GARDEN CLUB: Deer? Oh, deer!

Deer are a gardener’s dilemma

Jennifer Kolot with her rooster. (Contributed photo)

Jennifer Kolot with her rooster. (Contributed photo)

Cory McInnis | Contributed

They catch you unaware, darting out suddenly in front of your car, making you stop and refocus your attention. There’s usually more than one – maybe the doe with her fawns, crossing over to new territory.

It is not until we have an unfortunate encounter, on a dark and windy road, that we realize how vulnerable deer’s can be, as well as the front end of our vehicles.

I know they are not everyone’s favourite creature and for gardeners, boy, oh boy, can they create unwanted attention.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay ups deer management budget to $96,100

One questions garden center staff are asked frequently: “Can you tell me which plants the deer won’t eat?”

I am starting to pay more attention to plants that have proven to be deer resistant, as my front yard has a number of deer visiting regularly and being bold enough to come onto the front porch to see just what might be waiting for them to munch on. Even though there is a list of “deer resistant” trees, shrubs, bedding plants, and perennials, it’s not foolproof.

This month, the Sooke Garden Club booked Jennifer Kolot as the speaker.

Kolot was to share some of her strategies and options to deal with deer in urban areas.

Kolot, originally from Alberta, has called Victoria home for the last 18 years, where she grows all of her veggies. She has master gardener training and is an active member of the Victoria Master Gardeners. I hope she can come back once we are able to get together again.

As current circumstances have changed all gatherings, the club had toyed with the idea of a virtual meeting through Zoom; although, the overall decision was to wait until we can all meet in person.

Some interesting facts: deer have a great sense of hearing, with higher frequencies than humans. Their eyes, on the sides of their head, give them a 310-degree view, making it hard to focus on a single point; they also have great night vision. They run up to 40 miles per hour, jump 10-feet high, are fast swimmers, and adapt well to just about any habitat. They have an excellent sense of smell and lick their nose to keep it moist, which helps odour particles to stick. Deer usually stay in the same area {home range}; related females who form matriarchies that exclude adult males, share these areas. There are about 100 types of deer, with a life expectancy of 20 years. These facts were from www.veganpeace.com.

For information on our scheduled events, such as the annual plant sale, which usually takes place May 9, please check the Sooke Garden Club Facebook page as well as sookegardenclub.ca or email us at sookegc@gmail.com; it is updated regularly and we’ll inform you of any changes on dates and events.

Annual membership for the Sooke Garden Club is $15, and new members are always welcome.

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Cory McInnis writes for the Sooke Garden Club.