Protect The February Garden From Deer And Voles
The February garden nourishes deer and voles in winter. Neither animal hibernates, so both will dine on shrubs and trees, even when snow blankets the ground. Damage they cause may not be evident until spring. Protect your garden now to prevent costly plant and tree loss. Read on to find out how.
What Deer and Voles Eat
Deer will devour many evergreens, including arborvitae, holly, rhododendrons, and yews. They will also mangle fruit trees and shrubs. What’s more, trees are vulnerable to antler rubbing (“trunk girdling”) causing wounds and sometimes death.
Voles have herculean appetites despite their mouse-like bodies. They will raid everything in the garden, including bulbs, edibles, lawns, ornamental shrubs, and trees. Their presence will be known mainly by the damage they cause, as voles keep themselves well hidden.
How They Invade The February Garden
Deer can browse about four feet from the ground, and higher when they are on hind legs. They will also lean down to consume smaller plantings and ground cover. There will be little or no growth left after deer browsing. Partially eaten branches and leaves will have jagged edges. This is because deer don’t have upper teeth, so they rip rather than bite when munching plants.
In contrast to deer, voles find meals underground and at ground level in the February garden. Nesting in tunnels they create, voles will gnaw on lawn roots and crowns, causing major turf damage. They also chew on unprotected bulbs and roots and stems of established plants. Just above the soil line, voles will nibble shrubs and girdle trees.
Cover and De-Clutter
Deer and voles can destroy your garden without ever being seen, as they both dine mainly during dawn and dusk. Shore up your February garden now with some simple strategies.
*Keep ground covers and lawns short.
*Clear mulch mounds back about 3 feet from the base of trees.
*Move brush and wood piles away from the garden.
*Remove empty pots and clutter.
*Protect trees with wraps and hardware cloth.
*Line the sides and bottoms of beds with hardware cloth.
*Secure the tops of beds with fabric to prevent digging.
Direct Protect With Bobbex
In addition to limiting plant access and hiding spots, it is key to provide on-plant protection from deer and voles. Bobbex, the #1 rated deer repellent will coat plants safely and effectively in the February garden (when the temperature is above 35 degrees Fahrenheit). Burrows can be sprayed with Small Animal Bobbex to deter voles and protect bulbs and roots from being eaten.
How did Bobbex rise above the other deer repellents? In an independent study conducted by The Connecticut Department of Forestry and Horticulture, 10 deer repellents were tested on Evergreen Yews (a deer favorite). Bobbex was the winning repellent – second only to a physical fence. The study rated the “protection index” of a physical fence at 100%, while Bobbex was close behind at 93%. The next closest competitor lagged at 83%. All Bobbex repellents are safe for people, pets, wildlife, and aquatic life.
A Healthy February Garden Brings Bounty
The February garden properly protected will deliver an abundant spring. Take steps now to discourage deer and voles from taking up residence on your property. Some simple measures and spraying with Bobbex will make all the difference.