|Repellent-treated hostas, July 24|
Our local deer, including frisky fawns, have been venturing recently from their early-summer hideaways. Monday night they dined in our front yard perennial gardens and there expressed their opinion about hostas flavored by the new Repellex Systemic tablet that claims to repel all sorts of critters—including deer.
Their decision: Yummy!
Repellex cleverly advertises “Hosta la vista, baby,” but our deer replied, “Thanks for the salad!”
In short, the new high-tech tablets failed to protect our hostas from our local deer. The deer ate nearly every leaf from the four hostas I used as an experiment and left untouched the untreated “control” hosta a dozen feet away. Perhaps the deer reserved that plant for dessert some future night.
|The same repellent-treated hostas, June 27|
But, still, this week the bambits dined on the hostas and left us mostly leafless stems.
I had an informative exchange of emails with the Repellex Company while I was writing this story. When I outlined my hosta problem, a company spokesperson said that “customer feedback has been focused on issues with hostas” and that the company is working on a solution.
“The typical application pattern as listed on the label is accelerated with the doubling of a hosta plant with new growth away from the treated part,” the company representative explained. “Therefore retreatment is required more frequently on hostas. Stay tuned. We are working on a granular application that will be similar to using some tablets above ground around the plants.”
|Does that potbelly contain hosta leaves?|
Where does this experiment leave me as I contemplate our perennial gardens in Deer Country?
I’ll continue to plant deer-resistant plants. I’ll regularly apply a repellent spray to our deer-favorite plants. I’ll continue using strong fencing when I want to keep deer out of a specific area. And I’ll probably do a second experiment on our hostas when the granular Repellex Systemic product becomes available.
If you want to read my August 2011 posting with additional background about Repellex Systemic tablets, CLICK HERE.
If you want to read my posting about my successful 2011 experiment with Deer Out, the mint-based repellent spray, CLICK HERE.
Update, July 26: The bambits returned last night and chowed down on the "control" hosta. Five hostas, four treated, five heavily browsed.