils around your tulips (daffodils are poisonous to deer).

I'm going to be honest--we tried ALL of them last year.  The human hair and the bar of soap didn't work out so well.  Maybe deer actually like the smell of Irish Spring! The daffodils are slower than the tulips coming up, so that didn't help.  The urine and the paprika seemed each to work, but we had to (but forgot to) reapply due to all the storms in June 2009. A good portion of our tulips made it out okay last year.

But this year, the deer have nibbled half of our tulips.  HALF!!  Arg!   This is war! We are now trying a two-pronged approach:

1) First urine sprinkled in the area (gross, I know), and
2)  Afterwards, an anti-deer concoction (paprika, chili powder, and cayenne pepper) sprinkled on the tulips directly.

So far, so good.  Lee pointed out we might start attracting deer that have a palate for spicy tulips!

What do YOU do to save your tulips from the deer every year?  Let's hear your suggestions and we'll probably give it the ol' college try!


  1. you could try the ol' FENCE trick? The urine part was hilarious, by the way.

  2. A cute little fenced in area, with some sort of framed wire meshing on top that you could easily remove every time you need to weed the area.

  3. apparently they sell predator urine for that very purpose. I never would have come up with the idea, but it makes sense.
    I hope you are successful in your endeavors. :)

  4. Ask Jayne, she has a major problem with deer, I think she has tried everything too.

  5. I would have to agree with Lee...venison meat is the best...just whack a couple, eat them, save the head and display in your garden so other deers will see the "example" and will just wonder off to your neighbors and eat their tulips.


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