Garden Basics with Farmer Fred

292 Controlling Nematodes - and Deer - In the Garden

November 17, 2023 Fred Hoffman/Debbie Flower Season 4 Episode 46
Garden Basics with Farmer Fred
292 Controlling Nematodes - and Deer - In the Garden
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Today we take a look at two extremes of vexing garden problems around the world: the tiny, tiny nematodes that attach to plant roots, sucking the life out of them…and one you don’t need a microscope to see: deer. They both love your garden. At least with nematodes there are a few resistant plants. But when it comes to deer resistant plants, well, good luck. It depends how hungry those deer are. So how do you control root know nematodes, and marauding deer? America’s Favorite Retired College Horticultural Professor, Debbie Flower is here, and we have tips.

We’re podcasting from Barking Dog Studios here in the beautiful Abutilon Jungle in Suburban Purgatory, it’s the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, brought to you today by Smart Pots and Dave Wilson Nursery. Let’s go!

Previous episodes, show notes, links, product information, and TRANSCRIPTS  at the home site for Garden Basics with Farmer Fred, GardenBasics.net. Transcripts and episode chapters also available at Buzzsprout


Pictured: Deer in the garden

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Topic Links:

Flashback Episode of the Week: #144 Using Wood Ash in the Garden

Nematode Control (UCANR)
Soil Solarization (UCANR)
Monterey Nematode Control

"Deer in My Garden" Vols. 1 &2,  by Carolyn Singer (plants that may be unpalatable to deer)
"Effective Deer Fences" University of Vermont
"Animal Fencing" University of Georgia
"Deer/Elk Fences" Oregon Fish & Wildlife
"How to Build a Plastic Mesh Deer Exclusion Fence" Purdue University
Options for Deer Fencing University of Kentucky
Deer Fencing Choices at Amazon
Deer Repellents at Amazon


All About Farmer Fred:
The GardenBasics.net website

Farmer Fred website
http://farmerfred.com

The Farmer Fred Rant! Blog
http://farmerfredrant.blogspot.com

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Instagram/Threads: farmerfredhoffman
https://www.instagram.com/farmerfredhoffman/

Farmer Fred Garden Minute Videos on YouTube
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292 Controlling Nematodes and Deer TRANSCRIPT


Farmer Fred

Garden Basics with Farmer Fred is brought to you by Smart Pots, the original lightweight, long lasting fabric plant container. It's made in the USA. Visit SmartPots.com slash Fred for more information and a special discount, that's SmartPots.com/Fred.

Welcome to the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast. If you're just a beginning gardener or you want good gardening information, you've come to the right spot.


Farmer Fred

Today we take a look at two extremes of vexing garden problems around the world: the tiny, tiny nematodes that attach to plant roots, sucking the life out of them…and one you don’t need a microscope to see: deer. They both love your garden. At least with nematodes there are a few resistant plants. But when it comes to deer resistant plants, well, good luck. It depends how hungry those deer are. So how do you control root know nematodes, and marauding deer? America’s Favorite Retired College Horticultural Professor, Debbie Flower is here, and we have tips.

We’re podcasting from Barking Dog Studios here in the beautiful Abutilon Jungle in Suburban Purgatory, it’s the Garden Basics with Farmer Fred podcast, brought to you today by Smart Pots and Dave Wilson Nursery. Let’s go!


ROOT KNOT NEMATODE CONTROL TIPS


Farmer Fred

We like to answer your garden questions here on the Garden Basics podcast. There's a lot of ways you can get your question in. You can phone us, we have a phone number: 916-292-8964, 916-292-8964. If you don't want to use the phone, use your computer. Go to speakpipe.com/gardenbasics. And you can talk into the microphone on your computer and leave us a question there. speakpipe.com/gardenbasics. And of course, email. Send it to Fred at farmerfred.com. Debbie Flower is here to help us answer these vexing garden questions here on the Garden Basics podcast. And Debbie, today we're going to pay a visit to the North Valley, 


Debbie Flower

North Valley of where? 


Farmer Fred

yes, the North Valley, I believe, I'm hoping, is California. In which case, that would be everything north of Yuba City, approximately. So here's the question that was left to us on SpeakPipe:


North Valley Caller  

Good morning from zone nine in the North Valley. I work in a nonprofit garden, where we have raised beds and containers. The raised beds and containers, we discovered, were inundated with root knot nematode issues in our raised beds. As a result, we have grown and chopped in French marigolds in some of them. We are currently growing a mustard crop which we will chop into the beds. However, this leaves the containers of soil. I'm inclined to throw it out, but I am being encouraged to reuse it in some way possible. I am also suspicious of the compost pile, as much of our soil in our containers were used from the compost pile, and I can't figure out where else these would come from. Can you tell me what I can do to mitigate this issue? What do I need to do, moving forward? Thank you.


Farmer Fred  

Thank you for your question, we appreciate it. Nematodes, Debbie, are are difficult to get rid of. 


Debbie Flower   

They are very difficult to get rid of. Nematodes are microscopic round worms. And there are people who will tell you they are not worms, but that's how they're described as microscopic round worms and there are beneficial nematodes and then there are the bad guys. And the root knot nematode, spelled with a K (knot), is one of the bad ones. It's called the root knot nematode, because the symptoms of the infestation is on the roots of the of the plant. There are plants, I do recall, that fix nitrogen, like clover. If you pull them out, you will see very uniform swellings on the roots. That is not nematodes. If you pull out a plant that has a nematode problem, the swellings on the roots can be very large up to an inch, they'll be irregular in size and shape. And the plant will have shown stress, especially during hot or trying weather times.


Farmer Fred  

The caller mentioned several of the techniques that they have tried, which have included using French marigolds and you might have success. The mustard,  I was interested in. I consider mustard a cool season crop and I guess when soil temperatures drop below a certain point, nematodes become less active and therefore cause less damage. 


Debbie Flower    

Right, but they're still there.  And the trick, if you want to call it a trick, to using the French marigold and it must be the French marigolds. Some marigolds actually are very attractive to nematodes, but using the French marigolds or the mustard is that you have to plant a monoculture. That means that In the bed, it is full of only French marigolds or, or mustard or a mix of the two. Otherwise, the technique will not be successful. If you have a tomato plant and then a marigold next to it, it will not be helpful. So you need to plant this monoculture of these nematode resistant plants.


Farmer Fred  

According to the University of California, the marigolds that are most effective are the French marigolds with  names such as Nemagold, petite Blanc, and Queen Sofia, which I've grown, it's a very pretty Marigold. And, the variety, “tangerine”. And you want to avoid the Signet marigolds because the nematodes will feed and reproduce on those. Nematode control, though, like you point out, if you're going to try marigolds, it has to be a monoculture.


Debbie Flower    

It has to be a monoculture. And as she talked about, you dig in the plant debris once the plants have have declined. 


Farmer Fred  

So you're taking that soil out of production for a year. Wouldn't it be easier to use soil solarization?


Debbie Flower    

I think soil solarization is the best choice for controlling root knot nematodes. And it will get rid of them. It will kill them, but only in the top 12 inches of the soil. She didn't talk about how deep the containers were, or how big the containers were. But if that soil can be solarized correctly, which is putting clear plastic over the media, which has been moistened, and there's nothing growing in it for six to eight weeks, or until the plastic breaks down which typically occurs first. That will heat up that soil to a temperature that kills the nematodes but only in the top 12 inches of soil. So if there were a parking lot or a patio or somewhere where you could spread the soil out in a one foot depth and then put down the plastic, making sure that all the edges of the plastic have to be held down. You can't put a rock every foot or something. The whole edge has to be held down so that the heat that forms from the sun, heating up that soil, stays trapped under the plastic, but that would take the soil out of production for a hot season. This is definitely done during the hot season of the year, but it would sterilize that soil.


Farmer Fred   

I noticed that the University of California says one of the big drawbacks to solarization as far as controlling root knot nematodes, it says it won't provide long term protection for fruit trees, vines and woody ornamental plants. But if this is a community garden, or you're growing basically annuals…


Debbie Flower    

Edibles, probably, is my guess.


Farmer Fred    

I like the idea of spreading out that soil and then moistening it and tarping it and letting it sit for six weeks, right?


Debbie Flower   

I agree. If you spend a lot of time on the internet looking for other solutions, people will propose them. But over and over and over again, they say these don't really work. There is a chemical on the market called “Nematode Control” and it is an extract from a tree that is grown in South America. But that extract only repels and deters the nematodes. It doesn't kill any existing nematodes. Other techniques, like fallowing the soil for a season, will definitely reduce the population. But as soon as you put a susceptible plant  in the bed, and root knot nematodes have so many host plants, so many plants are susceptible to them. It's very difficult to find a plant that is not susceptible to root knot nematodes. So as soon as you put a susceptible host in there, the population will expand again. 


Farmer Fred  

Some of the ways that nematodes can spread through your garden might be your own fault, by moving tools, for instance, that might have some soil from an infected bed and you move that tool to go work in another bed. That can spread it. You want to avoid moving plants and soil from infested parts of the garden. Also don't allow irrigation water from around infested plants to run off, as that also spreads nematodes. That kind of flies in the face of one piece of advice they do offer, which says that nematodes are less active in well moistened soil. So yeah, you could water it more, but if there's runoff you're going to be spreading those nematodes. It doesn't kill the nematodes, it just makes them less active


Debbie Flower   

Right. Or it dilutes them. There are some nematode resistant plants. There are tomatoes with nematode resistant. Their common name would be followed by an “N”,  among other letters (“VFN” for example). There is rootstock for several types of fruit trees including apples, almonds, apricots, walnuts, that are resistant. Resistance does not mean that the plant will not be attacked by the root knot nematode. It just means that the root knot nematode has to work a little harder to cause a problem in that plant. Of course the advice is always to keep the plant healthy, as healthy as possible. And that will keep it growing. Because the nematodes are in the roots, they're  causing problems with water uptake and nutrient uptake. So keeping them well watered and fertilized appropriately will help them grow better. 


Farmer Fred  

Also, the benefit of growing a tomato, for example, that has that nematode resistance built into it: if you grow that for a year, that will cause the nematode population to decline, and possibly allow you,  the following year , to grow perhaps a susceptible variety  of a tomato to nematodes. Another thing that sort of flies in the face of what's popular in gardening and farming now: and that's basically to leave the roots in the ground and let them disintegrate during the winter. Well, actually, the nematodes could live there and feed off those old roots. They are living in the roots. So you do want to not leave the roots of the plants of last year's garden in the soil. You'll want to pull them out, if you have that nematode problem, right? One way they suggested to see if you have a nematode problem is to germinate some melon seeds in soil that you think is infested.


Debbie Flower  

That would work in that compost pile she's talking about. Yeah, melons often volunteer in compost piles from seeds that have been thrown in there, while cleaning out fruit in the kitchen.


Farmer Fred   

In the compost pile, you'd have the warmer temperatures too, that's necessary for quick germination, at 80 degrees or so. And after three weeks that melon seed will develop roots that if you have nematodes, you'll see the root nodes. So that's one way you could maybe test to see if the compost pile is infested with nematodes.


Debbie Flower    

It could be done in a controlled way in a container in a warm place. As long as you know. You wash your hands and wash your shoes. Make sure you're not moving that suspected, infested compost pile around. 


Farmer Fred   

How do you destroy root knot nematodes when you’re moving a tool from one bed to the other?  How do you make sure that you've cleaned off any root knot nematodes that might be on there? 


Debbie Flower    

That's a good question. Because they're microscopic. But I would wash the tool over the bed that I used it in so that anything that came off of it would go into that same bed. Wash it thoroughly, probably with a brush.


Farmer Fred  

All right, so you wouldn't be carrying a bucket of ammonia around with you or a bucket of vinegar?


Debbie Flower  

 I don't know if those things work on root knot nematodes, You would  think they would. Dryness causes them to to die. So if you had enough tools where you could use one, wash it, put it somewhere until it's 100% dry, then there would be no live nematodes on it.


Farmer Fred    

However, as you see, pointed out by moistening your soil more can help their activity decline, you don't reduce the populations. So basically, they succeed either way.


Debbie Flower    

Yes, they're very tenacious. Alright.


Farmer Fred    

So with root knot nematodes, I think I like that idea of taking all that container soil and spreading it out and covering it with clear plastic, not black plastic, right? Clear plastic and watering that soil first. Secure the edges around and make it tight against the soil and leave it there for six weeks


Debbie Flower   

In the hottest part of the year. 


Farmer Fred    

Yeah, right in full sun. This soil solarization works best in hot summer climates. In cool season climates, if you're in the Bay Area or other areas where you seldom see temperatures over 85 or 90 degrees in the summer, it either will take longer or later in the year to do it. You might try it in September when there's more clear skies.


Debbie Flower    

You're looking for lots of sun. So those clear skies are critical. Yeah.


Farmer Fred    

Good luck.


Debbie Flower    

Yeah, really good luck.


Farmer Fred  

All right. Root knot nematodes.  We'll have a link in today's show notes with more information about identifying and controlling the root knot nematode. Thank you, Debbie.


Debbie Flower    

You're welcome Fred.


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DEER CONTROL TIPS


(orig. aired in Ep. 64, Dec. 4, 2020)


Farmer Fred: 

No matter where you go in the United States, you are going to find deer. They're visible, They're widespread and they love to munch on your garden. They're a very popular game animal but they're not so fun when they're in your backyard eating your garden, your plants, your annuals, your perennials, your fruit trees and everything else. And it seems like deer populations are increasing in more populated areas, especially those on the outskirts of town, those that border riparian areas and they seem to be getting more and more bold, going into denser population areas because let's face it, we're not coyotes. They're not that afraid of us. Deer. How do you protect your plants? Debbie Flower is with us, college professor (retired) of horticulture and I would think that in your time as a college professor, especially in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this question came up a lot.


Debbie Flower: 

Yeah, it sure did. There are a lot of vineyards in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. And for them, it's a big, big problem. Because deer feed on relatively new growth. And they can do a lot of damage, especially if you get a mom who decides your vineyard is a good place to have her babies, then the babies come. Yeah, that's their new home and they will come back and come back and come back. So it's definitely a big problem up there.


Farmer Fred: 

I think a lot of people have finally realized that you have to take all these deer proof plant lists with a grain of salt, because like we say, "all gardening is local". Well, all deer are local, and they may have different taste buds wherever they may happen to be in the country.


Debbie Flower: 

And if they're starving, they'll eat anything, as a human would do. Start starving and you'll eat anything to quell your stomach. So that's very true, there is nothing that is truly deer proof. But there are some strategies we can do to protect the plants that deer love a lot and that we love a lot. And hopefully keep the deer from damaging them and keep them maybe out of our garden.


Farmer Fred: 

So as we try to do on this program, whenever we're tackling a pest problem, is we have to correctly identify the pest. What are the signs that it's deer that are eating your plants?


Debbie Flower: 

You're absolutely right. There are many other  things that could be eating your plants, rodents, rabbits, and deer being among them. And so you need to have an idea of  what we call the signs of deer. The things that let us know the deer have been there. One is the way they eat. Deer don't leave tooth marks on trunks. You won't see a set of marks on the trunk, they have to eat. They tear the leaves apart or shred them. They don't have upper incisors. I'm not real good on teeth, but those, I think, are cutting teeth. Dear lack upper incisors so they can't just bite into something like biting into an apple. They have to grab on to the nice young stems and leaves, and tear them off. So that's number one. The type of damage you see, the location of that damage, too. Deer are much taller than other things that might be eating our plants from the ground, like rabbits and rodents. So the damage could go up this plant to four to five feet. Maybe even higher if you've got bigger deer around. Then, look down look at the ground. Look for their poop. The deer pellets. I'm sure you can find pictures on the internet so I'm not going to describe them.


Farmer Fred

They’re round.  


Debbie Flower

Yeah, and shiny. And in a pile, usually. And then their hooves, they have to, I guess it's called a cloven hoof, with indents in the ground. And the whole thing is kind of the shape of an avocado or an egg. And that's the deer imprint in the ground. So you're gonna look for those things.


Farmer Fred: 

The hoof print is  probably the size of two pennies together, placed end to end.


Debbie Flower: 

From the tip of each close to the back. 


Farmer Fred: 

So it's not that big. You would think. with a deer. that there might be a bigger footprint, but in reality, it's fairly compact.


Debbie Flower: 

It is quite small. Yes.


Farmer Fred: 

So okay, we've figured out it's the deer. But we should point out too, that male deer, especially in late summer, may be rubbing their antlers on tree trunks and limbs, or fence posts. And usually, if it's a mature tree, it's not that much of damage. But if they're rubbing those antlers on smaller trees or saplings, then there could be a lot of damage.


Debbie Flower: 

Right. If there's not a lot of cork over the live part of the plant. Cork is what we typically call bark, and the live part of the plant is just underneath that. And that's where all the liquids move around in the plant. If there's not a lot of protection over that wet part, it rips it right off and exposes the the vascular system of the plant. So yeah, the deer are trying to take the velvet off of their antlers when they're doing that.


Farmer Fred: 

I think for the sake of this discussion, we will limit the conversation about deer-proof plants, simply because it isn't consistent from one area of the country to another. So let's talk about exclusion or modification or a lot of interesting things you can buy at the nursery to to maybe dissuade deer.


Debbie Flower: 

Right. There are several categories that we can explore for protecting our garden, as you mentioned, exclusion, modifying the habitat, repellents, and hazing or frightening them. And then in most places where there are deer, there is a hunting season as well. The most effective of all of those, but probably the most expensive of all of those controls, is the fencing. And that was something that was explored heavily in the vineyards in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. It's expensive to make a fence and put it up and it has to be minimum of six feet tall, eight feet is better. And it has to go all the way around the property. No holes in it. And deer will also, if they can, they'll go under the fence. So you have to be sure that the fence is attached to the ground somehow. If it's a rigid fence, that's fine. But it is less expensive and maybe easier to use some of the softer plastics that are woven, and rolled up and used as fencing around let's say construction sites that might be a place you'd see them, they need to be six feet tall, minimum, eight feet is better. And they need to be rigidly attached, so that the deer can't get under them or well over is because of the height. They can't get over them.


Farmer Fred:

Yeah, or they have to be rigidly supported so they don't knock down the fence too. So you're going to have to have your support posts much closer together than you would on a normal fence.


Debbie Flower: 

 Right. So that’s a pricey way to go. Electric fences are a possibility too. And I read on many different Cooperative Extension sites about deer, and on some of them, you could tell deer was a really big problem, because they suggested turning on your electric fence and then getting a piece of aluminum foil, putting peanut butter on it, and wrapping it around the live electric fence, so that the deer would be attracted and they would get their zapping. That is an extreme technique, I think, and electric fences take real regular maintenance because a lot of things can cause that electricity to fail.


Farmer Fred: 

Right. I think a good point to that is the University of California Cooperative Extension makes about construction. If you are constructing a deer fence, you are not only trying to keep them from getting in, you've got to give them an easy way to get out. And that, I would think, is very important. That if you spot a deer in a fence to garden, then if you go to try to get them out, they may end up destroying the fence trying to get out.


Debbie Flower: 

Right. And they're not going to come to you, asking you to open the gate. So you need to have another place for them to get out.  Fences need to go around the entire property and it needs to have a gate. The gate needs to be the same height as the fence and you probably need a backdoor for it. So that if you go in your gate, and close it behind you,  the deer may come in when you're not looking and when they see you, a deer you can leave by that gate and go around the gate. If the one gate is typically in a place or often in a place where humans hang out, the deer is not likely to head toward that main gate. So have a backdoor, have a back gate where they can leave.


Farmer Fred: 

Hmm. And I imagine too, that back gate should be on a slope, you would want that escape gate on the high end.


Debbie Flower: 

It probably depends on your property. But that sounds like a really good idea. There's lots of discussion and there was some practice of it in the foothills of using a slanted fence, deer can jump high, and they can jump far, but they can't do both at the same time. And so if you only had a six foot fence, one technique is to slant it away at about a 45 degree angle away from the plant you're trying to protect at about a 45 degree angle. And that combination of distance and height will flummox the deer and keep them out.


Farmer Fred: 

Now I've heard of experiments going on with even shorter fences, of four and five foot heights. But having that second sloping fence pointed outward,  sort of like forming a “V”,  if you will. And as long as they can't get between the two fences and then jump, you might have success keeping them out with a lower fence by having the double fencing.


Debbie Flower: 

Right. I also saw double fencing of vertical fences and a dog run between them. So with a dog run that is  three foot or four foot wide, and, so that second fence inside didn't need to be as high. It just needed to contain the dog and deer don't like dogs. So dogs can be uses for protection. But of course you need to take care of that dog,  that's not a free thing. You feed it, take it to the vet, groom it all of those good things.


Farmer Fred: 

Well, that brings up, then, the thought of using repellents and there are all sorts of chemical repellents that are sold for reducing or preventing deer damage. But I think they're only good until it starts raining.


Debbie Flower: 

Right. Repellents are a temporary solution. If you've got a crop that is just coming ripe and you realize a deer has found it and is starting to eat it, and you're only going to need this deer protection for a short period of time, then a repellent is a possibility. There are lots of recipes for making repellents. They need to either smell really bad, like fermented egg, or they need to cause a discomfort to the deer after they've been eaten. And that would be like hot pepper, the capsaicin in the hot pepper. There are anecdotal repellents, like hanging hair in the crop or using urine- and this you would of  have to buy - of a predator of the deer. Those are also suggested but not tested.


Farmer Fred: 

I'm just wondering how they collect urine from coyotes.


Debbie Flower: 

Yeah, I'm not sure I want to know. I assume somebody, I assume it's manufacturers, you know that  somebody analyzed what's in coyote urine and then put the same chemicals together, but that's my guess.


Farmer Fred: 

Now what about frightening devices and noisy objects? You see advertised a lot of motion activated sprinklers. But again, I would think at some point, they will just say, "Oh, it's raining" and keep on eating.


Debbie Flower: 

 Yes, it doesn't work for long. They're again, a short term answer. When you put them out initially, they will keep the deer away. Again, you could use some potentially for a crop that just has a few days to go before you're going to finish with it. But when you're talking about raining, that would be a motion activated sprinkler. Other hazing things would be noises, radios, dog barking, setting off blanks on  some kind of a weapon, a gun kind of thing, but the deer will get used to them so they're not very effective. One thing a friend of mine did in her home garden, and she lived  in the Napa Sonoma area, was she made a very narrow garden, only about five feet wide. And she fenced just that area. And because it was so narrow, the deer could not jump into it. Does that make sense?


Farmer Fred: 

Yeah. So they're not willing to do a six foot leap into an area that they may not clearly land.


Debbie Flower: 

Right.


Farmer Fred: 

But does that work from the get-go? Or do deer learn that after cousin Jim gets stuck at the top of the fence?


Debbie Flower: 

Yeah, I don't know about that, for sure. But I would discourage people from putting anything harmful on the top of the fence, you don't want to kill the deer. They talked about wire fencing because it has some flexibility to it. And it is easier to release a deer that gets caught in it or the deer to release themselves not to use barbed wire, because you're just creating the barrier, you're not trying to harm the deer in the process.


Farmer Fred: 

I guess another solution for people who just want to protect certain valuable plants and I'm thinking of fruit trees, would be to individually cage each of these fruit trees. And this goes back to something we've talked about a lot on this program, maintaining fruit trees at a height that are within your reach. In other words, keeping them at maybe six feet tall or so and six feet wide. And that way, you'll still have plenty of fruit for the family. But it'd be much easier to build an enclosure to protect that tree.


Debbie Flower: 

Right, that's definitely an option. And also a young tree, we were talking about the male deer coming along and and rubbing their antlers on a tree and it's a young tree with a narrow stem, then it's much more damaging to that than an older tree that has much more much wider stem and much more cork on the outside of that wood. So you just the trunk of the tree can be covered. Either with a very narrow fence, it's only a foot or two across, and just prevents the deer from getting up close to it and rubbing their antlers against it. Or you can use something like tree wrap a plastic tree wrap or tree shelter, something in netting over the tree, something like that, that would keep the deer away. It is not a permanent solution. And it shouldn't be those kinds of things that are very small and close to the trunk. They need to be checked regularly, so the plant itself is not damaged. So they're just for starting up, for getting the orchard going,  and then considering doing the fencing that you were talking about next.


Farmer Fred: 

And if you're thinking of using some sort of noisemaker to frighten them off: I love this sentence in the University of California information on deer in their "pests in the gardens and landscape" series. And it says  if you're thinking of using noisemakers, in urban and suburban residential areas, deer come into contact with a variety of changing auditory and visual stimuli daily, and often quickly habituate to things that cause them no harm. So for instance, I was on my bicycle today, and I happened to be going down Sunrise Boulevard, which is a very busy street here in the Sacramento area, four lanes of traffic, always traffic, lots of signals, lots of horns. And here's a family of deer just walking down the sidewalk of Sunrise, headed for a residential complex where they had spied some tasty shrubs.


Debbie Flower: 

Oh my goodness, yes. Yes, I've seen them but not in such such busy places.


Farmer Fred: 

But they they were on the side of the road. And it was a family and of many sizes,  probably seven or so deer. And they actually stopped and waited for the cars to go by. These deer I saw today. they crossed with the light.


Debbie Flower 

Whatever.


Farmer Fred: 

I think they've done this before.


Debbie Flower: 

Yeah, they've gotten to know their environment. So yeah,  this noise stuff. They call it hazing in one website I saw. Yeah, it doesn't work.


Farmer Fred: 

Yeah, it's very temporary. I guess if you mix it up a bit that might help. But again, it will be short term. So is there a solution? Maybe.


Debbie Flower: 

Not an end all-be all solution. We can't eradicate the deer or the damage they're going to do, but we can share with them and I didn't see anybody saying anything about that. If you have enough property, you can put some thing that they like to eat way out in the back 40 somewhere and obviously they'll still come looking for what else you might have. But you would still have to protect or exclude them. Your best choice: fencing.


Farmer Fred: 

Exclusion is it. Deer. They are among us. And we will continue to protect our backyard food supply. Debbie Flower, College Horticulture Professor, retired. Thank you so much for telling us the truth about deer.


Debbie Flower: 

It's always a pleasure. Thank you, Fred



DAVE WILSON NURSERY


Farmer Fred  

You have a small yard and you think you don't have the room for fruit trees? Well, maybe you better think again. Because Dave Wilson Nursery wants to show you how to grow great tasting fruits: peaches, apples, pluots, and nut trees. Plus, they have potted fruits, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, boysenberries, figs, grapes, hops, kiwifruit, olives and pomegranates. All plants, that you can grow in small areas. You could even grow many of them in containers on patios, as well. It's called backyard orchard culture. And you can get step by step information via their You Tube videos. Where do you find those? Just go to dave wilson dot com, click on the Home Garden tab at the top of the page. Also in that home garden tab, you’ll find a link to their fruit and nut harvest chart, so you can be picking delicious, healthy fruits from your own yard from May to December here in USDA Zone 9.  Also in that home garden tab? You're going to find the closest nursery to you that carries Dave Wilson's quality fruit trees. They are in nurseries from coast to coast. So start the backyard orchard of your dreams at DaveWilson.com.



FLASHBACK EPISODE (#144) USING WOOD ASH IN THE GARDEN


Farmer Fred

We are now in the season when burn piles, wood stoves, and fireplaces are seeing more activity. The Flashback episode for this week, covers a common question being heard during the cooler months: Is wood ash good for the garden soil? Our favorite college horticulture professor, Debbie Flower, answered that decisively back in Episode 144 with our favorite garden answer, “it depends”. But, she has tips to help you decide if your soil will benefit from the addition of wood ash. 


And on Episode 144 from October of 2021, we talked with Organic Gardening expert Steve Zien about how you can achieve better soil starting this time of year, with a lot less work. His tips might even allow you to skip the tedious chore of crop rotation each year!


Give it a listen, again its Episode 144, originally aired in October of 2021,  “Using Wood Ash in your Garden.”  Find a link to it in today’s show notes, or at the podcast player of your choice. And you can find it, along with a transcript, at our home page, garden basics dot net.



Farmer Fred

The Garden Basics With Farmer Fred podcast comes out once a week, on Fridays.  It’s brought to you by Smart Pots and Dave Wilson Nursery. The Garden Basics podcast is available wherever podcasts are handed out, and that includes our home page, Garden Basics dot net, where you can find transcripts of most episodes, as well.  Thank you so much for listening…or reading.





Nematode Control
Deer Controls
Flashback Episode: Wood Ash in Garden?